by Janet Alred, 16 October 2010.
Thirty-three people turned out for the mushroom workshop with Brigid Weiler of Cortes Island. Brigid’s picture appears on page 145 of David Arora’s All that the Rain Promises and More… This eclectically illustrated handbook is available locally from Breakwater Books along with his larger reference book Mushrooms Demystified.
Brigid brought a few representative species which she talked about briefly before dividing us into groups which were each led by an experienced mushroomer who came with her. We fanned out into the Penticton woods mainly, where we picked for an hour and then returned to the United Church hall. We then spread our collections out on the tables in categories and Brigid talked about them while the group leaders cooked up some of our catches for us to sample. Most were much tastier than store bought mushrooms.
In addition to discussing which were edible and which not, Brigid also showed us several samples of wool died with mushrooms. There were some lovely red, purple and gold colours. She is a dynamic speaker who would be willing to come again next year.