We had about three very dry summers and this year was very humid so the mushrooms multipliedsays Ken Sanderson, the mushroom enthusiast who led the group.
King boletes, another edible variety, were more abundant than in previous years, he adds.
He believes that several species are abundant on the island, including chanterelles. Islanders usually eat Rosé-des-meadows mushrooms.
According to him, the community of wild animal collectors is growing along with mushrooms, which are growing in popularity. He explains that more citizens are concerned about food security since the pandemic, which has prompted them to look for food elsewhere than at the grocery store.
Shirley Lee was part of the trip. She was pleased to find two types of edible mushrooms. For her, searching for food combines her two passions: eating and exploring the island.
You have to be careful, the picker warns
Al Jazeera community has a Facebook page called Foragers of Prince Edward Island, With more than 1500 members. This site is especially helpful in learning about edible mushrooms.
But Ken Sanderson is skeptical.
Just because someone on Facebook says it’s good doesn’t mean it is.
This collector has a background in natural history. He learns on his own about mushrooms using research and identification books. It is recommended for people who are just starting out to use the resources.
When in doubt, don’t eat what you don’t know.
People are advised to make sure they have correctly identified mushrooms before eating them. To this day, Ken Sanderson has never gotten sick from his harvest.
Text from CBC’s Tony Davis
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