Putting the Fun in Fungi

professional definition-01I was reading an article that mentioned a guy’s name, age and occupation.  I cruised right through the name and age, but his occupation brought me to a screeching halt:

“Professional mushroom collector.”

Whoa!  Really?

I didn’t know there was such a profession!  If only I’d known, I could have done that instead of spending every day doing boring old brain surgery!

OK, I’m kidding about the brain surgery, but not about being a professional mushroom collector.  Apparently the hills (and valleys and forests) are alive with the growth of mushrooms.  There are all sorts of professionals out there finding them, and all sorts of restaurateurs salivating to buy them.

But whoa, again.  Not just any mushrooms – chose the wrong fungi and the person who eats it could end up dead:

The Amanita virosa is so dangerous that its nickname is “death angel.” Death Angel
Just inhaling in the fumes from cooking Galerina marginata – Autumn Skullcap – could be your last breath. autumn-skullcap
And selling a restaurant some Lepiota brunneoincarnata – Deadly Dapperlings – will not get you invited back. deadly dapperling

But don’t get discouraged – there are all sorts of good mushrooms out there, and all sorts of good ways to find them.  Get started by reading the “Mushroom Hunter” job description at InsideJobs.com for tips including treading carefully across those hills:  “It would be a shame if you accidentally squished a whole crop beneath your boot.”

stink-bug-pest-id-card_frontNext, you can attend Michigan State University’s course offering “foragers necessary certification for selling wild mushrooms.”  That same website also offers a “related article,” Why and How to Report Sightings of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs in Your Home or Business.  Related how, I don’t know.

Finally, to make sure your skills are top-notch, visit mushroomexam.com to test your knowledge about “key features of fungi” and “tree and fungi relationships.”

Before you know it, you’ll be tossing off terms like a regular mycophagist, including:

  • Kinfinanuthin:  What you say when you leave the forest empty-handed.
  • Quick walk in the woods, Honey:  A little white lie told to spouses by avid mushroom hunters.
  • Xcuse:  What you’ll give to explain being three hours late from a “quick walk in the woods, Honey.”
You’ll be sourcing that perfect mushroom-gathering bucket, man mushroom_02
donning those perfect mushroom-gathering clothes, Mushroom hunters huddle over a find during a mushroom hunting expedition.
and tramping around those hills (and valleys and forests) finding the perfect morels, chanterelles, and shiitakes. Chanterelle_Cantharellus_cibarius

Or, you could just go to the grocery store and buy them.

Whoa!  Really?

man disgusted_01 cropped

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