Just landing back home to Ireland after a whirlwind trip to Mulino, Oregon for the Radical Mycology Convergence hosted by Peter McCoy @radmycology and Jason Scott @feralfungi and born of much dreams and hard work of many!
It was a joy beyond words to have attended and a great honor to have been invited as a speaker!
I offered two talks at the Convergence: Medicinal Mushroom preparations and all the ways I use them in my life as food and medicine- and a second talk on Mushroom ‘Coffee’ Alternatives using trees, roots and fungi. And on the Sunday morning on a Medicinal Mushroom panel with Christopher Hobbs, Robert Rogers, Jason Scott and Shane Norte.
I’ve shared the notes on my website for anyone who is interested!
It was so amazing to connect with so many myco folk such as: @radmycology @amanitadreaming @feralfungi @christopherhobbs1 Robert Rogers, @fly_agaric_press Kevin Feeney, William Rubel, and so many other cool folk with such interesting and diverse interests with fungi! So many new friends made I can’t tag you all. Please stay in touch!
Extra big thanks to @feralfungi and Kelsey and @ashley.bonn for putting me up while in Portland and to @indra.c.h.a for feeding me incredible concoctions and @swiminair for looking after me so well and felted fly agaric art @spore.dust for letting me try on the Turkey tail headpiece @erintheforest for incredible fungi ceramics @jonicampile best camping neighbour and of course to @brownbottlefarm for the kindnesses and amazing venue and tent loan and fresh ginger root and friendships! @ckylum for tea sharing @twoowlsproductions for giving me a lift and the chats and hopefully staying in touch about video footage 🤞🏼!! @brandon_feinberg for the photos shared here♥️♥️
So many more to thank: @myco.nutri for Mushroom powders to share and use during my workshops, @mushroom.marauder for very cool sticker art to share!
It took me awhile to get my hands on this book. First of all it was expensive and then after that, it was even harder to find online! I’m in Europe and it just seemed unusually difficult to get a hold of.
I bit the bullet and after many hours found a valid link and invested in this book. When it arrived I squealed in delight. It’s a substantial tome and well worth the cost. Chock full of all the ways of “Seeing and Working with Fungi” it is a reference that you should not be without!
I haven’t read the book cover to cover; it’s a big book and very easy to dip in and out of chapters that most interest you.
Anyhow, back to the book. The publishers are offering a short window for a discount on this incredible book. Here’s the link to buy the book. The shipping prices to Europe are still cringe-worthy, but I was comforted that the book is absolutely massive and very heavy. I bought it as a birthday present to myself (which we should all do more of:)
I’m also extremely honoured to be on the Medicinal Mushroom Panel and at this event with teachers I so respect and have learned so much from such as @radmycology Peter McCoy, @christopherhobbs1 , Robert Rogers, Kevin Feeney, William Rubel, @amanitadreaming and so many others!
Thank you Peter for this opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t dream up a better mushroom festival offering than this! I am very honoured to take part! And excitedly checking the schedule for all of the workshops that I also hope to attend!
We are lucky to have enticed Michael to spend some more time on the emerald isles. He’s going to be launching more of his workshops in Ireland. I’ve attended many of his workshops and can report that I find his teaching manner really professional, friendly, thorough and he shares his lifetime of experience in all things self-sufficiency.
I was invited to create and display a nature altar at this years Body and Soul festival.
It was an honour and a pleasure and I would like to do more of such things.
Michael and I created a simple display that was held in the John Hopkins geodesic dome in the Sanctuary. There were many offerings in there over the weekend, including yoga and some meditative sessions with psychedelic music, so the altar we created was perfect for the space.
We joined some hazel rods to make a tripod and attached a cut willow stand to the top of it. We affixed a collection of peacock feathers and dried poppy heads to the ends of the willow, so it reached high up into the skies, about 12 feet high.
We had a collection of my animal skulls, and found dried fungus, feathers, antlers, leaves, flowers, shells and pinecones to adorn the altar.
With the dome background (and the yoga mats in situ) it was difficult to get a clear shot of the piece, but you get the idea, and I’ve shared some of the components here as I enjoyed both the colour and textures of these natural items.
Please contact me if you would like to commission me to create something like this for your space or event.
Thank you to Avril, Jessie and Nicola for giving me this opportunity!
Was delighted to be invited to the Wicklow music festival Beyond The Pale and to talk on stage with Ali Dunworth about, what else, mushrooms (!) and all of the ways that they are magical. And why they should be on your plate!
It was so enjoyable and what an incredible festival. The music line up was incredible.
I brought some interesting mushroom tasters to share. Some balsamic pickled shiitake mushrooms, dandelion buds and wild garlic. Also made some Lion’s Mane and peanut butter dark chocolates.
Best of all I got to bring Sadhbh the bus and my dearest girlfriends!
There are soo very many books that inspire me and that I learn from. Here is a small selection of books and authors whom I admire and respect. Among many others! I’ll do more posts with other books to share with you another time as well.
This is one book post of many: as I am a huge book-aholic! It’s an addiction that I am happy to feed. There are more book posts here in my blog and on Instagram.
I get asked so often to recommend books and resources that I like to learn from. The following are some excellent places to start!
Hedgerow Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal. The book focuses more on medicinal plants, how to identify, harvest, process, recipes. A great place to start from and a beautiful book, full of recipes and methods to use these local wild plants as medicine. (Plus, having met them a couple of times- they are beautiful people!)
River Cottage Mushrooms by John Wright. A great beginners guide to edible fungi and their dangerous lookalikes. I also enjoy listening to his other Foraging books on Audibles.
