Sustainable Living: Foraging

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Monday, we talked with Melany Kahn, author of Mason Goes Mushrooming and mushroom forager. The book is all about the importance of foraging for wild mushrooms and the benefits of getting children back out into the natural world,

Just like everything, once you start to see mushrooms you cannot unsee them and they open a whole new world!

About our guest

Melany is a first-time author, but a long-time forager. She started hunting for mushrooms in Vermont in 1968 at the age of four when her family of artists bought a farm in West Brattleboro. Her specialty is foraging with children. For over 20 years, Melany has volunteered to lead a nature center and school groups on woodland walks to gather and identify edible mushrooms. Her curriculum includes the culinary aspects of wild mushrooms through recipes, cooking demonstrations, and tastings.

She wrote the book, for opening conversation to raise the dialogue about starting somewhere to enter back in the forest.


To learn how to forage…. Look up local foraging groups. Hook up with knowledgeable people. Go at the right time of the year (rainy seasons, spring, and winter) to find out what trees and plants particular mushrooms are drawn to. Just because animals eat them does not mean humans would enjoy that flavor. However local mushrooms absorb all the nutrients of your area. It helps your immune system improve and adjust to your local environment.

Learn what tree varieties are drawn to. Inspect all parts of the mushroom. You can take photos and send samples for ID to scientists at the University of Florida.

Just being in the forest is an important connection to nature and gets you in touch with the deeper world. Introducing children and adults to a woodsy environment opens a new world they don’t normally experience.

This Thanksgiving even think about bringing the outdoors in for your table centerpiece. Leaves, vines, berries, mushrooms, branches, and moss. Just beautiful!


Tune in next Monday morning at 11 for the next Sustainable Living Show, where we will be talking with Virginia Overstreet about those magical looking creatures called dragonflies.

Be a part of and enjoy our outdoor environment.

Remember if you are looking for someone to save the world – look in the mirror.

To listen to the full show:

Helpful links

Melany Kahn’s website:

Online: North American Mycological association

The Entangled Life (Book)

Allen Bessette