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Last Saturday I spent a fun and informative day learning to identify edible wild mushrooms at the Devonian Botanical Garden, just half an hour from where I live.  I am fascinated by mushrooms and have spent the past two summers observing and slowly learning about the different mushrooms growing in the woods and fields around the cabin.

So far, I have only tried eating a few wild varieties, mainly gem-studded puffballs (above) and shaggy parasols (below) as they are very easy to identify. The course on Saturday was really helpful as we got to foray with expert, Mike Schulz, and sample our findings with confidence.

The course took all day (with an hour lunch break) and included classroom lectures and an afternoon foray.

At the end of the day, we cooked and tasted our findings in the kitchen. It was interesting to sample the various tastes and textures of the different wild mushrooms found on the foray. Honey mushrooms were my personal favorite (crisp with a burst of intense flavor), followed by shaggy manes (firm with a milder flavor).

Many participants (including myself) brought a variety of wild mushrooms from home for Mike to identify and it was fun to see the variety of samples.

Once again, a fun and informative day spent both in the classroom and out in the gardens. This course runs three times per year and focuses on fall, spring and summer edible mushrooms. I do feel a lot more confident now in identifying the local edible mushrooms in my backyard and I look forward to more learning adventures at the Devonian Botanical Gardens!