Kansas City

Magic (of) mushrooms – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-06-21 09:00:36 –

Mushrooms away from the trails of Swope Park. // Photo by chase caster

For those who consider spring to be the morel hunting season, it’s full of excitement, one or two really great meals, muddy shoes, and tremendous hope. Balancing these components requires practice and philosophical thinking that can prove as elusive as the fungus itself.

That jumble of mud, despair, and delicious food deserves some unpacking and thoughtful remorse in its conclusions. And if you’ve been around a block (or forest) several times, like Maxine Stone, it’s not too difficult to organize it.

Part of the seasonal attraction is the morel natural offer for a limited time. And although it is true that the morel season lasts only about four weeks, he is the former president of the Missouri Mycological Society and Missouri wild mushrooms, You can respect it without buying charm at all.

“Some people in Missouri think it’s the only mushroom. I hunt morels — it’s not my first choice,” says Stone. “Everyone hunts morels, but there are many other delicious edible mushrooms.”

Other than her morels, the top three recommended are Chanterel (July), Forest Chicken (April-September), and Forest Chicken (Autumn).

Mushrooms away from the trails of Swope Park.

Mushrooms away from the trails of Swope Park. // Photo by chase caster

But in a crowd that hits the trail at least once a year, these three problems aren’t too hard to find. They don’t famously glue people to weather apps, get up early, or cause endless discussions about methodologies.

These three mushrooms didn’t taste like ice cream at Betty Rae’s.

They also encourage what can be described as the development of a new spiritual attitude towards nature, rather than engrossing the artist and vegetable fermenter Laurena Reutberg in mushrooms.

“”[Mushrooms] Very intelligent to me. I don’t know if you know this, but they breathe oxygen and release carbon dioxide like we do, “says Reutberg. “Their kingdoms are closer to our kingdom than the plant kingdom, and their networks are so vast and connected that they mimic human connections and connections to me on the Internet.”

When I first went hunting morels a few years ago, she was frustrated and gave up because she couldn’t find anything. She says this is a common experience. But within 10 minutes of quitting, she began to see them around her.

Since then, she has taken a different approach.

Laurena harvests some C. versicolor.

Laurena harvests C. versicolor. // Photo by chase caster

“I’m really trying to calm myself down, just listen and take advantage of the psychedelic space of the forest itself. It’s very difficult to put words into it because it’s so intuitive and all emotional. Because it’s based. I just follow those feelings and, like most, pray that I’m doing it, and I’m on, “says Reutberg.

She describes the “psychedelic space” as an optical illusion caused by the overwhelming amount of visual input in the woods. She says she is so focused on the unusual shapes and textures of morels that she begins to see them everywhere and at the same time experiences them as fully camouflaged.

On one of these trips, an elderly mushroom hunter provided her with advice. Scan a small area of ​​slightly higher ground. She remembers because she and most others tend to look down instead of looking up.

However, there are many ways to avoid it.

Kansas mushroom enthusiast Las Davenport is a member of the Cowvalley Mycological Society and generally looks down on his entry into the Flinthill Wildlife Sanctuary. He uses a backpack, not intuition or hills.

“What I do is drop a bag right there when I go to an area and choose morels,” he says. And what I do is walk around backpacks 15, 20, maybe 30 feet, move a little zigzag, and cover slowly. “

When satisfied, he slowly returns to the bag and often finds some more.

The great thing is that many morel lovers use mesh bags that can drop spores from the mushrooms they have already chosen, so more people will hunt them.

And that breeding strategy really helps for any mushroom, whether it’s morels or not. Mushroom expert Stone says that the real job of fungi is decomposition.

“They do their job, it’s not really feeding us, even if some of them are delicious. Their job is basically to break down the wood,” she says. ..

Laurena Roythberg Ccastor 12

Laurena Roythberg considers mushrooms to be magic when they come across them, like a gift from space. // Photo by chase caster

Mushrooms require a large underground network called mycelium to find everything that needs to be broken down. “It’s a real fungus, it’s a real mushroom happening underground,” says Stone.

People get excited, of course, like an apple on a branch. Her tips for finding mushrooms aren’t about looking down, looking up, intuition, or backpacks.

“You really look for a particular tree, because you know that they bear fruit around a particular tree. They do not bear fruit in the middle of the meadow, but under the maple. It doesn’t bear fruit, “says Stone. You are looking for a specific thing like morels, you are looking for a specific thing like a tree type. “

And, of course, the most important thing to know is that you should check what you have before you eat it. According to Stone, Missouri has only two deadly varieties, the Destroying Angel and the Deadly Galerina. Some others will make you sick.

She advises that the pictures in the book are not enough for beginners. The path is to join a group or find an expert to learn. As a bonus, it will contact you with a large number of people who will be willing to share their insights.

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