Basket of wild mushrooms in NEO

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 08/02/2009 - 13:36.
Basket of wild mushrooms in NEO

Today there have been a series of Russia connections in my morning.   In the NEW YORKER over coffee I read a story about a fellow who took a road trip through Siberia.   The traveler/writer, Ian Frazier, commented that in Siberia the term for forest food products is podnozhnii korm, literally meaning "food found underfoot".  (NB  I couldn't raise a defition of podnozhnii korm with Google, but I did find the web site "foodunderfoot.com which reports on eating wild things like bbq prickly pears and sumac tea)

When I was going by a park about an hour ago I saw a man with a basket walking around and bending down picking mushrooms out of the lawn and leaves.   

Very cool - podnozhnii korm  right here in NEO.

I ambled over to talk with the fellow - thinking two thoughts:   1. he would be reluctant to let me know about the mushrooms he was collecting - and 2.  he would have a different cultural background than me.

I was wrong about No 1, and right about No 2. 

Alex, the mushroom gatherer, was from Russia and knew mushrooms.   I caught some video which I will upload later. 

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Basket

  Note--the fellow used a basket.  Bernd Heinrich in his memoir A Patch of Fireweed talks about gathering mushrooms in his native Germany.  The basket allows the spores to be distributed as you walk around...insuring next year's mushroom crop.  This picture makes me hungry.  The romance of knowing the earth.  It's so intoxicating.