Trees, Mushrooms and Truffles

My name is Melissa Waddingham and I am a truffle hunter and wild mushroom picker. In the spring and autumn months I run mushroom forays, truffle hunts, talks, courses and throughout the year I provide truffle hound training days for your truffle hound to be.

I also manage woodlands for the sustainable production of truffle. For more information regarding these services, click on the relevant tab above on the main bar or contact me.

Dates of up and coming events will be posted and group numbers are small with a maximum of ten people so I do advise that you book well in advance. One to one and smaller group forays/courses are also available.

Truffle hunting is an uncommon practice here in England and the rare opportunity to have a go with a trained dog and its owner is an experience not to be missed for a great day out!

Zebedee and I truffle hunting in picture below, taken by Derek Martin from at West Sussex County Times.

I have early memories of foraging with my grandfather in Champagne, France gathering Chanterelles. I was never aware that he secretly slipped out and came home with the odd truffle in his pocket, apparently only for special customers and family as he ran an auberge that was very popular with the locals for his sublime food.. It was my father who told me about my Grandfather and his truffle antics, when I presented him with ten or eleven of my own!  I found this instantly gratifying realising that my passion truly was in the blood.

Foraging for fungi has been a way of life for centuries, especially abroad. In England, mushroom picking seems to be viewed with suspicion and is not a common past time for those living in the country as it is in countries like France, Italy and Eastern Europe. Trends are now slowly changing and more people are more interested in foraging for fungi these days.

Apart from the fact that mushroom hunting can be a deadly past time and needs a professional eye cast over before consumption, mushroom picking codes of practice must be strict and carried out for their sustainability and care of the environment. This is because they play a major part our in ecology which is essential and not commonly appreciated. The relationship that fungi have with trees and other plants is phenomenal and our world would not be the same without them. I have studied forestry and woodland management and my real fascination lies within how woodlands function, understanding all the complex relationships within this environment.

                           A photo of me when I was out filming with John Craven  for Countryfile1553175_745964202151487_4938541492044643616_o

I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU CONSUME MUSHROOMS IDENTIFIED ON THIS SITE OR ANY OTHER WEBSITE. YOU MUST HAVE A PROFESSIONALS POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION IN PERSON. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTENT POSTED ON THIS SITE. THIS CONTENT IS TO BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
All my forays are insured and fully covered with public and products liability insurance. 
I am a current member of the British Mycological Society.
All photographs on this site, except for photographs directly attributed to other photographers, are the property of Melissa Waddingham, Copyright 2017.

Trees, Mushrooms and Truffles

My name is Melissa Waddingham and I am a truffle hunter and wild mushroom picker. In the spring and autumn months I run mushroom forays, truffle hunts, talks, courses and throughout the year I provide truffle hound training days for your truffle hound to be.

I also manage woodlands for the sustainable production of truffle. For more information regarding these services, click on the relevant tab above on the main bar or contact me.

Dates of up and coming events will be posted and group numbers are small with a maximum of ten people so I do advise that you book well in advance. One to one and smaller group forays/courses are also available.

Truffle hunting is an uncommon practice here in England and the rare opportunity to have a go with a trained dog and its owner is an experience not to be missed for a great day out!

Zebedee and I truffle hunting in picture below, taken by Derek Martin from at West Sussex County Times.

I have early memories of foraging with my grandfather in Champagne, France gathering Chanterelles. I was never aware that he secretly slipped out and came home with the odd truffle in his pocket, apparently only for special customers and family as he ran an auberge that was very popular with the locals for his sublime food.. It was my father who told me about my Grandfather and his truffle antics, when I presented him with ten or eleven of my own!  I found this instantly gratifying realising that my passion truly was in the blood.

Foraging for fungi has been a way of life for centuries, especially abroad. In England, mushroom picking seems to be viewed with suspicion and is not a common past time for those living in the country as it is in countries like France, Italy and Eastern Europe. Trends are now slowly changing and more people are more interested in foraging for fungi these days.

Apart from the fact that mushroom hunting can be a deadly past time and needs a professional eye cast over before consumption, mushroom picking codes of practice must be strict and carried out for their sustainability and care of the environment. This is because they play a major part our in ecology which is essential and not commonly appreciated. The relationship that fungi have with trees and other plants is phenomenal and our world would not be the same without them. I have studied forestry and woodland management and my real fascination lies within how woodlands function, understanding all the complex relationships within this environment.

                           A photo of me when I was out filming with John Craven  for Countryfile1553175_745964202151487_4938541492044643616_o

I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU CONSUME MUSHROOMS IDENTIFIED ON THIS SITE OR ANY OTHER WEBSITE. YOU MUST HAVE A PROFESSIONALS POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION IN PERSON. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTENT POSTED ON THIS SITE. THIS CONTENT IS TO BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
All my forays are insured and fully covered with public and products liability insurance. 
I am a current member of the British Mycological Society.
All photographs on this site, except for photographs directly attributed to other photographers, are the property of Melissa Waddingham, Copyright 2017.

Mushroom and Truffle Forays 2017

[caption id="attachment_181" align="alignnone" width="768"] A good days hunting[/caption]

I provide days out foraging for mushrooms and the occasional truffle hunt for a small amount of people that I am happy to share my truffle and mushroom knowledge with. I will take you to places where I look myself with every chance of finding, because the soil, trees and environment is right, a special place! These places are always close to personal truffle or mushroom finds of my own to ensure genuine suitability and should potentially give rise to great things. I teach my clients about the ecological functions and roles that mushrooms play within our varied environments and practice sustainable harvesting with strict codes of conduct set out by the BMS. These guides are used by the National Trust and Forestry Commission whom both condone and support my forays and ethics. All my forays are licensed or have had consent from landowners.

A mushroom foray will take up the whole day but will be split up into various parts. Starting with an introduction to mushrooms before we set off, highlighting a few mushroom picking rules and code of conduct for sustainable picking and regard for the local environment.

I will also point out what we should expect to find and give you handouts with photos. I will be showing you ways how to identify good edible species and especially the poisonous ones.

The foray will commence in the chosen spot and will include a lunch break, you will have to provide your own packed lunch and refreshments. These are needed as hunting and walking is thirsty and hungry work, I always pack a bar of chocolate and a flask of freshly ground black coffee, its an essential ! Hunting will continue until the early afternoon.

By now we should have gathered a good sample of various edible mushrooms and it will be my job then to show you what they are, how to prepare them and finally cook them on site.

On truffle hunts we will be hunting with my truffle hound Zebedee, this is none the less still a challenge and a real hunt, I will take you to areas where in my expertise I feel that we will have very good chances of finding, although it is not called hunting without a reason, I don’t always come home with black diamonds. Sometimes you do sometimes you don’t. It’s a bit like fishing! However it’s always a good day out with lots of truffle knowledge to be learnt and plenty of tips to be had to help you on your way to becoming a truffle hunter, although having a trained dog is an essential part of the kit!

BOOK EARLY FOR ALL FORAYS AND HUNTS TO SECURE YOUR PLACES, GROUP  MUSHROOM FORAYS ARE SMALL, MAX 15. TRUFFLE HUNTS MAX 10.

Forays can also be arranged for weekdays if required.

 FORAY DATES FOR 2017

Spring Foray dates

On the forays below we will also be looking for wild sorrel, dandelion, Jack in the hedge (Garlic mustard),  cuckooflower for its edible young leaves, wild garlic and cleavers to make wonderful spring salad and of course St Georges mushrooms to put on a savoury hot cross bun to finish the day! Slaying any further fears about picking this mushroom and some wild herbs. I will show you how to make a wild garlic or garlic mustard pesto and tell you how to  cook and  preserve some of the mushrooms we pick. I will point out a few poisonous plants that like to grow among Wild garlic should you not be vigilant like Dogs Mercury, Bluebell leaves and Lords and Ladies and Hemlock Water Dropwart the latter deadly!

22 April 2017                                  Horsham area                                         10am-3pm

                               A St Georges mushroom and wild garlic/herb foray

23 April 2017                                  Horsham area                                         10am-3pm

                              A St Georges mushroom and wild garlic foray

27 April 2017                                  Horsham area                                        10am-3pm

                              A St Georges mushroom and wild garlic foray

28 May 2017                                         Brighton                                            10am-3pm

                                                       AUTUMN FORAYS

                                               Truffle and Mushroom Hunts   

Locations of all forays will be given a day or two before the event for many reasons but above all for sight suitability and only once deposits have been paid with terms and conditions that have been agreed to by clients.

I will advise you on how to search for truffles sustainably, with codes of conduct and with care for the environment I will show you what soil and trees they like, where to look and some tale tale signs what to look out for to get you going. I will ask you to smell the soil and read the woods, a unique and grounding experience. I teach about their ecology and what they do for our environment and how good they are to eat and I will show you how to prepare our finds to get the best from the delicate but sophisticated aromas our little truffles have to  offer!

17 September 2017                       Horsham  area                                       10am-3pm 

This foray will be focused on finding mushrooms from the boletus family.

I will show you how to prepare and cook them in an open on site rustic kitchen.

 16 September 2017                            Horsham                                          10am-3pm

                  Searching for species of mushroom found in broadleaf woodland

This will be a general foray hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

                                                         

 23 September 2017                          West Sussex                                      10am-3pm   

                                                                Truffle Hunt

The location a secret, all will be revealed on the day, blindfolds will be provided! Not really!

I will advise you on how to search for truffles, where to look and some tale, tale signs to look out for.

A truffle hunt in beautiful countryside

24 September 2017                           West sussex                                     10am-3pm

                                                               Truffle Hunt

30 September 2017                           East Sussex                                       10am-3pm

                                                               Truffle Hunt 

7 October 2017                                   West Sussex                                     10am-3pm

                                                               Truffle Hunt

8 October 2017                                   West Sussex                                    10am-3pm

                                                       Truffle and Mushroom  

This will be a general mushroom foray  hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms and truffles at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated, again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

  14 October 2017                                West Sussex                                     10am-3pm                                                                                          Mushroom                                             

                                           On the hunt for Porcini and others

This foray will be focused on finding mushrooms from the boletus family but one in particular the penny bun, cep or better known by chefs as the porcini, a king of the mushroom world. I will show you how to prepare and cook them in an open on site rustic kitchen too, a little extra bonus for you all, as they are so special!

 

 15 October 2017                                  West  Sussex                                   10am -3pm

                                                    Truffle and Mushroom hunt

This will be a general mushroom foray  hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms and truffles at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated, again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

16 October 2017                                     East Sussex                                        10am-3pm

                                                                   Truffle hunt

The location a secret, all will be revealed on the day, blindfolds will be provided! Not really!

I will advise you on how to search for truffles, where to look and some tale, tale signs to look out for.

A truffle hunt in beautiful countryside

21 October 2017                                         Horsham                                         10am- 3pm

Aimed at those that like to take a gentle mushroom hunt

22 October 2017                                    West  Sussex                                       10am-3pm

                                       Mixed fungi foray/Truffle and Mushroom hunt

28 October 2017                                     West  Sussex                                      10am-3pm

                                                                     Truffle Hunt     

29 October  2017                                    West Sussex                                      10am- 3pm

                                       Mixed fungi foray/Truffle and Mushroom hunt

This will be a general mushroom foray  hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms and truffles at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

   

4 November 2017                                      East Sussex                                     10am-3pm   

                                                                       Truffle Hunt        

5  November 2017                                       Brighton                                         10am- 3pm                     

                         Searching for species of mushroom found in Brighton woodland 

This will be a general mushroom foray  hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

      

11 November 2017                                     Horsham                                           10am- 3pm                                                                    

                                                           On the hunt for fungi                 

This foray will be focused on finding mushrooms and truffle, I will show you how to prepare and cook them in an open on site rustic kitchen too

12 November 2017                                     Sussex                                               10am- 3pm  

                                                                    Truffle Hunt

As the season progresses, into winter the  opportunity for other species of truffle to be found increases alongside T aestivum var uncinatum ie T brumale,  T mecentericum, T rufum and Choiromyces are sometimes present so from a mycological point of view for those interested it can be very satisfying. It has been known for Zeb to find a very rare truffles, once one that was thought to be extinct but only through recent research and new records it has now been reinstated as a living organism.

18  November 2017                                    Horsham                                          10am- 3pm  

                                   A foray in mixed deciduous woodland and conifer

19th November 2017                                   Sussex                                             10am-3pm

Truffle Hunt

25 November  2017                                  West Sussex                                     10am-3pm                                     

                                       Mixed fungi foray/Truffle and mushroom hunt

This will be a general foray hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms and truffles at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

26 November 2017                                    West sussex                                    10am- 3pm 

                                         Mixed fungi foray/Truffle and Mushroom hunt           

This will be a general foray hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms and truffles at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

2 December 2017                                       East Sussex                                      10am-3pm

      Truffle Hunt    

3 December  2017                                       East Sussex                                     10am-3pm

   Truffle Hunt

10  December 2017                                    West Sussex                                     10am-3pm

                                                                        Truffle Hunt              

11 December  2017                                      East Sussex                                      10am-3pm

                                                                        Truffle Hunt

17 December  2017                                     West Sussex                                     10am-3pm

                                                                        Truffle Hunt

18 December  2017                                      West Sussex                                     10am-3pm

                                                                        Truffle Hunt

                                              More dates to follow season dependant.

Truffle Forays will be available all weekends up until mid Jan maybe longer depending on the season, please feel free to book these days as they are not included in the above dates.

