Mushroom enthusiasts in New Brunswick now have an official group dedicated to learning and celebrating all about the meaty mushroom.
And his training comes as enthusiasts say the province is having one of the best seasons in recent years to seek them out in forests and backyards.
The MycoNB Company officially received its non-profit status a few weeks ago, already has a management team and will be ready to accept its first members “very soon”, said Jessika Gauvin, the president of the company. .
“The group’s goal is to disseminate knowledge and give New Brunswick a setting for people to come together and learn more about fungi, as well as a way to access resources and a way to network with each other, ”Gauvin said.
Gauvin said there was a community of enthusiasts who were linked primarily through a Facebook group dedicated to sharing photos and questions about the mushrooms that are picked across the province.
Gauvin said that over the past two years she has seen the number of group members grow from around 2,000 to over 10,000.
Some people set out to expand their food sources, while others are interested in the potential medicinal benefits, Gauvin said. Others, on the other hand, simply appreciate their beauty.
“I imagine a lot of people tend to be more connected with nature. A lot of people want to know more about the world around them and how they can interact with it.”
Stefani Serdar didn’t start foraging for food until this year, after moving to Aulac, New Brunswick from Hamilton.
She said she wasn’t normally a fan of hikes and walks in the woods, but the thrill of finding a mushroom always makes up for having to deal with the bugs.
“Somehow the fungi kind of allowed me to forget about the fact that there are ticks and spiders and so on, and they are just beautiful,” said Serdar, who is the events coordinator for the MycoNB Society.
“I mean, the colors, the sizes, the shapes, how they grow, where they grow. I mean, it’s just, it’s really quite fascinating.”
A record year for mushrooms
Chris Aerni has been picking mushrooms since he was a boy living in Switzerland, but carried the practice with him when he moved to Saint Andrews, New Brunswick in 2001 and opened the Rossmount Inn with his wife.
As the chef of the hotel’s restaurant, Aerni spends much of his time searching the property for porcini mushrooms and chanterelles, which he incorporates into the meals he serves.
He has been hunting in New Brunswick for two decades.
“July had record rains … so we have a mushroom crop that we have never seen before or that I have, during my time here in New Brunswick, never have.” seen so much, ”Aerni said.
“It’s just amazing.”
Gauvin, who has collected mushrooms her entire life, agreed this has been one of the best years she has ever seen.
“It’s just crazy. Not only is it crazy in terms of how much mushroom we see blushing, but it’s also crazy in terms of how much choice edible mushroom we see blushing,” she said. declared.
“So some of the truly amazing culinary mushrooms are only growing in record numbers. “
Gauvin said she recommends anyone interested in foraging to contact the company for information on available resources and events that may be happening near them.
She said the company plans to have representatives in each of the major cities in the province and that it will hold a weekend activity next year to bring people together and learn more about mushrooms.