A bit of serendipidy here, at least I think!
I was looking for some decent guides on mushroom identification on the web, as I thought Tokai Forest might yield something at this time of the year. (I grew up on the edge of Tokai forest and used to gather pine rings often with my mother. But now my family doesn't quite trust my mother's judgement any more... ;-) )
And your name pops up all the time in connection with mushrooms! Well, at least I think it's you... So, do you know of any good online mushroom identification guides I could use? Any other pointers? My lot is rather apprehensive and somehow thinks I'm of the bold - rather than old - mushroom hunter variety...
School of Education
I shall be glad to identify any mushroom you may find. Unfortunately, mushrooms are not the best to identify on the internet.
There are a few South African mushroom books available, but the only one really looking out for is the one mentioned first, as it was written in Cape Town:
A Field Guide to the Mushrooms of South Africa – H.Levin, M.Branch, S.Rappoport, D.Mitchell – Struik Publishing – First edition 1985; second edition 1987
Field Guide – Mushrooms of Southern Africa – G.C.A.van der Westhuizen, Albert Eicker – Struik Publishing – 1994
Longman’s Field Handbooks – Some South African Edible Fungi – E.L.Stephens & M.M.Kidd – Longman’s, Green and Co, Ltd. – 1953
Longman’s Field Handbooks – Some South African Poisonous & Inedible Fungi – E.L.Stephens & M.M.Kidd – Longman’s, Green and Co, Ltd. – 1953
Sasol First Field Guide to Mushrooms of Southern Africa – Margo Branch, George Branch – Struik Publishing – 2001
Pocket Guide – Mushrooms of South Africa – Marieka Gryzenhout – Struik Publishing – 2010
You may need to search old second-hand book shops before you are able to obtain your own copies of the older South African mushroom books. I know that most of the City Council Libraries have the “A Field Guide to the Mushrooms of South Africa” in stock. I started out by taking all the mushroom books out of the libraries and reading them from cover to cover, and then buying mushroom books from all over the world. I now have a collection of almost 100 mushroom books.
Unfortunately there are no courses on mushroom foraging in South Africa. Perhaps I should consider setting one up?
Thank you so much for your expansive reply and kind offer - much appreciated! (Yes, I am Alexander's dad...)
A course on mushroom foraging would be fantastic!! There is such mystique, romance and 'charm' associated with it, that I'd bet quite a few would happily pay for a few hours (?) of fun and pleasure...
Once again, many thanks!
Sorry for the delayed response … I was awaiting word from The Delheim Wine Estate, on whether they wanted me to do their annual mushroom forage and talk. It is now official, I shall be hosting the mushroom forage, and shall also be doing a introductory mushroom presentation prior to the walk and lunch. … please find attached pdf-file for your perusal. I noticed that they mention that you can order via their web-site: www.delheim.com, but I was unable to find where … I imagine that they still need to update the site, so probably best to book via the alternative methods available. Inform them that I recommended the forage to you if you do book.
I trust that this information is of some use to you.
Fantastic - thank you so much, Gary!