Archive for 'regulations'

Is Rocky Mountain Porcini Season Over?

porcini bounty 2012 233x350 Is Rocky Mountain Porcini Season Over?

A small porcini bounty, found mid-August around 11,500 feet in the Colorado Rockies.

Since late July, my dear friend Butterpoweredbike has been emailing me about finding pounds upon pounds of porcini.

Meanwhile, in the last month and a half, I moved to a new home and a new job while trying to finish up my old jobs, working 100 hours per week or more, ad infinitum. What a change from the fancy-free wild food forager I formerly was!

So I lived vicarously through her finds, and this year, Butter did it right—she figured out the favorite forest conditions of the Rockies’ prize fungus, then consulted her maps and with a little help descended upon prime locations that rendered unto her a porcini windfall of staggering proportions. (This is in great contrast to the awkward fumbling we both did last year in the early days of our mushroom hunting obsessions, which were, coincidentally, the early days of our friendship.)

Still, despite being embroiled in a staggering amount of work at my new job, I made a point to search my spots when time permitted, generally one morning per week—but came up empty handed each time.

That was until two weeks ago, when Gregg and I found seven or eight young kings at our favorite porcini place.

Interestingly, the timing coincided with Butter’s pronouncement that porcini season was over. Read the rest of this entry

Foraging Fungi in the National Forest

forest products sign 350x270 Foraging Fungi in the National Forest

As of September 2011, the South Park Ranger District does not require a mushroom permit. Fungi foraging in the neighboring White River National Forest, however, requires a free permit for personal use.

Note: I wrote this article at the behest of a Forest Service representative; it is re-posted here, plus subtitles, with permission of the Summit Daily News, which ran it on October 1.  

Just as collecting firewood from the national forest for home use requires a permit, so too does foraging for fungus in the White River National Forest in and around Summit County, Colorado, including areas that were once part of the Arapahoe National Forest. 

Fungi Foraging Permit Free but Required

“Mushroom gathering requires a personal use permit that we have been issuing for free at the Dillon Ranger District Office,” said Cary Green, timber management assistant for the East Zone White River National Forest. The limit is five gallons of mushrooms/day — the equivalent of one 5-gallon bucket or two grocery sacks — with a total season limit of 67 lbs. Other popular Forest Service permits include those for Christmas trees, boughs and transplants. Read the rest of this entry

Yucca in My Pantry Again

yucca plant 262x350 Yucca in My Pantry Again

Blooming yucca flowers, ripe for harvest.

My pantry is stocked with yucca flowers again, thanks to one intrepid boyfriend who took it upon himself to harvest some on his way home to the mountains from Denver. We often try to pick some up on our way back from parts lower, seeing as the yucca doesn’t grow up here above 11,000 feet. But usually the yucca-gathering is not a solo mission–so  Gregg deserves much thanks for coming home with some more of the sweet, fleshy goodies that I like to serve with eggs, in stir fries, soup, or fresh on salads.

Know the Regs

One of the difficulties we’ve encountered in foraging for wild food is what can seem like a lack of available grounds on which to do so. Signs announcing hefty fines for the removal of flora and fauna are common at the entrances to many public parks and land. (It is important, therefore, to keep an eye out for posted regulations and make sure to only forage where it is permitted).

Read the rest of this entry