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Foraging (yes I know it’s only February)

Tuffy P was having a look through some of the older videos on my YouTube channel and she came across this one. Both of us were surprised to see it had over 9800 views. Compared to “viral” videos, that many views over a 5 year period is peanuts, but for me, getting over 100 views on any of my videos is a lot. I suppose this is a good year to not be viral, huh?

I guess foraging is a popular topic. I once made a post in jest suggesting there are NO edible wild mushrooms in Southern Ontario. A lot of people failed to see my humour, and I was chastised with many comments about how wrong I was.

I don’t usually shoot video when I go out foraging and I’m not sure what possessed me to do so on this particular day, but as it happens it was one of my most successful days at this particular forest. It’s a place I like to stop for 20 minutes on my way to other forests. There is a lot of forest at this spot, and I have walked much of it but one small area seems to be by far better for mushrooms than anywhere else I’ve looked in the area. I park my car and go in for a look. If there are edibles fruiting, I can usually find them very quickly, then head further on up the road to more productive forests.

My brother showed me this place, and some other choice spots as well. He’s very good at finding mushrooms and he’s familiar with quite a few forests. Typically, when I stop here, I can count on finding a few lobsters and if it is well into August, a few hedgehogs and maybe some boletes as well. Earlier in season, I might find a small number of chanterelles, but so few it’s hardly worth a walk to the usual spots. On this particular day, I pretty much filled my basket with lobsters and hedgehogs, which is really unusual there.

Over the past year or so, they’ve been doing a lot of logging at this place, right in the area where we find most of the mushrooms. Is it a coincidence that I found very few mushrooms there this year? I’m not quite ready to draw that conclusion, but it may be so. I was only out foraging a few times as I was recovering from some heavy-duty knee surgery. I’m know better during the 2021 season.


  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    Generally when a forest is logged ir ruins wild mushroom production. When a lot of trees are removed the protective forest canopy is removed. That lets the summer sun hit the ground directly which heats up the soil and dries it out. This is death for many species of mushrooms. The mushrooms will generally re-establish themselves when the canopy re-grows but this can take years or decades. This particular forest is the second of my mushroom picking spots to be logged heavily in the past few years wiping out my foraging efforts. Add to that the fact that the entire Dufferin forest complex is now a no foraging zone and I am not amused.

    • I hope this spot continues to produce, though I suspect you are right. The other problem with the logging is that it has become more difficult to walk in the forest in the aftermath. I like this spot because I can be in and out with dinner in a short time. It’s not so far from home and access is easy.

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