You can call me on my mobile for any further questions or bookings 07896156664.  I charge £80.00 per person per mushroom foray and £100.00 per person for a truffle hunt, or mixed truffle and mushroom .Small groups only max ten so book early! Private mushroom and truffle forays can also be arranged at a minimum of £300 per day for two adults otherwise normal charges apply!

Absolute rule ! No mushrooms are to be consumed without a professionals opinion first on any of my forays.

All participants must be suitably dressed, long trousers preferably and boots. Raincoats and hats always advisable, a stick for poking about the under bracken, I have baskets, plastic bags are just not acceptable and destroy your finds. Refreshments i.e. water a must! Insect spray too!

Hunting with the Truffle Fly an acquired skill.

I'm back after a long three months of exploring many truffle grounds abroad...what a trip! The dogs are glad to be home! So the season is here and the dogs will have to work yet again but in cooler temps of which they will be grateful I'm sure; me too foraging so early or late to escape the sun was exhausting.... I have learnt new techniques to add to my skills and now hunt using the truffle fly and my nose too, its fun and I can't wait to show you all so come and book a truffle foray soon :-)

The New Forest, Fungi Ban

There is very little scientific evidence for either argument, lets face it. I would like to see more and it is down to foragers like myself and others to put management practices in place which, in hand, become research projects within their own right to combat the wild accusations flying around, once and for all. I believe the obvious, hence I'm member of the new Foragers Association that has been formed in light of all these incorrect pre conceptions, that; "hunting fungi is detrimental to future fungal existence, our environment and other organisms". We have to be scientific in our cause to disprove these wild claims by a worryingly growing number of landowners. Or by staying on top of these issues, as we have done, by providing clear codes of conduct on how to ensure and protect future populations. These codes were well anticipated and practiced well before any negative press about foraging came about and probably before the word for foraging was used as a term for harvesting wild food.
 
We should be promoted and seen to be working alongside land agencies rather than sensationalised as verses one another, I know that this is how I would prefer to be perceived, although this may sometimes be very difficult, and in light of frustrating events such as these blanket bans, especially when having no scientific weight to prove or to support their radical claims. There are a limited amount of research project to support that harvesting is not detrimental to future populations, however we need more.
 
Before I was aware of the Association of Foragers, I was exasperated by similar claims of "feeling like being in a war zone" (said by Geoff Dann in a recent article whilst he strangely attacked the Association of Foragers and some of its members, considering he is a fellow forager and course leader himself), "feeling in the middle" he said, "getting barraged from both sides by foragers and conservationists " as do many other conscientious foragers and foray leaders, with or without a science or conservation background. If one really cares about the land its a natural progression to be interested in the science and how to protect it. It was refreshing to find others who were experiencing the same difficulties.
 
In my view it has to come down to contemplating the science, ecology, forestry, relationships and much more within a subject that has so many variables to consider. This makes it really hard to determine the impact of harvesting. It has to be done over many years to fully understand the perimeters of sustainability and conservation for each species. It would be a long an arduous but fascinating task. However, it is about finding the balance with all of this in mind.
 
Erring on the side of caution in areas where only folklore and intuition have prevailed with a view to management and sustainability cannot be such a bad thing, in my opinion, especially if we are not sure...? From a health point of view, there was a time when Eastern Europeans were consuming The Brown Roll Rim (Paxillus genus) which is now known to be cumulatively poisonous and deadly, this was a part of their culture and tradition till recently, perhaps it still is in remote areas. This is a good example where some traditions should be further investigated.
 
I believe the greater part of these traditional ways were, however, correct and the people were in touch with the land and did as little as possible to negatively impact their environment and food chain. This is why now we are have codes of conduct as a safeguard; a form of management for the responsible individual; there is always a minority that spoil it for others.... Clearly its now time to prove that our intuitions, folklores and traditions, coupled with old and new management practices, can be effective through scientific research and observations - an even harder task with land development, agricultural practices and pollution constantly encroaching, knocking at our door at a much greater pace and threat!
 
I spend many many hours in the woods and I too have witnessed lines of commercial pickers going through a wood, forensic style, in Sussex, but only on one occasion. It was a shock - picking everything and discarding unwanted mushrooms in the car park. I hope that with more educated foragers and teachers present in the woods we could perhaps stay on top of those without commercial licenses operating without a care to the environment and others.
 
The further removed we are from whats going on around us in the wild would not be a benefit, rather the contrary I fear. We too are custodians of the land, we see daily changes and feel our way whilst aware that we are responsible for our own actions. I have not yet met a true forager that does not nurture his spot as he wants to return year in year out to harvest his wild produce!
 
Yes my protein intake goes way up in Autumn, thanks to larvae whilst eating over thirty, forty or more good edible mushroom species over the year, some of which have them and many that do not - species, luck and conditions allowing! Its unavoidable sometimes and even when you can't see them to the eye either the eggs are present or so small they are not apparent. Indeed this is food for others, hence the rule applies not to take all; leave what has gone over, leave whats young, don't tread heavily, avoid compaction, etc etc... I hunt in rotation, for example. If these rules were respected for the organisms in question, and applied, future crops would return for us all, invertebrates and many other woodland creatures included! There is no mention of the slaughter of insects whilst using indiscriminate insecticides, herbicides used in conventional farming, forestry and now mosquito control.......the only pesticide I use are my teeth and a fly swat.
 
I hunt truffle in the woods all over and there is always plenty to share between the wild boar, badgers, rodents... right down the chain to the truffle fly and beetle. The truffles that are spoilt get left in the woods. A minimal depth is dug whilst harvesting and, as a result, many are left in the ground to do their job within their community. Most times, I would prefer to eat my protein from truffle/mushroom fed larvae than meat from the supermarket, as gross as that may sound to some!
 
Discussing these issues with big landowners, who are predominantly interested from the revenues of their timber production, coupled with differences regarding sustainability and conservation, makes it difficult to achieve any long term research or management with a view to fungi. To me, sustainable and conservation mean indefinitely, forever or for as long as possible; not so sure this is always a part of the management plan for sustainable timber production, especially with a view for the associated fungi and much needed truffle associations in poor soils. Delicate areas which I see changing on a day to day basis which could be managed otherwise to be productive for timber, truffle and comply with Gov. directives towards bio-diversity, which would in turn be management for the truffle community and its conservation, even if trees and truffle were being harvested. However, cost, money and labour is always an issue, but at what price! Incidentally, no one is interested and on a personal level, and for these sacred areas its heartbreaking!
 
Quite rightly they all insist that I am sustainable and practice within the codes of conduct when I acquire my licenses, but when approached with long term plans for the conservation of these areas they are ignored, some on the basis that they have no time for it, it would interfere with ongoing management (not really) etc etc... resulting in ignoring pioneering forestry, overall minimising woodland production/produce and not maximising land usage in poor soils and ignoring conservation in the long term....it makes no sense of any sort! Frustrating to the hilt! Satisfied only that there is a skill and trained dogs, quite clearly the only sustainable tools required to hunt with, but I somehow feel its not enough.
 
I would like to do more to ensure future productions through management of these precious semi-wild orchards/plantations. I am grateful that I tick their boxes and my level of sustainable practice is sufficient purely by having my dogs. However, when faced with these double edged standards and little interest in long term research and management predominantly carried out by me makes these bans seems somewhat of a farce!
 
I feel that there is potential for us all to work together and we can all perhaps live up to the quote made by Mark Williams of the Foragers Association, that "picking wild fungi actually helps the populations to grow". Yes, I agree, aided by codes of conduct in place, woodland management and research that will lead to a greater understanding through a kinaesthetic experience which starts out in the field. This will only materialise through active presence, observations, research, guidance and education. Without it we will be a very sad society that is completely out of touch with our environment. This is not a way forward for our overall growth.
 

 

Special Offer Before Price Increase

It saddens me to have to put up my prices but to keep up with current licence costs which have gone up considerably, in some cases doubled and general running costs I am obliged to do this otherwise I will not be able to carry on with these courses.

I have altered my course costs on the bottom of the foray page but if you book between now and the 10th of May it will be at the original price of £80 instead of £100 per person for a truffle hunt/mixed fungi and truffle or £60 instead of £80 per person for a mushroom foray.

 

Many thanks

Truffle Hunting in France

Currently in France and been invited to hunt with Zebedee and Ela for Summer truffles by a local hunter and grower on his plantation and wild orchard, I feel honoured. Also organising some future foraging holidays abroad for truffle, mushrooms and other foraged goodies, exploring new territories to help extend my working season. I will keep you all posted to what becomes available to those of you that would consider a creative, fun filled foraging holiday in the sun ? #trufflehunting #truffles #foraging #trufflehounds #fungi

My Truffle Tag Line

I'm adopting this phrase as my tag line as I use it so frequently "Look for truffle, look for truffle" it's got a great ring to it puts a kick in the dogs step and always keeps me smiling!

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and want to take this opportunity to thank all my clients that have been out with me in 2016. Another bountiful season although a tad late in arriving which had me worried for a while but all came good in a rather back to front manner. Looking forward to another season in 2017 with the addition of some Spring and Summer walks including edible plants, flowers, tubers, and of course all manner of edible seeds, fruit, berries and fungi in the Autumn.

Festive greetings to you all!

Melissa

Wakehurst Place staff foray

So nice to get feed back from events, especially one like this:

"Hey Melissa!

Yeah it was absolutely brilliant, felt like I seen the gardens in a whole new perspective and everyone really enjoyed themselves and learned a lot, so thanks so much. "

From Maya, seed collections assistant at Wakehurst Place

Nice, thank you  

 
 

They are still out there!

If you wish to hunt for truffles they are still out there, a combination of Summer truffle and T mesentericum our black winter truffle. So still time to book a foray before it all comes to an end!

Truffle Hunting Vouchers

My fungi blog

Thinking about great present ideas? Vouchers are now available for Truffle Hunts & Mushroom Forays for Season 2018/19 or as a monetary gift voucher for other services including Dog Training. Our vouchers make interesting and novel gifts for the fungi lover, gastronome or someone to just enjoy a rewilding experience in Sussex truffle woodlands! Email us for details: info@truffleandmushroomhunter.com

My new logo

Proud to present my new logo! A big thank you to Tess Smith and Emma Clifford for the ideas and finished product; it's amazing I love it and says it all!

final-final-copy

Devil's Fingers just in time for Halloween *Cackle Cackle*

Sedgwick House Mushroom Foray, Clathrus archeri I believe, shame some got mowed over by the gardener but he won't be doing it again he has promised :-) Best find of the day, a first for me!

clathrus-archeri-devils-fingers
 
devils-fingers-1
devils-fingers-2
 
 

Summer truffle for sale!

I have a little extra Sussex summer truffle for sale if anyone is interested...?

Truffle Hound Pups

I'm making plans to have a litter of pups with Ela, probably by early next year. I will be truffle hound training them for twelve months and then they will be ready for sale and re homing to special interested individuals. If anyone would like to know more please contact me to discuss. Only apply if your a serious ethical forager working within good terms of practice, love dogs and desire a working loving companion for life! Once this is established on the receipt of a deposit I will put your name down on the reserve list to secure your puppy. I will be keeping one too.

Ex Pats living abroad

I'm looking to connect with British ex pats in the next month or two that live in France, Spain or Portugal that have truffle plantations or wild truffle orchards that need help at harvest time or for those that would like to consider woodland management for the sustainable harvest of T aestivum and T melansporum. If you are  and you are not sure if your woodlands have truffle, I do woodland surveys to establish the potential for you. https://truffleandmushroomhunter.com/contact/

Choiromyces meandriformes

Choiromyces meandriformes, often smooth yellow/white and brown however sometimes cracked and variable resembling warts! However with these tubular like ornamentations on the spores and large ascos it could not be anything else :-)It smells like a pear drop a very chemically one, not considered good to eat as it can cause gastro irritations but commonly eaten in Northern Europe.

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Available places on my truffle hunt tomorrow

Due to cancellations I have availability on my truffle hunt tomorrow, late notice I know but it would be worth the trip out we harvested 300g today!!

2 hrs and 39 seconds in: BBC RADIO MERSEYSIDE

2 hrs and 39 min in: BBC RADIO MERSEYSIDE. Myself and Sophie Birrell from Lilly's Kitchen and Houndsounds.co.uk.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p033c5tg#play

My personal best 418g one Summer Truffle

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My all time personal best, it was one truffle so tightly wrapped round an old stump I had to break it to get it out , 418g nearly half a kilo, sadly immature even at this size, gutted but still good for aroma infusions and training all my dogs this week ?

12 minutes in: Radio BBC London.

Melissa Waddingham and Steve Pitron join Jo and Anna Webb on the Barking Hour .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0331z0v#play:

Listen to me talking about the relationship I have with my dogs and truffle hunting on 106.9 SFM Tony Weaver Live 11:30 Listen to me on talking about the relationship I have with my dogs and truffle hunting on 106.9 SFM Tony We

A talk with Sophie Birrell from Houndsounds which is a brand new website featuring the worlds first downloadable podcasts for dog lovers, dog owners and anyone fascinated by the incredible nature of dogs and our relationship with them. I did a podcast with Houndsounds last year which I recently put on my blog you can listen to it here www.Houndsounds.co.uk. Or on my blog roll.

Stick to the Rules.

