Standing, basket in hand, the crunch of fallen debris under foot and the smell of musty rotting pine needles in the air, Rohan began to explain the perfect way to cut a mushroom from the ground. “I’m sick of seeing all these pictures on Instagram of shit in mushrooms, so I’m going to show you how to do it right. Then we can all take some pretty pictures.” I laughed.
We learnt about picking wild mushrooms; where to look, what to look for and how to identify 3 edible mushrooms in a world of non-edible mushrooms. He said, rather than to look for mushrooms and then attempt to find out if they edible, it’s safer to learn about edible ones and look for those.
I wrote recently about gift giving in our house, this was J’s birthday present for this year. His birthday isn’t until the end of July, but after looking to do the same thing last year and find that I was too late, I thought I’d book us in early. Since our last experience with Rohan, J has developed a little man crush. Rohan has taken the steps to do exactly what we want to do with our food. Sure he can come across as a little arrogant and superior but I think in context he is a wealth of knowledge, and in such a fantastic position to inspire people to think more about where their food comes from. He’s definitely a hero of mine.
Upon arrival, the huge group of people (there were 30, three kids, one baby and two dogs) began to wonder around the pine forest in mizzly rain. We were all here for mushroom foraging, so as someone would find another edible mushroom, the group would get together and learn the traits of this particular species.
Once we’d all collected sufficient mushrooms to take home and enjoy, we returned to a camp fire and some hot tea. Rohan then cooked up each variety of mushrooms simply, with just a little garlic and sage, so we could try each one individually. The Pine mushrooms were my favourite, almost a chewy, meaty texture, closely followed by the Blewit, then the Slippery Jack. Finally, as the rain really started to come down, Rohan cooked a big batch of mushroom strogg (the recipe to come in his new book). It was creamy, spicy, mushroomy goodness, served with a good hunk of baguette, such a wondering belly filling way to end a mushroom collecting day.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Rohan’s workshops, you should absolutely jump at the chance. He is a wealth of knowledge and an absolute inspiration to those wanting to live a simpler life with a lower footprint.
This post is not sponsored, I just love what Rohan stands for, so I fork out the money and go and do his workshops.