March dates

Two confirmed walk dates in March,Sat Mar 9th, Offaly and Sat 30th Co Clare, Seaweed forage.

In April I will be back with the good folk in Farnham Estate, Cavan for their Wild Garlic Festival,

Contact me on 087/7418536 or here for more info or enquiries for walks and workshops.

Dermot’s Secret Garden.

I went on a Wild Food Forage with Dermot O Neil in the Slieve Blooms, followed by a visit to his secret garden, have a look RTE 1 tonight Thurs Feb 28th @ 7pm.

Dates for March/April 2013. 

Sat March 9th.  Offaly forage walk,Contact me on 087/7418536, limited places, walk, talk  recipies, nutrition and ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Mushrooms, Mycelia, and more

 

St. George's mushrooms in situ.

St. George’s mushrooms in situ.

Mary Bulfin - wild mushroom foragerIt may seem an odd time to be posting about mushrooms but there is a good reason for my writing at this time. I have been researching growing my own fungi and now seems a good time to get organised for the year ahead. Our first mushrooms, the highly prized Morels, will appear with luck in March, and I want to be ready.

Ready to pick if lucky enough to find them, but also ready to harvest spores and attempt to grow the mycelium at home – an ambitious project, but with the guidance of www.fungi.com and the years of experience of Paul Stamets and his team, it’s certainly worth a try.

If you have interest in fungi you will find Paul Stamets’ books and talks quite fascinating. In fact, if you are interested in environmental protection, remediation of pollution, forestry, or the general well-being of our planet then look him up. I was given Mycelium Running as a gift and it’s a book I refer to again and again.

To pick out one topic from the many, how would it be if we could charge our food with sunlight and store the Vitamin D to boost us in dull winter days? In my opinion our poor country is so sadly lacking in natural sunshine that this would be of huge benefit to us all and a lot more accessible to most than a foreign holiday.

We can do this with mushrooms – yes really! They can be shop bought, or even better, wild. Stamets’ method consists basically of exposing the mushrooms to sunlight, they then absorb vitamin D. The mushrooms are then dried and the vit D content remains high for at least a year.

  • For the full method and scientific analyses of content and absorption into body go to www.fungi.com.
  • See Paul Stamets give a TED talk here: http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html 

Springtime

So it’s February, cold and wet, you might think there is not much for a keen forager to do at this time of year – not so!

I have been to Connemara on a seaweed forage collecting Carrigeen, Dillisk, kelp, sea lettuce and wrack, all now drying in my polytunnel, I will take another trip at lowest tide in March.

Meanwhile we have been enjoying Navelworth, and Corn salad as fresh greens and the Ground ivy is up and at its curly leafed best just now. Ramson’s Garlic patches close to coasts and in well sheltered areas have begun to appear and just as last year’s supplies run low it’s already time to make more garlic pesto.

There is still time to dig up and dry Dandelion root for dandelion coffee before the plant’s energy is concentrated in making new leaves and flowers.

Also keep a look out for Chick weed and Hairy bitter cress, both plants survived the winter in my veg patch. Soon Garlic Mustard will be appearing and Nettles.

Indoors there is Blackberry wine and Crab apple wine to bottle. I still have not started my Oak leaf wine, just lazy.

I have been reading up on how to grow your own mycelia and with a lot of luck I hope introduce at least one species this year, more about that in my post ‘mushrooms and more’.

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