Category Archives: Urban Foraging

Saturday To-Do: AR Mycological Society Mushroom Mania

Mushrooms that I collected on a foray conducted by the Arkansas Mycological Society.

Learn all about fungus among us at the Arkansas Mycological Society (AMS) Fungus Fair, Saturday, November 6 at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

The event schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Foray to observe Mushrooms in their Natural Habitat
  • 12–1 p.m. – Lunch – Mushroom soup and perhaps some mushroom dip will be provided for lunch but participants should bring a sandwich or some food to supplement the soup and dip.
  • 1–2:15 p.m. – Presentation: Edible and Poisonous Fungi of Arkansas
  • 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. – Lecture on growing your own mushrooms at home
  • 3:45 – 4:15 p.m. – Mycophagy session (cooking and tasting wild mushrooms) – Edible finds from the morning foray will be cooked for participants to sample. The session will be followed by a presentation on harvesting, storing, preserving and cooking wild mushrooms.

AMS members whose dues are current may attend the workshop free of charge, but non-members over the age of 18 are asked to pay $10 for the day’s events.

For more information, contact Jay Justice at (501) 794-2669.

AR Mycological Society to Host Mushroom Mania

Mushrooms that I collected on a foray conducted by the Arkansas Mycological Society.

Learn all about fungus among us at the Arkansas Mycological Society (AMS) Fungus Fair, Saturday, November 6 at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

The event schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Foray to observe Mushrooms in their Natural Habitat
  • 12–1 p.m. – Lunch – Mushroom soup and perhaps some mushroom dip will be provided for lunch but participants should bring a sandwich or some food to supplement the soup and dip.
  • 1–2:15 p.m. – Presentation: Edible and Poisonous Fungi of Arkansas
  • 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. – Lecture on growing your own mushrooms at home
  • 3:45 – 4:15 p.m. – Mycophagy session (cooking and tasting wild mushrooms) – Edible finds from the morning foray will be cooked for participants to sample. The session will be followed by a presentation on harvesting, storing, preserving and cooking wild mushrooms.

AMS members whose dues are current may attend the workshop free of charge, but non-members over the age of 18 are asked to pay $10 for the day’s events.

For more information, contact Jay Justice at (501) 794-2669.

Check Out GreenAR by the Day in 2010 AR Times Native’s Guide!

GreenAR by the Day wrote a short essay on local foods for the 2010 Arkansas Times Native’s Guide. Check it out by clicking here. I’m the one with the chicken.

Book Review – Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally

I just finished reading Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally. The authors, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, tell their story of living for a year eating only foods produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment. If you think it’s easy to eat 100% within a 100-mile radius, think again. The authors endure several months without wheat and a year without buying salt and olive oil. Thank goodness they quite drinking coffee and tea several years before their experiment, or I think I would have gone mad reading about a year without two of my favorite drinks.

If you already eat locally, you come across familiar scenes in the book – stored apples smelling like hard cider, closets taken over by canned food and butternut squash, and potatoes beginning to sprout eyes because you don’t have a root cellar. Eating locally isn’t all glamour, but the rewards are fantastic! As Smith and MacKinnon discovers, you get to eat AND taste real food. Have you ever had store bought eggs after you started eating locally? I’m always shocked that store bought eggs taste like, um, nothing. Same with honey. I know I sound like an elitist, but how do people eat them?

Eating locally takes you to bizarre places, and Smith and MacKinnon are no exception. They drive to nowhere Canada to buy walnuts from a lady whose farm has a sign that says BIOSECURITY ZONE. They encounter a bear while foraging in a Canadian forest. I’ve encountered snakes while foraging and met my peach dealer at a gas station, so I was able to relate.

Whether you just started eating locally or are an old veteran, Plenty has plenty of good local foods stories. Check it out and discover how fun eating locally can be!

For more information about the authors’ 100-mile diet, visit http://100milediet.org/.

Saturday To-Do: Fungus Fair @ Pinnacle

Learn all about fungus among us at the Arkansas Mycological Society (AMS) Fungus Fair, this Saturday, November 8th at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park. The event schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Foray along Arboretum Trail
  • 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch – Two kinds of wild mushroom soup will be provided, however participants should bring a sandwich and other items to accompany the soup.
  • 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – PowerPoint Presentation: “Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of Arkansas”
  • 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. – Lecture on growing your own mushrooms at home
  • 3:45 – 4:15 p.m. – Mycophagy session (cooking and tasting wild mushrooms) – Edible finds from the morning foray will be cooked for participants to sample. The session will be followed by a presentation on harvesting, storing, preserving and cooking wild mushrooms.

AMS members whose dues are current may attend the workshop free of charge, but non-members over the age of 18 are asked to pay $10 for the day’s events.

For more information, contact Jay Justice at (501) 794-2669.

In Search of Morel Mushrooms…

Young black morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Young Black Morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Black Morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Black Morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Half-Free Morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Half-Free Morel (Photo by Jay Justice)

Our catch of the day.

Our catch of the day.

We cooked bow-tie pasta with morels, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. YUM!

We cooked bow-tie pasta with morels, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. YUM!

About a month ago, Jay Justice, President of the Arkansas Mycological Society, led a group of people to find one of the most prized mushrooms of all – morels. Morel mushrooms have long been prized by gourmet chefs and mushroom enthusiasts. I first learned about morels from my ex-boyfriend’s father who hunted them religiously around this time of the year. From March to April, they pop up in the northern part of the state and draw a flock of mushroom enthusiasts to the region. In fact, when Arkansans say they hunt mushrooms, they usually mean morels.

About 20-30 people headed to an undisclosed location in northwest Arkansas and found over 100 morels. Eddy and I found about 10-15. Upon our return, we made pasta with morels, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes. Morels were fabulous alongside Arkansas asparagus!

The season is over for most parts of the state, but I hope to hone my mushroom identification skills throughout this year so that I would be a better morel hunter next year.

Buy Used @ Dickson Street Bookshop

dicksonstbookshopDuring my recent trip to Fayetteville, Eddy and I stopped at one of our favorite bookstores – Dickson Street Bookshop. Located on the corner of School Avenue and Dickson Street, Dickson Street Bookshop carries TONS of used and out-of-print books. What I love about Dickson Street Bookshop is that it carries books on topics such as mycology, limnology, and survival. Take that, Barnes & Noble! As someone who forages and collects books about wild edibles, I appreciate the selection offered by this little gem in Fayetteville.

The Dickson Street Bookshop has been in business since 1978, which tells something about its quality. Approximately 100,000 books line the shop’s walls, so you are bound to find a book that interests you. Don’t spend too long at the store, or you might come out of it broke, which has happened to me more than once.

The Dickson Street Book Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Next time you’re in Fayetteville, drop by and buy used from Dickson Street Bookshop!