A gentle reminder to all my fellow foragers, to remain above the law can I remind you as responsible foragers it is our sole responsibility to investigate the land and its restrictions before harvesting as many woodlands, countryside and beaches have areas of SSSI's (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) and local bylaws sometimes protecting the removal of anything even a blade of grass; these areas are not always advertised on public noticeboard and sometimes not even common local knowledge. Generally these areas are protecting something specific, something that is in decline or of scientific interest, hence the need to leave these species well alone, the protected species are listed and the information in regard of these areas is publicly available, so do the research and get permission for what you want to harvest before you consider foraging in these areas please; harvesting unprotected organisms from these delicate communities may have an effect upon the food chain supporting the protected species within.....If we wish to continue with what I consider our heritage it would be wise to abide by these rules otherwise we may face a blanket ban as in Epping Forest and other places whom seem quick to jump on this ridiculous band wagon.(To those whom may not be aware Epping Forest is out of bounds) Public access does not always mean its your right pick! I teach codes of conduct and safe harvesting techniques on all my forays and firmly believe that a good education about these affairs is better than none for a safer, sustainable and ethical approach, Lets enjoy and respect our freedom in this ever constricting world we live in before we can't even pick a mushroom anywhere other than if we own the land. Many thanks!
If unsure check your area for SSSI'S on here or ask the landowner!
https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/SiteList.aspx…
designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk
DESIGNATEDSITES.NATURALENGLAND.ORG.UK

Truffle hounds Houndsounds

Have a listen to this link about truffle hound training with Zebedee and Ela, made by Houndsounds and written by kate Vahl and Stevan Bennett. Many thanks to you both!
http://houndsounds.co.uk/heres-another-example-post/

Floral Fringe Fair this weekend at Knepp Castle Estate, Shipley, West Sussex RH13 8LJ

Come to The Floral Fringe Fair to discuss fungi, truffles, truffle hound training, woodland surveys, woodland management for the production of truffle. I will also have fresh truffle, other mushroomy bits and pieces and truffle jewellery for sale. I will also be doing truffle hound demonstrations with Zeb. Its will be a  wonderful country vintage experience!

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Garden and local Produce Fair at South Lodge Hotel, Horsham on Thursday 14 May 10.30 - 3.30

I will be here on Thursday the 14th with Chicken of the Woods, Wild Garlic pesto and some truffle jewellery for sale all made from local finds on the South Downs which have been cast into unique accessories for you and your dog.

IMG_0247

http://www.stch.org.uk/howYouCanHelp/NewHorizonsAppeal/GardenandLocalProduceFair2015.asp

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter on Countryfile with John Craven

In case you missed it!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04wskq0/countryfile-celebrations-compilation

Countryfile Tonight on BBC1

Watch John Craven and I truffle hunting in Downland woodlands tonight on BBC1 6.30.

Truffle Hunt for Pancreatic Cancer

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We will be looking for T aestivum, T brumale and T mesentericum! Two out of three good edibles! A fascinating day to be had watching the dogs at work! Please come and support this wonderful cause, e mail me for details and how to book!

Countryfile on the 28th December with John Craven.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04wskq0

Filming for Food Unwrapped with Matt Tebbutt

Zebedee harnessed with a camera, viewing truffle action from his point of view should be interesting!

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Countryfile came truffle hunting with John Craven !

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John Craven and I truffle hunting, what an honour! Thank my lucky stars we found three truffles in half an hour for the camera, Ela and Zeb in full form! Thank you Countryfile!

Sussex Black Gold Jewellery

Karen Kirk a wonderful London jeweller has transformed my ideas of truffle jewellery into a reality. We have collaborated our skills, flare and innovation and now producing some wonderful truffle jewellery made from my personal finds here on the South downs. A “Sussex Black Gold” range of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, a ring and finally a dog tag for your truffle hound of course! All made from a variety of metals, some gold plated, some with rose gold, rhodium or solid silver. Prices and other castings will follow soon, watch this space….

A beautiful present for a truffle hunter or hound! All pieces can be hand made to order in time for Christmas. If you are interested in any of these pieces please get in touch with me via e mail.

PRICES

£65

BRONZE DOG COLLAR

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£85

DOG COLLAR (GOLD, ROSE GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED)

IMG_0268

£85
SILVER AND BRONZE NECKLACE

IMG_0247

£150
BRONZE NECKLACE (GOLD, ROSE GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED) with suede ribbon - rhodium can have a silver necklace.

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IMG_0242

IMG_0247

£100
SILVER BRACELET AND BRONZE TRUFFLE

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£220
SILVER BRACELET WITH BRONZE TRUFFLE ( ROSE GOLD IN PICTURE, GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED BELOW)IMG_0265

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£180
SILVER EARRINGS

IMG_0252

£170
BRONZE EARRINGS (GOLD, ROSE GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED)
IMG_0274

£120
SILVER KEYRING

IMG_0253

£100
BRONZE KEYRING (GOLD, ROSE GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED)

£50

SILVER KEYRING (BRONZE)

£50
SILVER RING (BRONZE)

IMG_0259

£200
BRONZE RING (GOLD, ROSE GOLD OR RHODIUM PLATED)

TBC

Bolete parasitic on Scleroderma

IMG_4387

An unusual find apparently rare but I see them quite a lot. This is a bolete that grows in symbiosis with the Scleroderma was at first thought parasitic but now it is known to be a mutually beneficial relationship. The bolete is considered edible although I have not been tempted as the Scleroderma is poisonous and because its rare of course! This one had been knocked over by deer hence the temptation to try it was close but not close enough!

Truffle Hunt for Pancreatic Cancer 11th Jan 2015

https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/world-pancreatic-cancer-day-2/

I will be doing a truffle hunt for this charity to show support to my lovely friend Kate, her mum who has been diagnosed with this awful illness and for many others suffering.

DATE CHANGE 11th Jan 2015

Truffle Jewellery by Karen Kirk and Melissa Waddingham

Karen Kirk a wonderful London jeweller has transformed my ideas of truffle jewellery into a reality. We have collaborated our skills, flare and innovation and now producing some wonderful truffle jewellery made from my personal finds here on the South downs. A "Sussex Black Gold" range of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, a ring and finally a dog tag for your truffle hound of course! All made from a variety of metals, some gold plated, some with rose gold, rhodium or solid silver. Prices and other castings will follow soon, watch this space....

A beautiful present for a truffle hunter or hound!  All pieces can be hand made to order in time for Christmas. If you are interested in any of these pieces please get in touch with me via e mail.

IMG_0243

IMG_0246 IMG_0244IMG_0253IMG_0259IMG_0265IMG_0268IMG_0274

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ALL PHOTOS AND ITEMS OF JEWELLERY ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT 2014 MELISSA WADDINGHAM AND KAREN KIRK

Truffles in the pictures are courteous of Wiltshire Truffles, thank you!

Truffle Hunt in Support of Pancreatic Cancer

I am doing a truffle hunt for Pancreatic Cancer on the 4th of January. All proceeds will be given to pancreatic cancer charities. For more details please contact me on here. Many thanks, lets make this one a good one!

Truffle Hunters Beware of Seasonal Canine Illness!

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-8KUD2D

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter Newsletter 2014

 

 

 

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Well what a fantastic fungi year it was last season. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my new clients that joined me last year and some reappearing from the year before and this year too, thank you all very much. It was a great year, abundant with all sorts of mushrooms and truffles. They were around till January maybe even February last year lets hope it will be the same again. I have never had the pleasure of such bounty to reward my hard walking clients with; it’s been pure joy to hear the screams and squeals of delight of my fellow truffle hunting foragers on many occasions when they were unearthed and found, time and time again! It’s a fantastic feeling being able to deliver such a new experience to most and fills me with such a sense of accomplishment and happiness for you all, it’s great! Not one hunt has gone unrewarded last year, now that is saying something! I could guarantee truffle last year and it’s not often I can guarantee anything except that I will always turn up in the undergrowth, ready for a hunt!

It was an interesting year for truffle, as new to me species keep cropping up, I have found T mesentericum a truffle that looks remarkably like Summer truffle it however differs in aroma and not in a good way either, its metallic very pungent and not at all appealing, however apparently edible if aired or warmed neither had an alluring affect upon me and I promptly spat it out, shame! T rufum was also unearthed, small reddish/white truffles minutely warted but only seen under a hand lens, would otherwise be considered smooth. Very aromatic, chemical like, oil, glue, bizarre smell not considered good to eat apparently, not completely unpleasant I found, too much of a miss spent youth perhaps and finally T borchii in very limited amounts but another good edible alongside T aestivum, the ones we have been intentionally hunting. . . The dogs indicate on all these species it’s amazing and goes to show that it really does not matter what species of truffle you get to train your dog with they find more than one type, it’s interesting, apparently all species have underlying complex aromas which frequent them all in one way or another hence their discovery by the dogs.

It was the second year of BioBlitz’s and I’m still researching some of the final records, again the events were all a great success with over 300 species recorded. This year will be an exception and due to family bereavement I will not be doing any but I will be holding them every other year to build and keep up the fungal portfolio of records within these regions. Many good edibles last year Agaricus everywhere, Ceps, Hedgehogs , Black trumpets galore, like most of the other Chanterelle species, I even came across the rare Pseudocraterellus undulatus ; a lovely little example of a Lions maine on Beech also protected.. Chicken of the woods abundant and quite a bit of Beefsteak fungus and Cauliflowers too, parasitic truffles also rare (not edible); nothing better than a few interesting finds to make the year even if we could not or did not want to eat them!

These records will have more importance than ever if Sussex is deemed an area for the next source of energy by our Government, yes fracking. Records of this nature before and after fracking will be essential to prove a point, mushrooms are very susceptible to environmental change and to contamination, they are very absorbent organisms and prone to heavy metals, radiation and toxins, they will be a good gauge to what is really going on.

We will no longer be able to pick mushrooms or truffles for consumption if fracking is allowed to go ahead, especially with the rig density planned for Sussex countryside, sadly in due course it will be all over, time to write to our MP’s folks seriously! I am heavily campaigning against this see my “Horsham Against Fracking” page on fb. https://www.facebook.com/Horshamagainstfracking

On a lighter note, I could not be more elated with my new little pup Ela, I was worried that I had not dedicated enough time towards her training in preparation for last year’s season but I could not have been more wrong. She has followed Zeb’s lead and caught onto what all the fuss was about like a Labrador to water. She has surpassed my expectations and achieving things even without asking her, she is a natural! She is so happy to please that on occasion she has thrown truffles at my feet and waited with trembling anticipation for her treat because she knows she has done so well! Bless. It’s got to the point that out on a casual walk she appears with truffles in her mouth, just out the blue! How cool is that? She has raised the game! Zeb has also raised the game in his usual self indulgent manner. They have both been fantastic and I am very proud of the dogs results this year, it’s interesting to see how their relationship has really developed and improved their hunting skills.

2013 was another year for me in the public eye, I was asked to go on the Sunday Brunch show on Channel 4 for an interview, the dogs found a truffle hidden in Karl Pilkington’s sock which was quite entertaining, certainly different and challenging hunting grounds! Got there in the end just for the cameras! A lovely piece in the Sunday Times Sussex’s Dark Secret, by Sophie Haydock and another good piece in The Argus about my all time largest find a 123g Summer truffle and although not a record breaker the story also made the Sussex Express and a few minutes on live Sussex Radio.

Thank you to all of you that have come to me for truffle hound training or assessing your hound over recent months it has been a pleasure teaching you all and meeting such individual canine characters, most with good potential.

I am still actively looking for land suitable for truffle cultivation, preferably south facing old pasture/downland for a plantation situation for the cultivation of truffle, T aestivum or perhaps T borchii, please get in touch if you have this type of available land and possible interest in a long term partnership/venture.

I now offer a service managing large areas of woodlands in suitable areas for the sustainable production of wild truffle, a new concept for this country and abroad so I am told. An idea that I have been studying for some time now and with my forestry background coupled with my knowledge of truffle it proves to be a concept which could be very interesting for the future, for the landowner and all concerned, increasing income from woodlands other than timber and pheasant rearing and shooting. This is an attractive concept as there is so little money in forestry. This form of agro forestry management will not only provide a sustainable crop of truffle over many generations but it will help conserve these delicate areas too, if managed correctly which is my intention and primary aim. This will be a new type of agro forestry considered for the wild undertaken in England and performed within existing woodland of all ages in suitable chalky areas.

The areas considered will be researched, surveyed and monitored every year to assess results from harvesting and record any positive/negative factors i.e. climatic conditions, plus many other variables which could affect production either way and with a regard to what can be done to improve production at all times within natural parameters and existing management objectives.

I will have the scientific support from a leading gentleman in the UK and international truffle industry, helping me monitor and record all data involved with such a ventures. Projects such as this provide the means for interesting research opportunities in the UK as well as the commercial viability, which is equally important.

Harvesting tr
uffle and managing woodland for the sustainable production of truffle is more than achievable in most woodlands that fit the criteria on the South downs, North Downs and other chalk or limestone regions. If you own woodland and are interested in any of the above please contact me for further enquiries, incidentally you would also be contributing valuable truffle data for the UK as part of the research that would be involved to oversea harvesting practices. Survey of site for suitability can be undertaken for initial fee and if suitable, harvesting and monitoring proposal with partnership details per site can be arranged free of charge for you to consider.