Edible Mushrooms by Geoff Dann highly recommended.
Trees in Britain by Roger Phillips (also any or all of his Foraging books, he’s a legend, who sadly just passed recently). If you’re interested in mushrooms, you’ll soon learn that you need to know the trees!
The Forager Handbook by @miles_irving_wild_food High end and Chefy recipes and an excellent resource of edible wild foods found in the UK and Ireland. A fellow Association of Foragers member. Not a beginners book I would say but it’s a great compilation of wild plants and elaborate recipes.
Eat Weeds Cookbook by @eatweedsuk Robin Harford. Another Foraging wild food legend and fellow AoF member. His website is comprehensive and I’d recommend signing up to his mailing list.
Extreme Greens Understanding Seaweeds by Sally McKenna a great book with seaweed ID and delicious easy to use recipes to incorporate seaweeds into your every day diet.
New Wildcrafted Cuisine by @pascalbaudar I love all of his books, a pioneer in new wild food processes including Fermentation. Follow him on Instagram and you can also sign up for his online classes.
@alysf Alys Fowler The Thrifty Forager. Beautiful simple to follow book, she has another one about preserving also. Great for urban foraging.
Botany in a Day @thomasjelpelI’m excited to be learning more about identifying plant families with this book. He also sells a card game to help learn these skills.
This is difficult to answer as there are so many different ways to be interested in fungi- whether it is identification, edibility, medicinal mushrooms, cooking mushrooms or wild food, cultivation, mycology… the list goes on. I am interested in most of these aspects, but I am aware this could quickly become overwhelming to a newcomer. Also of note is that one should seek out mushroom books that are local to their part of the world.
Another important consideration is that while I value buying vintage and second hand whenever possible- when you are relying on mushroom books to give you safe and up to date information- I do not recommend old books. The information is changing constantly, not only the classifications and taxonomy but the information on safe edibility of mushrooms in older books can be suspect and no longer recommended, such as the culmulatively toxic Brown Roll Rims. So, find it second hand if you can- but get your books recent and up to date.
This list will evolve and I will add to it over time, I’ll just get a start on it tonight…
I will list some books I love or recommend and why here:
I highly recommend this book for all beginning mushroom foragers. The River Cottage Mushroom book by John Wright is an excellent resource for those that are interested in foraging for edible mushrooms. There are great photos, clear information, a slight sense of humour and importantly he points out when there is a dangerous look-alike to be aware of. There are some very tasty recipes at the end of the book in true River Cottage style. I like John Wright and also might say while I am here that I also enjoyed this one:
The Forager’s Calendar- A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests by John Wright
I downloaded this Audibles audio version of this book: The Forager’s Calendar- A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests. I love listening to audio books in the car while driving and this one is informative and entertaining. Its good because he covers wild food and fungi throughout the season and what you might expect to find in any average month of the year and some tips about how he likes to use these ingredients.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this book to anyone, no matter what your interests are! I have both this copy AND the audio version. It is narrated by the author Merlin Sheldrake and I cannot get enough of it. An incredible book that covers the many and diverse ways of “How Fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures.”
Absolutely mind-blowing and hugely entertaining.
I would LOVE LOVE to have a coffee with Merlin one day:)
Let’s start with the one in the centre: the second one that I recommend to any new mushroom forager to be: Edible Mushrooms: A Forager’s Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain, Ireland and Europe
I highly recommend this book, both to beginning foragers and experienced foragers alike. It has many species and what I like best is Geoff’s book stands alone in my opinion with its attention to the “Spectrum of Edibility”. So many books copy each other and err on the side of over-caution and preach to the lowest denominator. Geoff touches on this spectrum in detail and gives information about how and under what conditions each mushroom is edible or it isn’t. For example, many books might state: inedible, not recommended or unknown about edibility but Geoff gives us more detail than most- sometimes its a case of boiling before cooking, or cooking at high heat, etc to remove certain toxins. I respect and value this information so that I may make the decision myself, rather than be told simply: not recommended. And of course, should a mushroom not be recommended for consumption- this is also clearly stated!
Again, great photos, great information and again a warning on dangerous look-alikes.
Another book from that book stack above:
The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Dale Rogers.
While, granted, this book says it is for North American species, most of it is also relevant to Ireland/Uk/ Europe. Many of these medicinal mushrooms also grow here so there is much valuable information if you’re interested in mushrooms’ medicinal qualities.
From Jelly ears, Shiitake, Fly Agaric, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Button mushrooms, Oysters, the list goes on and on.
Robert Rogers has a good online medicinal mushrooms course that I also can recommend.
Next on the list:
Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares- The Love Lore and Mystique of Mushrooms by Greg Marley
Throughout history, people have had a complex and confusing relationship with mushrooms. Are fungi food or medicine, beneficial decomposers or deadly “toadstools” ready to kill anyone foolhardy enough to eat them? In fact, there is truth in all these statements. In Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares, author Greg Marley reveals some of the wonders and mysteries of mushrooms, and our conflicting human reactions to them. With tales from around the world, Marley, a seasoned mushroom expert, explains that some cultures are mycophilic (mushroom-loving), like those of Russia and Eastern Europe, while others are intensely mycophobic (mushroom-fearing), including, the US.
This fascinating and fresh look at mushrooms-their natural history, their uses and abuses, their pleasures and dangers-is a splendid introduction to both fungi themselves and to our human fascination with them. From useful descriptions of the most foolproof edible species to revealing stories about hallucinogenic or poisonous, yet often beautiful, fungi, Marley’s long and passionate experience will inform and inspire readers with the stories of these dark and mysterious denizens of our forest floor.