We have this long tradition in our family of mushroom harvesting, starting from my grand grandfather up to myself today. It started as a hobby of my grand grandfather, who loved exploring new and different types of plants and found mushrooms to be particularly interesting with their caps and bodies, different looks and colours. And what most excited him, according to my grandfather’s words, was the fact that you could never know if the one you pick would kill you or heal you. The man was into Russian roulette with mushrooms, big time. And since blood is thicker than water, here I am today, talking about ways to harvest mushrooms without putting your life in danger.
When it comes to mushroom harvesting, the best way to do it is by acquiring a lot of relevant knowledge. Be sure to read a lot on the matter and talk to people who have experience before you go harvesting. Mushrooms aren’t a joke and harvesting them requires a lot of attention.
To prepare for the harvesting action, start with searching for proper knives. You need mushroom harvesting knives, which can be found among the offer of gardening knives of many online retailers and in stores. These are special type of knives which have a curved blade on one side, and an end brush to remove dirt. I have the one from Opinel, which serves me perfectly, plus I fancy its design.
Choosing the Right Ground
If you have planted mushrooms in your garden, then that’s great. You’re supposed to know the quality of the soil in your garden, therefore, you can easily decide whether the mushrooms growing there are healthy. That’s a rather safe area to harvest mushrooms. But, if you’re planning on harvesting them somewhere else, inspect the ground first. For instance, don’t pick mushrooms from a ground near a factory that works with dangerous chemicals, as the entire area around the factory is probably affected by their waste. And even if you do know the types of mushrooms that are poisonous and should be avoided, you don’t want to pick anything that only looks like it’s safe.
Another way to find out which ground is safe and which is not, is to visit a mycological society in your area. People there are experts on these matters and can give you some useful guidelines.
Let the Facts Lead You on Your Adventure
You don’t go mushroom harvesting just for the sake of filling up your free time. After all, there’s a time and money investment here as you’re buying gardening knives and you’re risking your wife being mad at you because you’re not going to the movies with her. It’s a well-known fact that freshly harvested mushrooms taste way better than those in a plastic bag you can buy in a store. So, harvest them because you like to add something of great nutritional value to your menu, not because you simply like to say that you have a rather ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ hobby. And then, you could never know – if you’re really good at it, you may even start a business.