The result of a venture like this is that we will be able to manage woodland for the sustainable production of wild truffle, providing Sussex and the UK food market with small quantities of a very desirable luxury and locally produced gourmet product. Fit for fine dining and many other culinary uses whilst conserving these delicate, rather undervalued but fruitful areas, in soil generally considered infertile. . . .what could be better to raise the spirits of the frugal landowner and increase truffle awareness!

Finally to all those of you who have not liked my page on fb, hit the LIKE button PLEASE! It really helps! https://www.facebook.com/truffleandmushroomhunter?ref=hl Also if you could follow me on Twitter Mycomel 1 https://twitter.com/mycomel1 and most importantly please follow my main blog too http://truffleandmushroomhunter.wordpress.com/ Thank you very much!

If you no longer wish to receive this e-newsletter you can unsubscribe by sending me an e mail and I will make sure you will no longer receive them, many thanks.

Melissa

 

BBC Radio Sussex

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter on the radio talking about this years bumper foraging! listen one hour and 27 minutes in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0253ml7

Mistaken for Truffle, Scleroderma and Rhizopogon species not the real deal, Sorry!

I thought I would post about this today to save a lot of confusion. Many people ask me if these are truffles. A common and easy mistake to make for the novice forager although quite difficult explaining to people when they think they have hit a gold mine that these are in fact Earthballs or  False Truffles, hate being a kill joy! However glad I got there before they decided to eat it. Earthballs smell quite pleasant and mushroomy its understandable some might be tempted but visually its a mass of black unpleasant looking spores, not remotely appealing to eat. Most Earthballs are poisonous too or certainly not edible. There are other species within this genus that look similar to the Common Earthball, the Leopard Earthball and the Scaly Earthball. 

The pictures below sent in (thank you Richard/Arthur Dailey ;-)) I believe of an immature Scleroderma spp, sometimes hard to id 100% by photo, non the less not truffle! Microscopic examination of the spores from a mature specimen is sometimes necessary to determine correct species with this genus. When spores are mature they turn black.

  2014-07-26 13.53.39-2                           2014-07-26 13.54.34-2

Again these photos below are not truffle,(thank you Thomas Mcclymont)I believe to be mature Yellow False Truffles,  Rhizopogon genus they have initially a thick, smooth outer wall covered in mycelium strands which can become cracked with age as do most Scleroderma species. A good example of the black tar like spores, this is what to expect when looking at the inside of either of these mature species, otherwise they are whitish/cream coloured when young as above.

 DSC_0003-2DSC_0001-2   

This is what the inside of a truffle T aestivum should look like, marbled brown and with light veins running throughout the fruiting body.

The marbled  markings inside of a Summer Truffle.

  Or when young and immature like in my logo picture, the gleba are white inside.

logo192942_148478698566710_7550560_o 

The outside of the Summer truffle should have black premedical warts like pictured below.

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Hope this helps!

 

Sustainable Woodland Management for the Production of Wild Truffle.

I now offer a service managing large areas of woodlands in suitable areas for the sustainable production of wild truffle, a new concept for this country and abroad so I am told. An idea that I have been studying for some time now and with my forestry background coupled with my knowledge of truffle it proves to be a concept which could be very interesting for the future, for the landowner and all concerned, increasing income from woodlands other than timber and pheasant rearing and shooting. This is an attractive concept as there is so little money in forestry. This form of agro forestry management will not only provide a sustainable crop of truffle over many generations but it will help conserve these delicate areas too, if managed correctly which is my intention and primary aim. This will be a new type of agro forestry considered for the wild undertaken in England and performed within existing woodland of all ages in suitable chalky areas.

The areas considered will be researched, surveyed  and monitored every year to assess results from harvesting and record any positive/negative factors i.e. climatic conditions, plus many other variables which could affect production either way and with a regard to what can be done to improve production at all times within natural parameters and existing management objectives.

I will have the scientific support from a leading gentleman in the UK and international truffle industry, helping me monitor and record all data involved with such a ventures. Projects such as this provide the means for interesting research opportunities in the UK as well as the commercial viability, which is equally important.

Harvesting truffle and managing woodland for the sustainable production of truffle is more than achievable in most woodlands that fit the criteria on the South downs, North Downs and other chalk or limestone regions. If you own woodland and are interested in any of the above please contact me for further enquiries, incidentally you would also be contributing valuable truffle data for the UK as part of the research that would be involved to oversea harvesting practices. Survey of site for suitability can be undertaken for initial fee and if suitable, harvesting and monitoring proposal with partnership details per site can be arranged free of charge for you to consider.

The result of a venture like this is that we will be able to manage woodland for the sustainable production of wild truffle, providing  Sussex and the UK food market with small quantities of a very desirable luxury and locally produced gourmet product. Fit for fine dining and many other culinary uses  whilst conserving these delicate, rather undervalued but fruitful areas, in soil generally considered infertile. . . .what could be better to raise the spirits of the frugal landowner and increase truffle awareness!

Olden day truffle hunter from the 1800's verses modern day hunter

IMG_0136

Sunday Brunch

 

Complete coincidence we seem to like the same hats or somehow its a truffling tradition . . . . I do also often wear a cravat, which my friends love to ridicule, not to mention the plus fours! I'm liking his look and will have to invest in a gown or similar shirt with billowing sleeves, keeping the tradition alive! Maybe I will do a themed 18th century foray, that will make a change, anyone?

The truffle season begins.

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Tuber aestivum, a Summer truffle with Wild Marjoram more commonly known as the mediterranean herb Oregano. I think it is going to be another good year, certainly mature specimens are to be found now, I generally wait till September but it is an early one for me this year so anyone wanting truffle hunting days out book now for this season 0789 615 6664

What I did with the Chicken of the Woods and St Georges.

 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image Chicken of the Woods has to be cooked very well to avoid stomach cramps so as I was feeding members of the public I always make double sure by frying first till golden, then braising in a little water to steam for a further 15 minutes until water evaporated, defo safe then! At this stage it is then ready for any use.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1642" align="alignnone" width="584"]WP_20140425_001[1] Larger pieces of Chicken of the Woods, fried and braised as before but now ready to bread crumb.[/caption][caption id="attachment_1643" align="alignnone" width="584"]WP_20140426_004[1] Paneed Chicken of the Woods, yum with wild garlic pesto![/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image These are the chopped and fried St Georges, they need to be browned to taste good. A strong mealy flavour some find too much but with the wild garlic and well seasoned its a hit for me! Ready to use in sauces with steak or any meat, but lambs good too one of my favorites as its all in season, I like using multiple ingredients that are in season at the same time, they seem to compliment each other all for the better![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1646" align="alignnone" width="584"]WP_20140427_001[2] Sometimes simple is best and nothing beats an honest wild mushroom omelette ![/caption] 

 

 

Chicken of the Woods, Morels and St Georges Mushrooms.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"]Image A young chicken of the Woods tender and soft ready to burst into layers of brackets. Found on Oak, Beach,Cherry, Chestnut and Willow. Also found on Yew in which case is very poisonous, be careful you recognise the dead wood from which you harvest! Cut your specimens from the tree, protecting the mycelium, ensuring they return the following year :-)[/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="602"]Image A Common Yellow Morel, although the name suggests they are every where they are the most elusive mushrooms to find! I do not pick these anymore, maybe just one or two if I find a good amount as they are becoming a conservation issue in other parts of Europe, although not an issue here yet but I would like to see the UK remain a good strong hold, so bear this in mind and do not over pick and spread spores through the woodlands with your wicker baskets whist walking  leaving behind the young ones to spore and cut your stems please! I firmly believe that its more important to look after the mycelium's substrate, hosts for symbiosis and preservation of fungi habitats to reduce the loss of fungi species rather than the risk of over picking but non the less these millions of spores that are released are the future generations of fungi to come which must also be respected :-)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_906" align="alignnone" width="584"]100_4658 St Georges Mushrooms. These grow in big rings and one can harvest a kilo or more from one of these big rings, still leaving some behind to spore! Leave the very young ones because they get rather big as adults before they get too maggot ridden. Please cut your stems leaving a plug behind which protects the mycelium below. These rings will keep giving every year as they expand if you take this care, not forgetting the need for this mycelium to be their for its natural cleansing function within your environment.[/caption]

 

Spring fungi. A chicken of the Woods about to expand its shelf like brackets and a wonderful Yellow Morel shining in the sun.

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Mushroom Hunt for Pancreatic Cancer

On Wednesday 23rd of April I will be doing a St Georges day charity foray for pancreatic cancer.

This will be to help a friend mother and those like her. We will be hunting Spring fungi, especially St Georges mushrooms, followed by a cook up in the woods. Please book for this one, its close to my heart. Many thanks :-)

 

St Georges Day Foray for Pancreatic Cancer

On Wednesday 23rd of April I will be doing a St Georges day charity foray for pancreatic cancer.

This will be to help a friends mother and those like her. We will be hunting spring fungi, especially St Georges mushrooms, followed by a cook up in the woods. Please book for this one, its close to my heart.

Tuber mesentericum in full swing!

Not my most favorite truffle in the world but if anyone wants to hunt for them let me know because they are out there despite all this rain :-)

Truffle hunting, places available this weekend!

I have places available on both my hunts this weekend if anyone would like to join last min. . .

Sunday Times Article

This Sunday an article will be out written by Sophie Haydock about truffle hunting,  we had a lovely day out and found truffles so hoping its going to be a good article.

Don't forget to get a copy!

Lung worm affecting your truffle hounds!

A note of caution to all truffle hunters and their dogs. LUNG WORM can be transmitted via unwashed truffles to your truffle hounds because slugs are particularly partial to truffle too funnily enough, then leaving behind their contaminated slime. If your dogs are like mine and like feasting on unwashed half eaten/whole truffles whilst running round the woods beware, keep up to date with the lung worm preventative! Lung worm does not affect humans. 

Article coming in Brighton's newspaper"The Argus"

Brighton Peeps keep your eyes out for an article in The Argus this week about my monster truffle, just took photos in Tristan's Michelin star restaurant! I gave him a couple!

biggest personal haul on my own, Ella and Zeb

A very happy truffle hunting group and it just keeps on getting better!

Great Photos Thanks Catherine Shimmin    Christine hands of many truffles DSC_1888DSC_1891

Real Truffle Truffles and Candied Truffle for Christmas.

Real Truffle Truffles and Candied Truffle for Christmas.

Fondant truffles made from taking an impression from the real thing. Truffle infused chocolate, truffle shaped truffles!
Candied truffle slices

I have never ever seen candied truffle before, a friend has made some and if its as good as it looks (it will be Emma my truffle confectioner is amazing) I will be making more for that very special Christmas present as well as these wonderful truffley chocolates.Taking orders now!

141 gram Summer truffle / T aestivum

141 gram Summer truffle / T aestivum

Nice find Ela, very proud of my little 10 month working Cocker Spaniel, she has only just worked out what to do in the woods and if this is how she is gong to work it will not be disappointing! Both dogs have been working extremely hard and delivered a grand total of 660 grams whilst out on our own in one day, they have been so fast working whilst snacking away on truffle shards left by animals and truffles in the leaf litter, its hard to watch when I'm not quick enough to get there first, the dogs love truffle too! Its a good year for them thankfully, might have to invest in a muzzle, :-) Photos by Anders HiPhi

Common Yellow Morel not so common in Europe anymore

It has been drawn to my attention that the Yellow Morel Morchela esculenta have now been placed on a provisional red data list in some European countries, although this is not considered a conservation issue in the UK it is worth noting and I will in this case not be harvesting any M elata or M esculenta in the future, a precautionary measure we should all adhere to http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Morchella-esculenta.htm

 

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Fungi Bio Blitz 2013

BioBlitz forays here again for 2013.

These events will take place on 27th September, Newtimber Hill with the National Trust. This will be a foray with varied interest as we will be looking at downland and woodland species. We will be looking and identifying some of our finds under the microscope afterwards with tea and cake. October 4th Wolstonbury Hill with The National Trust, again this will be a downland and woodland foray with a microscopy session afterwards, again with refreshments. October 11th Coldean Woods in Brighton with Brighton & Hove City Council. We will be looking for truffles and mushrooms in downland woodlands/park, refreshments afterwards. October 18th Slindon again with the National Trust, another truffle and mushroom hunt. Nov 1st at Southwick, a downland species foray, looking for Waxcaps and Blewits among others. Followed by tea at the farm shop; a nice opportunity to discuss our finds.

Questions and answers by me and Keri Allen from Ladies What blog

An article written by me and Keri Allan's questionnaire at Ladies What blog.

http://www.ladieswhat.co.uk/foraging-for-fungi/#more

If Fracking, GMO's, Nuclear and extream energy concern you sign this petition to make Ecocide a crime

Lets do it, 1 million signatures to bring this to the EU.
 
 

 

Fresh Summer Truffles For Sale!

I thought that I would let you all know that I am expecting delivery of fresh Summer truffle from the Balkans in the next two to three weeks the results of a trip to Serbia that I made in March this year. I went over there to re kindle a relationship with a wonderful lady whom I had met at a truffle conference in Italy some years ago. Researching and studying genetics, dna, microbiology is her forte but with a keen preference for fungi and truffles, a remarkable and very knowledgeable lady. Her partner an infamous Serbian truffle hunter whom I also met, they make a great team. He took great pride in showing me all his truffle grounds and passionately told me what species could be found according to the local environment. T aestivum, T brumale and T magnatum. It was fascinating and invaluable to see exactly where these truffles will be coming from and I can now assure all potential interested parties that they have been harvested from clean, healthy woodlands and in a sustainable manner, this of course is essential to comply with my ethics. I will receive 15 kilos of T aestivum, Summer truffle to start with over this season to see how it all develops, anyone interested is recommended to place orders soon as they will be here very soon. Quality is guaranteed and at good competitive prices.

