Last weekend we set out into our village’s community woodland for a fungi walk and talk with Dr Christian Taylor, a local mycology expert. The foray was partly to find edible mushrooms, but also to learn about the incredible world of mycellium and the fungi kingdom, which we discovered in the trees around us, the earth beneath our feet and even the leaves.
We headed into the dusk with torches and baskets, bundled up against the chill. To everyone’s delight our first finding were Oyster mushrooms, growing on a log pile. We gathered Cauliflower mushrooms, which looked a bit like brains, and tiny Amethyst Deceivers.
When it got too dark to search for more we headed back to the campfire and identified our finds, before cooking them up with wild garlic and butter and passing plates round under the moon.
The Steward Woodland Community (known locally as Steward Wood) is a permaculture project site which has been going for over 15 years, run by an incredibly devoted group of adults and children who live on site. They work on the conservation of the land and sustainable off-grid living, run courses and open days, talks and tours. Have a look at the Steward Wood website to check out what they’re up to and support their ongoing battles with local authorities.