Mushroom Picking in Sweden
One of the joys of my recent research sabbatical in Europe has been to spend some time in the local Swedish forests through the changing season. The forests are full of spruce and pine with some small ferns. They have a very different feel to a NZ forest. The land on which this forest is on is ancient and has had thousands of years of human contact. There are mounds and stones on the forest floor, areas which may have been fire pits which iron age people sat around. The forest is very quiet, with some limited bird sounds but through the trees at night there will be moose, deer, boar and other wildlife roaming around. The types of mushrooms are plentiful however most are not edible. I soon was able to understand the season for chantarelles, a delicious strong mushroom is in the mid to late autumn and they grow more in the darker areas of the forest on beds of spruce needles. If there is a lot of grass or an open space around then it is not the right environment. They often grow in a track or line rather than a clump, and can be hidden in the composty needles. Once you find one you will find a few but it can be a challenge to find that first one. The protocol in Sweden is that you never take everything, and you do not go to an area of forest you know someone else also uses.
NB: Only pick and eat musrooms you can safely identify. I was with an experienced guide who knows the forest well and checked each mushroom I picked.
Posted: Monday 6 November 2023