Truffle hound training 10th August

Next truffle hound training course will be on the 10th August. Course fees are now £60 per two hour morning session. All classes are small with lots of individual attention to you and your dog. Book now or contact me for further information. Private one to one sessions are also available.

A gap in biological education

A true word spoken by Norman Porrett from the British Mycology Society, he points out a ridiculous gap in biological education,I notice this gap a lot on my forays when explaining the functions of fungi so many clients are enlightened and completely unaware of their ecology and the ways in which we combine our lives. and the importance of fungi presence and environmental health. An issue we should address!

Norman says, " "You may or may not be aware that there is no mention at all of fungi in the National Curriculum  document.It is disturbing that the words "animal" and "plant" each occurs more than sixty times implying that the biology to be taught in schools does not extend much beyond animals and plants. This is a factually misleading view of the life on the planet and catastrophic from the point of view of advancement of biological, ecological, nutritional and industrial sciences. It indicates that the government is fully prepared to overlook, in school-leavers; knowledge of the existence of yeast, mycorrhizas and lichens, the role of fungi in nutrient recycling and in the pharmaceutical and food industries, or as agents of disease. It is a great omission not to mention the Fungal Kingdom which is arguably the largest kingdom of organisms on the planet with over 1.5 million species estimated including both filamentous and yeast growth forms. Life on Earth would not exist without fungi. Teaching biology without mentioning fungi is like trying to teach someone to read with only two thirds of the alphabet. It is paramount that this omission is averted in the English Education System."

Well said Norm

Summer Newsletter 2013

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Summer Newsletter 2013

Update on the year so far

It has been a slow start this year as we all know, with most spring fungi at least a month to six weeks late.  I have never seen bluebells in June or elderflowers in July and still finding remnants of wild garlic leaves and flowers, it’s all a bit mad. However the appearance of Russulas have been early and Chanterelles on time but if this dry period continues we will find ourselves in a drought situation again and this will of course affect the next round of fungi due like the Summer boletes and Agaricus species, amongst others. Let us wish for a few summer evening storms as not only mushrooms benefit from the moisture but the Romans believed that truffles came about due to lightning and thunder, the magical wonders of electrical forces and energy. Truffles are just making an appearance now but still not at their best quality so in my opinion worthwhile waiting till at least September.

Serbia – bringing truffles to the UK

I am also very excited about the results of a trip to Serbia that I made in March this year. I went over there to re kindle a relationship with a wonderful lady whom I had met at a truffle conference in Italy some years ago, when I did a presentation about marketing and advertising truffles in the UK.  Researching and studying genetics, dna, microbiology is her forte but with a keen preference for fungi and truffles, a remarkable and very knowledgeable lady. Her partner an infamous Serbian truffle hunter whom I also met, they make a great team. He took great pride in showing me all his truffle grounds and passionately told me what species could be found according to the local environment. T aestivum, T brumale and T magnatum. It was fascinating and invaluable to see exactly where these truffles will be coming from and I can now assure all potential interested parties that they have been harvested from clean, healthy woodlands and in a sustainable manner, this of course is essential to comply with my ethics. I will receive 15 kilos of T aestivum, Summer truffle to start with over this season to see how it all develops, anyone interested is recommended to place orders soon as they will be here in the next week or so. Quality is guaranteed and at good competitive prices. In due course I will endeavour to import some T magnatum. I will update you all when this happens!

Bookings and events this year

I have started to take bookings for the autumn season starting from the weekend of the 15th September until the weekend of the 24th November. Truffle forays can be arranged after this date, season dependant and I offer bespoke forays during the week if required for those of you that perhaps work on the weekends. I have gained permission to hunt in fantastic truffle woodland, one of my favourite places with great potential so I look forward to sharing this with you.

I will be hosting five BioBlitz forays, recording species present for national and local records again for the second year running.  These will start on 27th September, at Newtimber Hill with the National Trust. This will be a foray with varied interest as we will be looking at downland and woodland species. We will be identifying some of our finds under the microscope afterwards with tea and cake. October 4th Wolstonbury Hill with The National Trust, again this will be a downland and woodland foray with a microscopy session afterwards, again with refreshments. October 11th Coldean Woods in Brighton with Brighton & Hove City Council. We will be looking for truffles and mushrooms in downland woodlands/park, refreshments afterwards.  October 18th Slindon again with the National Trust, another truffle and mushroom hunt. Nov 1st at Southwick, a downland species foray, looking for Waxcaps and Blewits amongst others. Followed by tea at the farm shop; a nice opportunity to discuss our finds. These forays were met with great enthusiasm last year and the feedback was amazing, all a great success so let’s try and do just as well this year if not better!

Truffle hound training

Truffle hound training is available for those of you that have shown an interest and want to train your dogs to become a dab hand at adding delicacies to your kitchen plate or for the more serious harvester perhaps in plantation situations. Courses run every two weeks, call to discuss. These courses are ideal for puppies too, the earlier to start the better.

Please don’t forget to follow me on facebook and my wordpress site below, hit the like and follow buttons to do this; trying to get my number of followers up for this season and don’t forget to spread that truffle and fungi awareness to all, tell a friends and family, my forays make interesting, alternative and educational gifts for most nature lovers and enthusiasts.

Fungi BioBlitz 2013

BioBlitz forays here again for 2013.

These events will take place on 27th September, Newtimber Hill with the National Trust. This will be a foray with varied interest as we will be looking at downland and woodland species. We will be looking and identifying some of our finds under the microscope afterwards with tea and cake. October 4th Wolstonbury Hill with The National Trust, again this will be a downland and woodland foray with a microscopy session afterwards, again with refreshments. October 11thColdean Woods in Brighton with Brighton & Hove City Council. We will be looking for truffles and mushrooms in downland woodlands/park, refreshments afterwards. October 18th Slindon again with the National Trust, another truffle and mushroom hunt. Nov 1st at Southwick, a downland species foray, looking for Waxcaps and Blewits amongst others. Followed by tea at the farm shop; a nice opportunity to discuss our finds.
These forays were met with great enthusiasm last year and the feedback was amazing, all a great success so if you could make any this year it would be a great help. Thanks

Truffle Hound Training

Next truffle hound training course will be on the 20th of July. Course fees are now £60 per two hour morning session. All classes are small with lots of individual attention to you and your dog. Book now or contact me for further information. Private one to one sessions are also available.

Fresh Serbian truffles for sale

I will have fresh truffles for sale T aestivum, Summer truffles in a months time, I'm just waiting for them to mature nicely as commonly these truffles are harvested far too early at this time of year and give this wonderful truffle a bad name as they are immature, white inside and have no flavor or aroma. I dont understand why they do this in the commercial market! My truffles will be from Serbia. I went out there to visit a good friend of mine and her truffle hunting husband, it was a joy to meet a fellow truffle hunter and in completely new territories for me.  Alex showed me all around his truffle woodlands so I have seen first hand where these truffles will be coming from, met the dogs who will be harvesting them and their wonderful handler Alex himself. This was very important for me to get the full picture of where these truffles were coming from, how they were harvested and from where, to be able to offer you a first class product which now I can rest assured has been harvested ethically, with sustainability  in mind and from within desirable healthy woodlands.

In Serbia they also harvest T magnatum the white truffle normally associated with Alba in Italy, this is not commonly known  and perhaps played down by the Italians as of inferior quality and quite often sold on as Italian Alba truffle, this is a fiercely competitive market for such a valuable species. Non the less Serbia is on the same longitude positioning as Alba and therefore has almost identical conditions, weather, soil and trees to produce T magnatum of very good quality, equally good as the Alba truffle in taste, aroma and quality.

Please contact me if you would like to give the Summer truffles a whirl in your kitchen or restaurant as you will not be disappointed I promise and if this goes well I will endeavor to import some T magnatum too!

Floral Fringe Fair at Knepp Castle

Exhausted but ready for the Floral Fringe Fair at Knepp Castle, Shipley, West Sussex. Chicken of the woods for sale, Morels to look at and some fungi food too, COME!

Floral Fringe Fair, June 1st and 2nd

Floral Fringe Fair, June 1st and 2nd 2013

Come and support me and this wonderful fair, I will be doing truffle hound demo's, a fungi talk and will be behind my stall taking foray bookings and selling wild mushroom food and fresh Chicken of the Woods.

Also for anyone wanting more info about Floral Fringe Fair, it is a quirky, foodie, arty , plantaholics wildlife event with a vintage twist! There are over 100 stalls. Wildlife is a very important theme at the fair. The Bat, Bumblebee, Endangered Species and Wildlife Trusts, Amateur Entomologists and Ancient Trees and Countryside Restoration Trust. Lots of local food producers, many nurseries selling a range of plants, art and craft stalls, woodland products, willow weaving and some fabulous alternatives for eating. A vintage pop-up tearoom, wood-fired oven pizzas, vegetarian bhajis and pakoras, 40 different coffees and teas, lots of cakes, a steak burger barbecue, real ale tent and ice creams plus much more! We have some folk music to entertain you and Mythago Morris dancing on Sunday. There are butterfly walks and talks. There will also be classic cars on show. Anyone coming in a pre-1975 car gets a small discount on their ticket. The private walled garden will be open to visit and lastly Home Front History will be meeting and greeting as 1940's policemen!

Last reminder to watch Ade in Britain tomorrow at 4 on ITV

Ade and I mushroom picking in spring last year on the South Downs its on ITV at 4 o'clock, should be good viewing ! Set your TV to record if your at work or out and you can also watch it on ITV player on the internet for a few days.

Thanks hope you enjoy.

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter March Newsletter

                                                         
Truffle and Mushroom Hunter Newsletter March 2013
The adventures of 2012 
Well what a year 2012 has been for me and my fabulous truffle hunting hound Zebedee! We have successfully launched the truffle foray business in the South Downs to much acclaim in the press. I carried out numerous volunteer based forays for The BioBlitz National Network recording fungi for national and local records and undertook many private mushroom and truffle hunts.
Zebedee and I found a pea sized truffle, Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus its a first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles; twice in 1986 and then not since 1878 , first recorded in 1843, not bad! It has been double checked by Kew as its an important find and I needed confirmation after my microscope session as I'm only a beginner as a geek but clearly well on the way!
Our forays have been met with huge enthusiasm with many people coming along to see the wonders of the countryside and to watch us in action. We have forayed in all weather conditions … most of which have been met with highly successful finds. We have visited numerous country fairs and events – showcasing our skills in truffle hunting displays in the arenas or from behind my stall, merely educating people about sustainable forestry and forays.Media Interest


The highlight for me was the start of the media interest – a new experience but one which I faced with all the enthusiasm I could muster. Starting with appearances in local magazines and papers to local and national television including interviews in The Metro and The Independent - I have been utterly thrilled with the response to all my hard work and it’s been a great way start!
2013 so far...The most exciting news for 2013 will be the introduction of my new truffle hound Ela. Following an introduction to K10, the army dog training group, I am thrilled to be adding a new hound to the business to further grow my success rate and enterprise. Ela, a 13 week old Cocker Spaniel has been handpicked by K10 and will be trained collaboratively as a working dog by this army dog training group and me, truffle and obedience training has already started around the home. This will also give me the incredibly rare opportunity to refine my truffle hunting techniques to yet another level of training with the K10. Searching methods that the army use for explosive detection will be deployed and then refined for truffle detection.

Frank Holmes spent 24 years in the military as an instructor, dog trainer, and specialist handler operating in high threat areas. Frank is now the Operations & Training Manager at K10 Working Dogs. We are both determined to share our knowledge and make little Ela into a champion truffle hound! She comes from four generations of working trial champions and already proving to be quite a little character, she will have a rigorous training schedule and will therefore be able to start working with me pretty much immediately in the new season. She will be able to complement the work I am already doing with Zebedee, so that there will be occasions when I can give Zebedee the well earned weekend off, or indeed bring both dogs on a hunt to increase our chances. I am very
excited to be welcoming Ela to the family and my heartfelt thanks go to the K10 team for sharing this good fortune and providing me with such a wonderful gift.

Newsletter and website updates:


2013 is already gearing up to be a busy year and I have many plans in fruition. My first will be to ensure that there is a newsletter distributed every three months to update you on events we will be attending, forays, education classes, media appearances and of course products which will be available for sale. The website will be continually updated with all information on our expeditions and activity schedule and we will be sharing further press coverage, links, competitions, products, testimonials and exhibitions. As always your support for the website will help widen the reach of the work that I do so please do feel free to share the link on your facebook or twitter pages or indeed email to any friends or colleagues who you think may be interested in the work that I do.

Calendar of events:

All dates for 2013 forays can be found on my blog. Mushroom forays start from March and truffle and mushroom hunts start again from September to December. Private bespoke group forays can also be tailored for during the week or on weekends providing bookings are made well in advance. Bio-Blitz dates to follow.


