The Foray

The Foray


(rain pelting on windshield) (rain pelting on windshield) (sound of wipers going
across windshield) (background talking of group) (organ instrumental music) – [Male Speaker] Wow. – [Female Speaker]
Aren’t they beautiful? (organ instrumental music) (thunder rolling) – [Dr. Leathers] Okay, my name
is Doctor Chester Leathers, I’m a professor, retired. Well, I founded the
Arizona Mushroom Club about 35 years ago. I held the office of
president, treasurer, corresponding secretary,
financier, et cetera. I enjoyed the study of mushrooms under the world’s authority,
Dr Alexander Smith. He was filled with enthusiasm. I probably inherited some
of that enthusiasm from him. I am still interested in
fungi and the mushrooms, and hope to continue,
although I’m 91. I hope to continue
for another 10 years. (sounds of group talking) (sounds of group talking) – [Noah] Every single
one of these holes here, is where a rodent dug up
a truffle or you know, a hypogeous fungus. A hypogeous means below ground. A hypogeous fungus and ate it. And, so they eat these things, and you know, spread
the spores all over, so we’re just looking for that, and we’re going to these places and raking back the duff. And, there they are! – [Voice In Group] Look at that! – And so, we can rake it
back a little bit more, there’s another one. – [Voice In Group] Wow! – But, when you have
all digs concentrated in an area like this,
you have a potential for a lot of truffles. – [Voice In Group]
There’s another one! – There’s a whole nest of ’em. And, then yet, so you know,
and also once you’re done, just cover that area back up. Do your landscaping,
replace your divots. In a few days- – [Alissa] So, the whole process to dying with mushrooms
can be very simple. You have to acquire
the mushrooms, and then you break them
up into small pieces, and you simmer them
for about an hour. And, that allows all
of the dye molecules to extract from the fungus, and, just swim around
into the dye liquid. And, then you put
your fiber in there, and then you have dyed fiber. And, these mushroom
dyes work best with protein-based fibers so, we’re talking
wool, silk, alpaca. If you want to get
into mushroom dying, you wanna look at your protein
fibers for the best results. (footsteps on mud) – [Male In Group]
Who are you with? – [Female In Group]
Arizona Mushroom Society. We go on forays
all over the place. – [Terri] This is a Cortinarius, and, Cortinarius and Amanita are the two most deadly
of all mushrooms, and so. And Corts are very
hard to tell but, so, you want to like, just
learn a few simple ones and stay with those for a while. And, the safest one is
this one right here. – [Female In Black Jacket] But
they were in the same bag so, you probably wouldn’t
eat it anymore. – [Terri] No, it’s all right. It’s not that,
you’re gonna cook it. You’re gonna cook it well. Cook that cap and eat it, and then, this is
nice and fresh, you could cook that, you could even eat
the stem, here. But, just clean it up. Unless it’s buggy and
then just cut it off. – [Dr. Leathers] Most
people have an association with store bought varieties
and species of mushrooms. I haven’t tasted
anything on the shelves that I would say compares to naturally
occurring mushrooms. – [Male In T-Shirt]
These are all edible, except for I don’t
know, these three here, I don’t know if they are. But, all this is
all edible, yeah. – [Male In Plaid Shirt] And
so, this is a honey mushroom. – [Male In T-Shirt] Yep,
these are honeys, yep. Where’s your basket at? – [Male In Plaid
Shirt] Come here. (background laughter) – [Male In T-Shirt] Okay,
yeah, that’s amera there. – [Male In Plaid Shirt]
Yeah, we find this, this looks like cauliflower. – [Male In T-Shirt]
But this is (mumbled), just try a little
bit of it first. Yeah, you guys did good. – [Female Speaker]
You did really good. – [Chad] Again, I’m an
obsessive mushroom hunter and I always have way
too many mushrooms. And so, I was looking for
new ideas on how to use them, because even as a chef, I kind of fall back on the
same ideas all the time. Another thing is, I
wanted to explore, there’s a lot of
mushrooms that are popular in other cultures that
are not popular here. Huitlacoche is a fungus
that grows on corn. Each little kernel gets
filled with this fungus and it’s really kind
of scary looking. And, when American
farmers find it, they basically tear
out their crops because they think it’s
the end of the world. In Mexico when they find
it, they do a happy dance and they go to the
market cause they know they can sell it
for 10 times as much as they can sell the corn. So, I thought it
would be a fun one to share with you guys. – [Chad] The one edible
that seems to be everywhere is the aspen bolete Leccinum, and so, I made this
leather with a bunch of Leccinum. I want you guys to taste this. Yeah, you can pass
those out now. It’s actually pretty dense, and it becomes a
pretty filling snack if you take it with you. (large crowd chatter) (large crowd chatter) (group talking at a distance) – [Herman] This is a
hat that is made from the amadou mushroom. I got it from a guy in Romania. There’s only eight
people in the world that can make this hat. I’ve been coming here for
about three years, already. Just basically here to
learn more about mushrooms, and to forage, and just be part of the
mycophile community. In the conference
room I have basically, a table that I set up
at my market in Tucson. And, it’s got all my extracts
for pain, for anxiety, for sleep, for
the immune system, for nerve regeneration. All these extracts are
mostly mushroom-based. My dad had three
consecutive strokes, and he had partial
paralysis in his body. The doctors kind of
just sent him home that way and said, “You
know, we can’t really help him get any better.” It kind of destroyed his life. He went into a depression
because of that. I decided at that moment
that I would do something to help my dad. Upon all this
research that I did, I came across a mushroom, it’s called Lion’s
Mane, and he was taking the extract that I made. After six months, he says,
“Son, hey, I can move my fingers again.” He started moving his hand. Slowly, he recovered
all the parts of his body that had
paralysis, previously. That mushroom kind of lead
me to other mushrooms. And, that’s how I got
into the mushroom thing. After my dad recovered
from paralysis, my grandmother said, “Hey, there’s this big
mushroom conference in the White Mountains.” “Would you like to go to that?” And, I said, “Well, I’ve
never been to anything like that, but sure.” And, I just came out here
and I fell in love with this. (organ instrumental music) (organ instrumental music) (thunder rolling) (organ instrumental music) (powerful organ music) (powerful organ music)

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