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This morning when I was out walking The Partners, I noticed several shaggie mane mushrooms emerging from my neighbour’s lawn. Now I would have pointed this out to him and even provided suggestions for cooking them but unfortunately he’s out of the country.

Shaggie manes don’t last long. They quickly deliquesce, transforming into black goo, which spreads the spores of this tasty mushroom. It seemed wrong to just let that happen, and waste the mushrooms, so after our walk, I sent Ruby and George back into the house and re-emerged with a bowl. I picked 9 beautiful, fresh shaggies.

I know my neighbour will be happy to learn I put them to good use, in a stir-fry made with pork, tofu, celery, onion, ginger, garlic and that wonderful veggie known as morning glory, rau, or water spinach, among other names.


  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    There are around 35 species of mushrooms (I havent the ambition to actually count them) in Ontario which are really easy to identify, really tasty, and which dont have anything like a dangerous look-alike to worry about. With just a wee bit of care there is no bravery involved. Yes it is best if you learn under the guidance of someone with some experience but lots of folks learn the hard way by studying books. Heck, Toronto is even home to the Mycological Society of Toronto ( which regularly hosts mushroom identification courses which teach not only which are edible but also which are dangerous and all the ones in between. The folks who are really good at identification can build up knowledge of 60 or more species over and above the basic 35 which are tasty and edible. These folks can go into the woods on almost any day between the start of May and the end of October and find tasties. If you asked those folks if they are brave they would tell you no no it isnt bravery at all, they just put in a bit of time learning about nature. Actually these foragers are mostly the exact opposite of brave. They wont eat anything unless they are absolutely 100% certain it is safe. Many of these people are also pretty good at finding edible plants so they can add a salad or a green vegetable to their dinner as well as the mushrooms. And I can tell you it is pretty satisfying to look over at your neighbor’s lawn and see supper sitting there in plain sight just waiting for you to harvest it.

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