Autumn is probably the time most associated with going hunting for mushrooms. On a good day we can fill our baskets with a huge variety of delicious gourmet fungi.
Last autumn was a memorable one in this respect, but mushrooms can, in fact be found throughout most of the year if conditions are right.
St George’s mushrooms have now decided to join the party, or at least a handful of them have. The ones I’ve seen are still minuscule so they’re not ready to pick yet but they’re on their way and I’m getting more than a little bit excited at the prospect of tucking into a mushroom risotto.
At this time of year you would be forgiven for thinking there is not a lot of wild food to be found. Not so. There is in fact an abundance of new growth occurring at the moment. With the mild winter we’ve had so far, certain plants such as three cornered garlic (pictured above) seem to have decided it’s spring and are not only sending up new growth but are flowering.
Mushrooms too are still to be found; and not just the varieties I would expect to see in the winter months such as Oyster Mushrooms, Velvet Shanks and Winter Chanterelles but Hedgehog Fungus can also be spotted if you know where to look in your local woods.
This is a great time of year to start noting and observing young plants. As they grow through the spring and summer you will learn what they look like at each stage of their development and in this way you will really get to know each plant.