January 2022 Mycoscope
Velvet Foot in the Snow
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Best wishes 2022

On the evening of January 19 our first workshop of the year, initiation to Northeast mushrooms, was to be held in-store. Given recent Public Health guidelines, it will be held by Zoom instead. We’re planning a second one on May 11, hoping you will have the option of attending in store. The same goes for a second workshop on mushroom cultivation on April 24.

Add four additional excursions to your summer program: August 7 in the Lower Laurentians, August 27 in Lanaudière, September 4 in the Laurentians and September 10 in the Eastern Townships. Do not delay in reserving your place: the hikes already announced are almost full.

We are closely monitoring the progress of the pandemic and your health remains our priority.

The aftermath of a party, no matter the size of the crowd, reminds us of the benefits of fermentation. To make it easier for you, Mycoboutique has expanded its range of glass jars and still holds the indigo ceramic jars from the potter’s workshop Tour-à-Tour.

The popular documentary Fantastic Fungi continues to amaze and foster partnerships. Fantastic Fungi: Community Cookbook is a phenomenal collaborative endeavor: around Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia and Microbia, dozens of enthusiasts offer their original recipes.

On the other hand, Britt Bunyard, the prolific editor of Fungi magazine, offers us in The Beginner's Guide to Mushrooms, an enticing invitation to watch, pick, grow, and cook mushrooms. Also, in Plantes Sauvages: Commestibles et Médicinales, Roger Larivière offers us a guide for foraging and preserving more than a hundred local plants.

In the middle of winter, after a few warm days, clusters of Velvet-Foot (Flammulina velutipes) may appear on deciduous wood. This so-called winter mushroom is closely related to the enokitake of Japanese cuisine (F. filiformis), with which it has long been confused.

Interestingly, the enokitake of the grocery stores is white, slim, crunchy, and has a minimal cap. This is done by limiting oxygen in the growth chamber. Some apprentices are surprised that their cultivated oyster mushrooms develop long feet but no cap. As explained in our instructions, oxygen deprivation and carbon dioxide saturation inhibit the expansion of the cap. This does not affect the mushroom's edibility. For you, Mycoboutique offers velvetfoot mycelium in liquid culture.

Gabriel was 12 when he first entered the store in 2012. By his side, Leanne told me her son was fascinated by the wilderness and mushrooms. Since then, he has often dropped by to talk about his latest adventures in the forest. One year later, he spent ten days alone in the forest (squirrel for dinner anyone?) with his favorite authors: London, Thoreau, Provencher, and Tolstoy, of which he quoted an intriguing passage.

During his college training in Adventure tourism, when visiting in Montréal, he never missed an opportunity to pass by and talk about his expeditions in the tundra. He has recently settled on the North Shore where he met Marguerite. Together, they bought a rickety house by the sea. He is currently involved in projects with members of the Innu community, guides kayakers at sea and tourists in the forest, and is a hunter, fisher, and forager of hedgehogs and yellow foot chanterelles. Marguerite is involved in the community life of the village.

What was that quote from Tolstoy? "A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them...". They have adopted the village of Magpie and vice versa.

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