Country fairs:


April 29th/27th Farming and Wildlife Festival, West Grinstead.
June 1st/2nd Floral Fringe Fair, Knepp Castle
September 28th Pulborough Harvest Fair
Bently Wood Fair dates to follow


Partnership forays:

Sedgwick Park House Foray 12th October
Brighton and Hove District Council, Coldean lane Bio Blitz
National Trust BioBlitz's

Press interviews and appearance:


The Metro

Alan Titchmarsh Show 2012

Ade in Britain 3rd April ITV 2013

Kuperman productions, Israeli TV, filming in April for cooking competition type program, contestants judged and mentored by one of the Roux brothers whilst hopefully cooking truffles that the contestants have found with me and three trained dogs.Sussex Life http://sussex.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/chalenge-clive–truffle-hunting-sussex-south-downs-21913/The Independent Melissa - latest news articles, breaking stories, features & comments …
http://search.independent.co.uk/topic/melissa

The Metro https://apps.facebook.com/metrouk/article/lifestyle/913935-truffle-hunting-comes-to-britain-in-a-search-for-expensive-black-gold

Devour Sussex Web Site http://www.devoursussex.com/content/qa-melissa-waddingham-local-mushroom-and-truffle-hunter

Nick Weston’s Blog Truffle hunting on the South Downs http://www.huntergathercook.com/

West Sussex County Times- A truffling matter http://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/news/local/a_truffling_matter_1_3109701

BBC South http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-15365814 Radio 5 Live http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00krbsb

Anna Keleher, Speaking as a truffle, Creative Torbay http://creativetorbay.com/anna-keleher/truffle-speaks-audio-foray-human-world/

Sublime magazine, Truffle Treasure written by Katrine Carstens

http://katrinecarstens.squarespace.com/storage/Truffle%20Treasure%20Story%20Sublime%20Nov%2011%20Cropped.pdf


Personal blog sites 

Twitter- MELISSA WADDINGHAM (@MYCOMEL1) ON TWITTER

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/truffleandmushroomhunter

Links to other groups and like minded people Anna Keleher www.dreamingplace.eu

K10 Working Dogs : k10workingdogs.com Sussex Fungi Group http://www.sussexfungigroup.org.uk.

Links to old events


BioBlitz Meet the Species http://www.bnhc.org.uk/home/bioblitz/national-bioblitz/southeast/autumn-south-downs-brighton-bioblitz-series.html?

BioBlitz Meet the Species Blogroll http://meetthespeciesdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/foraging-with-melissa-waddingham/

Jordans Cereal Blog http://www.jordanscereals.co.uk/our-blog/do-the-truffle-shuffle/

National Trust BioBlitz http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/whats-on/find-an-event/?

propertyID=3776&Period=Three+months#iframeEvents

Sedgwick Park House http://www.sedgwickpark.com/index.php?page=events

Wincanton Charity Auction http://www.wincantoncharityauction.co.uk/auction/

Sussex Fungi Group http://www.sussexfungigroup.org.uk/#/bioblitz/4567887717

Ade in Britain

The SUSSEX episode, in which I feature, is scheduled to broadcast on ITV at 4pm on WEDNESDAY 3RD APRIL 2013.

 

2013 Foray Dates

Foray dates for 2013 are now available please look under Mushroom and Truffle Forays for more information, I look forward to a good year ahead with plenty of places to  hunt in, keeping it sustainable!. All these areas have huge potential and a history of good finds.

I look forward to seeing you on one of my forays, with Zebedee and my new pup Ela.

Many thanks for your continued support.

My new truffle hound to be.

Meet Ela my little Cocker Spaniel

Meet Ela my new little Cocker Spaniel pup. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Frank Holmes from K10.  Frank has kindly given me this puppy as a gift which also comes with the opportunity to refine my truffle hunting techniques to yet another level training with the K10. We will be using searching methods that the army use for explosive detection. This will be fascinating. Frank spent 24 years in the military as an instructor, dog trainer, specialist handler operating in high threat areas. Frank is now the Operations & Training Manager at K10 Working Dogs. We are both determined to share our knowledge and make little Ela into a champion truffle hound! She comes from four generations of working trial champions and already proving to be quite a little character and very smart! A good working companion for Zebedee and some healthy competition which I feel will increase our already positive results, I can see the benefits already just around the house!

I can't wait to introduce her to the aroma of truffle, how exciting!

Ade Edmondson of The Young Ones came on a fungi foray with me to film for his new ITV series "Ade in Britain". The series will be aired in Feburary 2013 so tune in!

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Ade and I went mushroom picking on the South Downs in the Spring filming for his new 2013 series, this should be out soon so keep an eye out in February, the program is called Ade in Britain..

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A fun day had by all and my young volunteer/neighbour Brandon getting a chance to do some work experience too!

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What a  moment being followed by a film crew, through the woods with Ade a childhood punk comedy eye con,all quite surreal and a million miles away from anything I thought was going to happen under the canopy of a familiar woodland walk of mine, quite bonkers but amazing.

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Very happy with our humble basket of Wild Garlic and mushrooms, you will have to wait to see what we found when you see the program!

Happy New Year

Wishing all my followers a Happy New Year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting me and a special thank you to those of you that have taken part on my forays this year and to those that have made it possible i.e. All private landowners and lease holders, thank you! Looking forward to a new year ahead with many new plans and ideas to  get under way. Events and fungi information  will be in added to a  newsletter starting in January for all those interested! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles;hell yeah!( Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus )

Zebedee and I found a pea sized truffle,Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus its a first for Sussex and only ever recorded 11 times in the British Isles; twice in 1986 and then not since 1878 and first recorded in 1843, not bad! I will get this  double checked by Kew as its an important find and needs to be recorded but I have no reason to believe that this has not been identified correctly by a fellow fungi expert. I had my suspicions, nice to be right!

The pictures below are of the truffle spores of Pachyphloeus melanoxanthus seen through my microscope and the picture taken with my phone so not the best. 8 spores in each long shaped, short stalked asci helped identify this subterranean fungus.

This picture shows the whole asci revealing all eight spores!

The truffle  was smaller than a pea and quite amazing how I spotted it in the first place but at first gimps it looked minutely warty but often soil can do a good job of truffle mimckry so I squeezed it to see if it was a truffle or not and to my horror it popped, not familiar with popping truffles! Normally they are dense and firm, Leaving me with a mass of material that was hard to identify, it smelt strong,sweet,,fruity sort of truffley and was found among'st Beech woodland in chalky soil.growing alongside T aestivum, fascinating!

Below is a picture of the truffle, I had to get it from the internet just to show you what the actual ascocarp looks like, gutted I stupidly demolished mine, wont be making that mistake twice !

Picture ref:

Illustration and © Amer Montecchi
Italy /Thomas Læssøe/MycoKey & Jens H. Petersen/MycoKey 

http://www.mycokey.com/MycoKeySolidState/species/Pachyphloeus_melanoxanthus.html

The Alan Titchmarsh Show

Its official I'm on the Alan Titchmarsh Show this Tuesday 3 o'clock with Zebedee talking truffles and hunting! How exciting!!

Thank you

A big thank you to all my new followers and those who have recently supported me in all the things that I have been doing, there are a lot of you out there, you know who you are.Thanks for helping me raise mushroom and truffle awareness!

Sedgwick Park House Foray

Thank you to Clare and John Davison at Sedgwick Park House for the opportunity to hold this fungi foray within such varied settings; garden, pasture and woodland. Also a big thank you to our local community whom participated, it was a great day! It gave rise to many interesting fungi; Wax Caps, Puff Balls, Sulphur Tuft, many Mycena's, Lilac Bonnet, Ashen Night, Honey Fungus, Parasols also Field Mushrooms and Yellow Stainer's which were dangerously growing together, this was a great opportunity to show the differences! Smell and discoloration , cap colour too!

 

Clare cutting the Fly Agric cake!

 

Cooking up parasols and a few edible Agaricus! What a Manor!

 

Sunday Foray

Places still available for this Sundays foray, call or message me for details, 10 o'clock start Horsham area.

A beautiful day for a foray

Warnham Nature Reserve Foray was a great success with a good amount of fungi to look at! It seems that it is the year of Pluteus, they seem to be every where I look, Deer Shields, Willow Shields and Velvet Shields  Saw some amazing Cup fungi, Tan Ear, Otidea onotica today..Honey fungus is just popping its caps out but also rife, a problem to come for foresters and gardeners with all the spores that will be floating around after this mass fruiting could have a seriously negative affect on the trees in the local area, as if the rhizomorphs  weren't enough to deal with! I have seen many Roll Rims, Paxillus family, a poisonous mushroom that has been commonly eaten abroad but now proven to be deadly as the toxins accumulate and after one too many the body cannot take it and it becomes a fatal dose! Amanitas off all descriptions are out I've seen citrina, alba, phalloides, muscaria,pantherina and rubescens so watch out not all of these are dangerous but some are deadly so be careful and take care identifying your mushrooms!

A young Willow Shield

A nibbled more expanded Willow Shield

The white free gills and stem, with a piece of the dead willow attached to the base, which helped me id it as it looked like it was attached to the ground but actually it was attached to dead wood.

A Deer Shield

A more mature specimen Pluteus cervinus found on rotten oak under the ground.

Full cap view!

Cup fungi, Tan Ear, Otidea onotica

More Tan ear

Somethings enjoyed this Honey fungus.

A young Amanita

2nd BioBlitz event tomorrow with The National Trust

2nd BioBlitz event tomorrow with The National Trust on the South Downs, lets see how many fungi we can record for national records tomorrow!

Today in The Metro paper double page spread, pg 29 & 30

Double spread article in The Metro paper today, pages 29 & 30, get your copy on the way to work!

First BioBlitz Event a great success

A big thank you to all those that came to the BioBlitz event at Newtimber Woods, it was a great success and we managed to record just over 50 species of fungi, including various, slime molds, mushrooms and bracket fungi. Pictures will soon follow. A big thank you to Graham Wellfare at the National Trust and to the Sussex Fungi Group who contributed enormously to the success of this fungi awareness and recording day and the best bit is there are more to come.........yay!

In the truffle arena with Zebedee at the Pulborough Harvest Fair

 

This was the first time for Zeb to be in an arena at a country fair, he did well amongst  all the noise, other dogs, and the distraction of many things including someones bag of eccles cakes and still succeeded to find all the buried fresh truffles that had been hidden and in very good time!

Thanks for the photos Chloe Rice

 

 

British Summer Truffles

In the UK, truffles were relatively unknown amongst the public before the 18th century but as history recalls they have had extensive use ever since. It started in 1728, as the excitement abroad mounted, the head of Botany at Cambridge University went in search of his own truffles and recorded finds of various species from Surrey, Middlesex, Kent, Essex, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire .Further records show that truffle hunting was practiced here in the UK over the last two centuries and it carried a royal warrant for a family business in Wiltshire up until the 1930’s, run by a man called Alfred Collins, one of the last truffle hunters in the UK since foraging died out before the second world warAlfred Collins worked in the Winterslow area of Wiltshire and the Savernake Forest, which has a long history of truffle presence and then continued to successfully hunt truffles across Great Britain, covering over eight counties and on a good day foraging he often returned with 25 lbs of truffle.

Truffles have been recorded in Patching Wood near Clapham in West Sussex an area that was famously rumored for truffles and a mysterious local woman who would successfully hunt them in secret. Further historical evidence is within the truffle archive at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew with records of truffle finds in Brighton, Goring and Folkington, near Polegate.

It has taken a period of nearly eighty years for the subject of truffles to have arisen again in the UK; however they have been recently documented in press publications and on the television, highlighting their existence, new finds and cultivation potential.

Tuber aestivum are native truffles found in the UK that are cultivated commercially abroad to supply the demand for a desirable luxury,  providing high class restaurants with quality produce equivalent to caviar or fois gras. This truffle is found growing naturally in several areas of the UK, if it was possible to organize its sustainable cultivation and collection it would contribute to prosperous economic growth for local areas and supply the increasing demand. Although Tuber aestivum is considered inferior in quality and value compared to Tuber melanosporum and Tuber magnatum it isstill recognised for its gastronomical value and cultivation potential.

Truffle species found naturally in the UK.    

Tuber aestivum                                                      

Tuber borchii                                                       

Tuber brumale                                                     

Tuber macrosporum

Tuber maculatum

Tuber rufum

Tuber excavatum

Tuber mesentericum 

Choiromyces meandriformis

Aestivum smells much milder and more delicate than the french Tuber  melanosporum or the Italian Tuber magnatum. Tuber mesentericum smells strong and is considered a good truffle to eat in Italy although it is preferred cooked as it can be overwhelmingly powerful similar to carbolic soap. It is essential not to eat any truffles without a professional diagnosis as some can cause quite unpleasant tummy complaints if incorrectly identified and eaten. Tuber borchi is also considered a good edible and Tuber brumale is found here in winter also considered edible but tastes of tar. Tuber macrosporum is considered to have a very good flavor too, choice!

It is vital to understand the life cycle of Tuber aestivum and its relationship with trees, its necessary to consider that they are hypogenous ascomeceytes fungi that live within a specific community, a fundamental niche compromising of ectomycorhizzal symbiotic relationships with trees and shrubs, this is a mutualistic relationship. It is an obligate relationship for the truffle as it cannot exist without the host tree and generally a facultative relationship for the tree, except for oak and beech that do require some species of mycorhizzal presence to exit; this association increases the trees capability to absorb water. fixed nitrates, mineral irons, particularly phosphorous and potassium and in return the tubers receive carbohydrates , in the form of sugars and starches which they need to grow as they cannot photosynthesize. Where trees are present within soils of low nutrient content this association allows the trees to be in a competitive position.

