My Place in Mycology

Is there a place for me in the groups and world of mushrooms? The plus’ and minus’ of my few years of experience.

  • I enjoy foraging for mushrooms, the joy of finding them, the feeling of coming back with a basket of free food from the woods, the skill learned in identifying them and being able to help others identify what they have found both the teaching and bragging aspects of imparting knowledge.

However,

  • I am not so driven as to be able to become a top identifier of mushrooms. I just don’t have the desire to sit and memorize large quantities and types.
  • My roll in clubs and groups has encouraged and supported the elites in this field and garnered me an ability to say I am more knowledgeable than most and am part of a group. I have also met a great many people who have become friends and who have a wonderful network of diverse abilities.
  • I have not found a way to make a quick buck from the sale of mushrooms. I have found that, as with most industries, the competition and hard work needed is… hard work if you want to make any type of economic gain from mushrooms.
  • I have traded them and contributed to camping dinners with mushrooms I have foraged but on a very small scale.
  • I do not find I propagate mushrooms well either as it tends to be difficult with most species I want to grow.
  • My personal goals have not been achieved, these being; the desire to find lots of free mushrooms and sell them for cash, the ability to easily identify many different types and know their characteristics (the numbers of species and looks were way more than I expected), and lastly the ability to propagate mycilium of edible mushrooms into the yards of my landscaping customers (convincing my current customers to spend their money on this and the difficulty in achieving successful growth has stopped me), and the plant containers I sell (mycillium needs more space and needs to be fed after starvation causes their flowers).
  • I cannot cook, am not good at cooking, and have little interest in learning this skill.
  • I love to eat them !

The impetus to write this short article was to put something together for others to read as an interest piece. When I began setting down words to paper to form the article it began to take the shape you see below (which I left) and became actually more personal in nature. However a friend encouraged me that many people will identify with it so publish it. For those who are veterans and leaders; perhaps you can add a couple plusses to mine for me? Beneficial change can happen by even slight action and I welcome any comments that would increase my plus side group!. I also had hope as I edited this that it could help those more immersed direct us better to increase the potency of our groups’ efforts in this industry that seems to be growing in usefulness and interest.

© David Grimes, 9/2011