Foraging for wild mushrooms is one of those idyllic sounding things which could have quite fatal results if you get it wrong!! I had the privilege of experiencing it in the safe hands of Craig Worrel, permaculturist and professional forager.
I first came across Craig when I contacted the Leeds Permaculture Network to ask if any members were interested in being subjects for the Feeding Body and Soul project. Lizzie Fellows who was co-ordinating the network at that time put me in contact with Craig, a man passionate about collecting, eating, preserving and experimenting with wild foods, and through his business, suitably called Edible Leeds, offering wild food and fungi walks and courses, wild food foraging adventures, and courses and events on preserving, cooking, and identification. As such he was someone with a quite unique connection with the natural world.
Craig offered the opportunity to go with him on one of his first local forays of the year for mushrooms – to one of his jealously guarded ‘secret’ locations. we met in Otley and were soon in a wonderful wood where over the next couple of hours I was introduced to the joys of mushroom hunting. Craig’s knowledge of the safe and unsafe is borne out by the fact that I am still here despite being given a collection of rare looking objects to take home and eat!
A fabulous woodland and a terrific insight into the wild food that is within the reach of virtually all of us if only we used it.