Host trees for Tuber aestivum

Common name                                            Latin name

Hazel                                                           Corylus avellana

English oak                                                 Quercus robur

Holly oak                                                     Quercus ilex

Hornbeam                                                    Carpinus betulus

Beech                                                          Fagus sylvatica

Birch                                                            Betula

Poplars                                                        Poplus sp

Fir                                                                Abies

Spruces                                                        Picea

Pines                                                            Pinus

Cedars                                                          Cedrus

Lime trees                                                     Tilia

Soil

Tuber aestivum will tolerate a greater variety of soils, preferring free draining soils but ranging from chalk or limestone calcareous, rendzina types or heavy clay base types to light sandy or loamy textures .It is able to grow in rich soils, however calcium is necessary. Hence the South Downs provide a limited but perfect environment for this wonderful truffle of our own, where woodlands remain it is still possible to find these black diamonds.

Climate

Tuber aestivum requires an oceanic, semi continental or continental climate with enough rain in summer and not too much low temperature in autumn because of this it has a large distribution over Europe. It is native in 26 out of 27 European countries and it is thought to have a broad tolerance to the heat, cold and water also more resistant to short spells of temperatures below freezing. Altitude seems to play a role in their presence and they are generally found in higher grounds ranging from 100 - 1000 ft above sea level. All personal finds have been at approximately 200ft and on ley lines, don't know what to think about that but certainly interesting ! I will have to investigate further and maybe get the dowsing rods out!

Newtimber BioBlitz this Friday

First BioBlitz foray at Newtimber Wood this Friday, how exciting!! Still some places free so book now!!

http://www.bnhc.org.uk/home/bioblitz/national-bioblitz/southeast/autumn-south-downs-brighton-bioblitz-series.html?

Sweetcorn soup with Summer truffle

Preparing vats of sweetcorn soup ready for that perfect marriage. Come to the Pulborough Harvest Fair to sample some. Truffle hound demonstrations, wild mushrooms to look at and fresh truffles for sale.

Truffle hound displays and fresh truffles at the Pulborough Harvest Fair!

Come and see me and Zebedee on Sat 22nd September at the Pulborough Harvest Fair. We will be doing truffle hunting demonstrations, selling and cooking truffles,wild mushrooms snacks and forays!

Article in the The Metro, Zebedee and I found truffles!

Couldn't have gone better today, found truffles with a journalist and photographer from The Metro , what a result! It will be out on the 3rd October!!

A truffle hunt in new territories

Its always exciting when one has a chance to explore new areas that you know should have truffle presence. I have been interested in this new area for some time so it should be an interesting day!

Myself and Zebedee out on a hunt in a young beech woodland

P2150065 anna and ghyllie

"BioBlitz" and "Meet the Species" events

Forays for the National BioBlitz

Meet The Species Events

Volunteers needed

On the above dates we will be going out to record as many species of fungi as possible for BioBlitz, a campaign for UK wide biodiversity.

Friday 28th September.

The National Trust have been amazing and have allowed four forays to take place for these special events; this is the first of all three starting at Newtimber Wood, a National Trust Woodland near Brighton off the A23. This will be a full day recording as much as possible with the added advantage of being able to go back to Saddlecombe Farm, National Trust HQ's after our walk to use the facilities at the farm and hold a workshop to research and identify our finds further with the use of microscopes.

Friday 5th October

Wolstonbury Hill, Clayton. A National Trust Wood near Hassocks off the A23 Brighton. This will be a full day recording as much as possible with the added advantage of being able to go back to Saddlecombe Farm, National Trust HQ's after our walk to use the facilities at the farm and hold a workshop to research and identify our finds further with the use of microscopes.

Friday 12th October

Brighton and Hove City Council have kindly agreed for a A "Meet the Species" event to take place at Coldean Woods in Brighton, next to Stanmer Woods. This will also be tagged as a BioSphere Event.

Friday 26th October

This foray will be held at Southwick, this is a National Trust site called Whitelot Bottom, it is part of Southwick Hill and we will be recording Waxcaps and other fungi.

Friday 16th November

This foray will be the last one with the National Trust and it will be held at Slindon. A large area of sweeping downland divided by deep valleys. There are hanging beech woods and old wood pasture to focus on our recording for the day.

A wonderful opportunity to explore the house and foray within the grounds of Sedgwick Park House

Sedgwick Park House Mushroom Foray

With

Truffle and Mushroom Hunter, Melissa Waddingham

Sat 13th October 2012    1pm-4pm

£30 per person

Sedgwick Park House is a privately owned home, set within 100 acres of rolling countryside. The gardens include breathtaking views of the South Downs and Chanctonbury Ring. The estate currently comprises of the House with meadows to the front, formal gardens to the rear, and the woodland site of Sedgwick Castle to the West. John and Clare Davison have generously agreed to open their home and estate making this lovely setting available for a mushroom foray within their grounds. Our finds will be cooked in an outside kitchen .within the gardens accompanied by a traditional English tea! this will be a splendid day in wonderful surroundings and we look forward to seeing you

Please e mail Clare Davison for further information and bookings on:-

clare@sedgwickpark.com /www.sedgwickpark.com

or Melissa Waddingham on:-

truetrufflesandmushrooms@hotmail.co.uk

truffleandmushroomhunter.wordpress.com

07896156664

Truffle Hound Training

Its the perfect time to be training your pups and young dogs as its the truffle season . A must to get the newly trained dogs out in the truffle woodlands as early as possible so they can pick up on their new found smells and skills. I start hunting in August although the season starts earlier I prefer to wait until they are really worth picking, fully mature, aromatic and marbled brown inside! Makes the dogs job much easier to find too.

Meet The Species

I have been redirected by the National BioBlitz Network to a "Meet the Species" Event, which will more appropriate for the six forays that were initially intended for the BioBlitz.

http://www.bnhc.org.uk/home/meet-the-species.html

I will be holding these forays in Sussex on:-
Friday 14th September & Friday 28th September.
Friday 12th October & Friday 26th October.
Friday16th November & Friday 30th November
Locations to follow

Forays for the Bio Blitz, volunteers needed !

100_36981

Dates of Forays for the National BioBlitz
Friday14th September & Friday 28th September.
Friday 12th October & Friday 26th October.
Friday16th November & Friday 30th November

On the above dates we will be going out to record as many species of fungi as possible for BioBlitz, a campaign for UK wide Biodiversity.

On these mushroom forays I will also point out what we should expect to find and give you hand-outs with photos. I will be showing you ways how to identify good edible species and especially the poisonous ones. Absolute rule, No mushrooms are to be consumed without a professionals opinion first on any of my forays. All participants must be suitably dressed, long trousers preferably and boots. Raincoats and hats always advisable, a stick for poking about the under bracken, I have a basket or two that is all we need.

All my forays are insured and fully covered with public and products liability insurance. I am a current member of the British Mycological Society.

Contact me to book further private spring, summer or autumn forays and follow me on my blogs, facebook and Twitter.
Tel- 07896156664 e mail- truetrufflesandmushrooms@hotmail.co.uk truffleandmushroomhuter.wordpress.com fb-truffleandmushroomhunter Twitter- Mycomel1

Spring is now complete with the arrival of St Georges and Morels

A basket of spring joy, St Georges mushrooms and Thimble morels.The Morels are not in fact Morels but Verpas, edible after careful preparation but not choice. This family also known as False morels. All morels must be cooked and False morels such as all Verpas  like the ones pictured above and the Gyromitra family also called False morels should be pre boiled, water discarded and boiled once again in fresh water,then they are ready to use. Inhalation of the vapors whilst cooking is very poisonous and as dangerous as eating them raw. Always cook in a well ventilated room and do not breath in steam!!

These Thimble morels are found in chalk soil and often under Hawthorn.

St Georges!!

St Georges!!

Found St Georges today at 8 o'clock this morning in my usual spot! Lots of little ones just poking their caps through!

Its a St Georges and Morel mushroom challenge, WIN a free mushroom foray!

I challenge you to see any St Georges mushrooms or Morels before I do. I need to know as soon as their little caps start poking through the ground so if you beat me to this challenge and post a picture of your fresh Morels or St Georges still in the ground with a copy of the days paper next to it for proof of date before I do you win a free foray with me. Three winners will be randomly picked from all entries, if you beat me!Post your entries at https://www.facebook.com/truffleandmushroomhunter

SPRING FORAYS BOOK NOW FOR APRIL

Book your spring time forays now. These forays will start in mid April, the fruiting time for these Morel mushrooms pictured above is very limited so book now to avoid missing a rare opportunity to hunt for these highly rated gourmet mushrooms.

Below are St Georges mushrooms another good and unique spring species, a mealy flavored mushroom with a meaty consistency that goes well with wild garlic.

The wild garlic is just starting to appear so the mushrooms are not far behind!!

 

Mushroom foraging as a corporate group event or a team building experience.‏‏‏

I forage professionally for wild mushrooms and truffles and have featured in The Independent, The West Sussex County Times, Sussex Life Magazine, Dog World Magazine and Sublime Magazine  and on BBC South and South East News and BBC  5 Live radio. I am now offering my services for bespoke corporate events and team building excercises. I offer a novel, fun and rare opportunity to explore something appealing and original which involves getting back to nature and doing a bit of detective work. Truffle and mushroom hunting is an outdoor experience suitable for all, wether it be for individuals or groups, corporate or otherwise. Foraging is both challenging and theraputic, especially for those who spend their working week stuck behind a desk and forever in the office. This woodland event is a breath of fresh air with the healing qualities that only nature can deliver as an antidote to todays fast paced and hectic lifestyle.

Book a Mushroom and Truffle foraging corporate day with me and keep your workforce smiling:)

I can take up to 10 people per forage.

TRUFFLEANDMUSHROOMHUNTER

International kissing day

Hope you have all eaten enough truffles to get into the mood, its international kissing day!

St Georges Day Foray 23rd April 2012 Book Now!

Virtually on the day, St Georges mushrooms appear! That is if the season behaves as it should.We have been experiencing somewhat erratic weather of late affecting the fruiting bodies. Mushrooms appearing at very strange times and extended seasons occurring or no season at all when there should have been, all a bit mad!.

However sticking to natures calender I am planning a foray on the 23rd April for this very uniquely mealy flavored mushroom with a great firm texture and a good mushroom for the beginner to learn. Not a lot around at this time of year to confuse it with but one still has to be careful. They could be confused with Inocybe and Entolama fungi. They grow in large rings in the grassy fields, pasture, woodland and under hedges  and they are particular to growing in chalky soil. A large ring could yield up to a few kilos  of mushrooms. It is a wonderful time of year and wild garlic grows abundantly the perfect marriage for those handsome St Georges!

BOOK NOW FOR THIS SPRING FORAY!

Morel hunt coming soon!

Spring Foray
Just look at these babies! Getting very excited only weeks to go!

 

Truffle hunting as an Auction lot at Wincanton for Racing Welfare.

Doing a days truffle hunting as an auction lot for a Charity day at Wincanton race course on the 6th of December 2012! Supporting jockeys left seriously injured or paralysed from falls or kicks and  many other issues that face the 17,000 people employed in this sometimes dangerous sport.

Looking for woodland with the potential to host a woodland based organisation.

Attention woodland owners and estate owners I am currently looking for somewhere to base my woodland/mushroom hunting outdoor activity center. Ideally it would suit me to have access to either a redundant farm building or barn that could be modified to hold lectures, talks and courses. It will be necessary to have access to the woodlands and surrounding countryside to hold forays. Showing people how to forage in a sustainable manner and with codes of conduct, explaining and raising general awareness to the complex relationships and functions within woodlands and countryside ecology, Hopefully gaining enjoyment, respect and understanding with the public  for the protection of their local environment.

Speaking as a truffle.

I met a wonderfully creative lady artist the other day called Anna Keleher whilst training her dog as a truffle hound. She has collaborated with a fellow artist and created a project called Dreaming Places and studies how objects shape and influence our lives and how the land speaks through its dreamer. I spoke as a truffle it was a fantastic experience to do this, it was random truffle role play which was spontaneous, off the cuff, raw and apparently engaging which gave me most pleasure. Thanks Anna for including me in your experimental project. Have a listen its a great angle, love it! http://creativetorbay.com/anna-keleher/truffle-speaks-audio-foray-human-world/

A wonderful Christmas Summer truffle breakfast.

Poached eggs on tiger bread toast with gated Summer truffle!
A mountain of fresh truffle totally decadent!
Absolute perfection!

 

Going going. . .
Oh so sad its gone!

The opportunity for me to work in a Tasmanian commercial truffle plantation.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a gentleman called Simon who manages a commercial truffle plantation in Tasmania, producing Tuber melanosporum, the french black truffle. Simon who has a military background training dogs has now turned his skills to training truffle hounds for the use in his plantations at harvest time. I had the pleasure of taking him out and showing him a wild truffle woodland with excellent examples of large brulees around large beech trees. There are no native truffles in Tasmania so Simon had never seen a natural truffle woodland or a dog working out in the wild so he was very keen to see this , Zeb worked well and to crown it all he  found a truffle which completed the whole experience for my new Tasmanian friend.

I have been offered  the opportunity to go out to Tazmania and work on the plantation at harvest time, what an amazing offer, I feel very honored! Simon was very complimentary about my achievements with Zeb and I eagerly listened to all of his first class tips and tweeks,little instructions for the benefit and refinement of Zeb's further truffle career. A great Day, thanks Simon!

Two beautiful mature and aromatic truffles!

Ahh a couple of real good mature ones. They smell amazing, my kitchen has a wonderful aroma! Zeb did good!

I think I could qualify for the black handed gang!

 

Christmas vouchers available for 2012 forays

Buy a foray for friends and family for a great day out!

Five month old Labradoodle on his first mornings truffle hound training and doing very well!

Working his way around the upside down colanders, the red ones have truffle scent inside.
Nose down and loving his day out learning something new.
Good work, all achieved in a few short hours.

White Coral

Take a look at this wonderful and delicate little fungus, looks just like coral hence the name.

Clavulina coralloides
This coral like mushroom is edible but very delicate to cook.

Book Places for 2012

Truffle hunting is in season right up till February. Book now for day out with trained truffle hound. Bookings now being taken for 2012 spring and autumn mushroom forays and truffle hound training.

TRUFFLE AND MUSHROOM HUNTER

A truly original Christmas present !

A day out truffle hunting with Zebedee and myself would make an ideal and original gift for Christmas. Vouchers can be obtained from me so you have something to present on Christmas day. The season goes on until February  so plenty of time to book a day out!

Just when I thought it was all over!

A basket of Ceps, Wood Blewits, Amethyst deceivers and a Shaggy parasol. A good day out! The Blewits are the big purple and brown ones. Look at the colour of that basket just amazing the blewits almost look too crazy to eat,I have never tried them before so here goes. I do not recommend anyone to do this, I have x referenced with many books and the internet and using many years of experience to be able to tell the look a like species apart from one another. These mushrooms could be confused with Cortinarius, Hebeloma and Entoloma , these genus's have many species within them which are very poisonous and deadly ! Take great care picking all wild mushrooms and only with the advise of a pro! ! BLEWITS MUST BE COOKED, OTHERWISE POISONOUS!

Off for a hunt.

Off to a woodland with a long history of truffle hunting today, should be interesting! The village itself very famous back in the day for its truffle pie, the mind boggles !

Today's Summer truffle find.

The only one again, very odd! Usually come in clusters.

 

 

Yet another truffle found today!

I seem to only be finding single truffles, strange they normally come in clusters! Another happy fellow hunter with me today though and it was found in association with an old tree, well as ancient as beech get that is! The same tree has produced three years running for me now! Evidence of  sustainable hunting, always a great pleasure !

Listen to truffle and mushroom hunter on BBC Sussex Radio this morning, talking truffles.

Follow this link to hear me talking about Zebedee and truffles. Its a three hour program I come in five min before the end 2 hrs and 55 minutes into the program.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00krbsb This link will only be here a short time.

Link to BBC Radio Five Live with Zebedee and I

Have a listen http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b015zygh, this link will only be available for a short time. Its a three hour program but if you take the length of program indicator up to 1 hour and 56 min, that@s when my interview starts within the program.

Hope you enjoy :-)

Listen to me tomorrow morning LIVE on 95.3FM

8.50am tomorrow morning 95.3FM BBC Sussex Radio listen to me talking LIVE all about  truffles, cant believe this is happening , two radio stations in one day post tv filming this morning, can some one tell me whats going on? Truffle awareness its great and to be recognised for all its benefits from gastronomic to ecological and a lot in between !

BBC South News and BBC Five Live radio tonight with Zebedee and I, hunting and talking truffles.

Tonight or tomorrow night  at six o'clock on BBC South News, sky channel 984, Zeb and I truffle hunting! You can catch it on BBC i player too of course for a few days. And BBC five live ,909 mw / 693 mw radio tonight between 5-7 , talking truffles. with me ! Or listen  on line at www.bbc.co.uk/5live .

BBC South

About to go filming with BBC South News, how exciting !

Oyster mushrooms

Surprisingly managed to find some Oyster mushrooms yesterday which had colonized profusely on a fallen down beach tree, the largest I think that I have ever seen shame we were a week late in finding it as there were only a few left that were ok to pick and eat but great for future reference. :-)

I want rain, sorry everybody !

Doing a rain dance in the hope for an extended Autumn with moisture and warmth.

Is it the end?

Going out tomorrow for a mushroom foray to see the state of play after the little rain that we have had, not feeling that optimistic, I will keep you updated feeling the worst, it could be the end! Truffles will have to do !

One little truffle saved the day!

 A find thanks to Zebedee and myself hunting on the South Downs today on a mushroom and truffle foray. Dickie and Patty in the picture above must have been relieved as due to little rain the mushrooms have been poor and far and few between, somehow I think this made up for it!! Thankfully truffles are a bit more resistant to dry spells! Well done Zeb, he picked up the scent from the smallest left over crumbs from a previous forest dwellers feast and then zeroed in to find what I think must have been the last one there. Diggings had alerted me to look in that area, in fact they were very neat holes that caught my eye and looked as if the truffles had been plucked from the ground, leaving the roots still pointing upwards in the center of the holes, very neat, very impressive! I then put Zeb to work and he came up trumps. He got a good dinner tonight !
                                                    Successful day.

West Sussex County Times Article

Black gold is a truffling matter written by Bill Gardner in this weeks West Sussex County Times. Zebedee looking great and wanting to nibble and paw at the training truffle that he found, Treats are not enough, typical greedy Lab wants it all! Love him to bits !

I was under the impression truffles were aphrodisiacs

I was under the impression truffles were aphrodisiacs so I thought that I would test the theory and promptly rolled a truffle cowboy style down the bar at my local, directed at someone who had caught my eye ,thought it would be a good conversation starter if nothing else, certainly a novel one; however did not have quite the desired effect as after it was picked up the person recoiled dramatically and hurled it across the bar in disgust as they thought it was poo. I'm sure they are aphrodisiacs ,at least be truffle curious, I thought, oh well works for me, I will persist ! What can I say I was speechless  !

Planning reforms in England: local wildlife under threat

This must not be allowed to happen!!

"The Wildlife Trusts are concerned that a proposed overhaul of England’s existing planning system will leave vital wildlife sites with no protection and put the economic aims of the planning system ahead of its environmental commitments."http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/nppf. Please do what you can to help save our woodlands, forests and heritage !

 

West Sussex County Times

Keep your eyes out for me in the West Sussex County Times, article coming out this Thursday or next week.

A great day spent at Bentley Wood Fair with Richard Mansfield-Clark on his stand.

[caption id="attachment_188" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="Myself and Richard promoting our mushroom businesses. Richard sells mushroom growing kits and innoculated logs."][/caption]

Dates For Mushroom Hunts and Truffle Hunts

[caption id="attachment_174" align="alignnone" width="768" caption="Amethyst Deceiver"][/caption]

24th September                                                                Petworth                                                                   10am – 3pm

A beginner’s guide to mushroom identification, a foray aimed for all ages that are interested fungi and understanding their role in our environment. Picking and consumption of fungi will not take place on this foray; it will be a visual foray but bring your camera!

25th September                                                               Summer Truffle Hunt                                                                  10am-3pm

The location a secret, all will be revealed on the day, blindfolds will be provided! ( Joke!)

I think this could be the first ever truffle foray for the public in Sussex and maybe in England too! Be the first!

We will be hunting with my truffle hound Zebedee, this is none the less still a challenge and a real hunt, I will take you to areas where in my expertise I feel that we will have very good chances of finding, although it is not called hunting without a reason, I don’t always come home with black diamonds. Sometimes you do sometimes you don’t. It’s a bit like fishing! However it’s always a good day out with lots of truffle knowledge to be learnt and plenty of tips to be had to help you on your way to becoming a truffle hunter, although having a trained dog is an essential part of the kit! Truffle hounds welcome!

1st October                                                                                    Petworth                                                                     10am-3pm

                                            In the hunt of Porcini 

This foray will be focused on finding mushrooms from the boletus family but one in particular the penny bun, cep or better known by chefs as the porcini, a king of the mushroom world.

I will show you how to prepare and cook them in an open on site rustic kitchen too, a little extra bonus for you all, as they are so special!

2nd Octboer                                                                                    Horsham                                                                    10am- 3pm       

               Searching for species of mushroom found in broadleaf woodland

This will be a general foray for the more experienced hunter gatherer, hoping to achieve a colourful basket of edible mushrooms at the end of the day. I will show you how to prepare and cook these for their best flavours to be appreciated; again this will all be done on site in an open kitchen in the woods!

8th October                                                                                      Petworth                                                                    10am-3pm  

                Searching for species of mushroom in conifer woodland                                

Another good opportunity to find some mushrooms of a different genus, some only found in conifer like the unmistakable cauliflower fungus.

[caption id="attachment_178" align="alignnone" width="768" caption="A  good days hunting !"][/caption]

 

9th October                                                                                        Alfriston                                                                   10am-5pm

         

                         Mixed  fungi foray/Truffle and Mushroom hunt

Coming to the end of the season, all will be dependent! A good days foraging with variation and mixed woodland all in one. This day out will probably be the last one so I will make it a good long day; this one is for the fit an able, ready to keep pace and active, I will keep you posted via my blog at http://truffleandmushroomhunter.wordpress.com and    https://twitter.com/#!/mycomel1  and you can call me on my mobile for any further questions or bookings 07896156664.  I charge £60.00 per person per foray and £80.00 per person for a truffle hunt, small groups only max five so book early!

A mushroom foray will take up the whole day but will be split up into various parts. Starting with an introduction to mushrooms before we set off, highlighting a few mushroom picking rules and code of conduct for sustainable picking and regard for the local environment.

I will also point out what we should expect to find and give you hand-outs with photos. I will be showing you ways how to identify good edible species and especially the poisonous ones.  Absolute rule, No mushrooms are to be consumed without a professionals opinion first on any of my forays.

All participants must be suitably dressed, long trousers preferably and boots. Raincoats and hats always advisable, a stick for poking about the under bracken and don’t forget a basket, plastic bags are just not acceptable and destroy your finds. Refreshments i.e. water a must! Insect spray too!

Fairy tail mushroom Oops ! Fly agaric

[caption id="attachment_162" align="alignnone" width="768" caption="Very poisonous and hallucinogenic not a good focus point for kids really !"][/caption]

Saw this today and not for the first time !

[caption id="attachment_157" align="alignnone" width="768" caption="A stink horn with his mates loving him right up, it did stink as well sorta sweet an sickly rotting odeur !"][/caption]

Article in the Independent today

Article in the Independent newspaper today featuring Nick Weston and myself truffle hunting and cooking up some previous finds.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/buried-treasure-cook-up-an-exotic-truffle-feast-2354848.html

[caption id="attachment_148" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="Nick checking out a possible find."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_149" align="alignnone" width="884" caption="Nick and I with Chef Dan Baker in the Rainbow Inn in the heart of the South Downs"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_147" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="Looks good enough to devour!"][/caption]

My Fungi Photo Gallery

I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU CONSUME MUSHROOMS IDENTIFIED ON THIS SITE OR ANY OTHER WEBSITE. YOU MUST HAVE A PROFESSIONALS POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION IN PERSON. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTENT POSTED ON THIS SITE. THIS CONTENT IS TO BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
All my own personal finds in this photo gallery, all of the edible ones were eaten.

Photographed below was my first find of truffles, Tuber aestivum.

Two little Summer Truffles.

The inside gleba of Tuber aestivum.

Reddish like truffles in my hand found below beech but in fact I think they are Hydnotrya tulasnei. Not considered edible.

Hydnotrya tulasnei / False Truffle

More Summer Truffles and a tired dog

A fine specimen, cow web and all.

Summer truffles and wild marjoram.

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Morels a close relation to truffles. These are Semi Free Morels, Morchella semilibera. Said to be edible but causes stomach upset in some people. All edible Morels must be cooked!

A happy forager Pattie Whittaker, that little Summer Truffle saved the day after a few hours of looking!

Satisfied customers Dickie and Pattie Whittaker 

Fit to be in the black handed gang with two black diamonds, yes Summer Truffles again.

Semi Free Morels, they are found on loose ground and like chalk, often found growing in association with Hawthorn and Ash trees. Be careful not to confuse with False Morel or Thimble Morel, Gyromitra family and Verpa family. As if they weren't phallic enough they smell of semen, honestly!

On the left is a Thimble Morel Verpa Conica with clear stripes going around the stem with a folded cap with brain like qualities rather than pits and chambers like the honeycomb structure of real Morels. If you were to chop this mushroom in half you would see that the stem goes all the way to the top of cap. The Semi Free Morel on the right is a True Morel but the stem only goes half way up inside the cap, hence giving this mushroom its name as the cap is semi free.

A Semi Free Morel, such a stunning picture, thanks Nick Weston for this photo!

Common Morel, Yellow Morel, Morchella esculenta, a choice mushroom considered one of the best along side Truffles and Porchini. These must be cooked! The flavor is intensified when dried. These also like chalky and loose soil, they associate with Elm, Ash, Apple and Poplar. Clear distinguishing features are the pits and chambers a bit like honeycomb, the cap structure defining true Morels. If you were to cut this Morel in half the real id feature is that the stem does not enter inside the cap at all and the stem and cap are hollow and in two chambers.

A Common Morel chopped in half so that you see the inside view which distinguishes it to be a Morel and not a false one,  the cap joins at the base of the mushroom leaving the cap hollow, free of stem. The caps are extremely fragile and crumble very easily.

Thimble Morels, Verpa Conica. One of them has been cut in half, you can see the cotton wool like lining in the stem. Considered edible but water must be discarded after pre boiling and process repeated again, then apparently they are ok to eat but repeated consumption is not recommended. I would not eat these as a precautionary measure. False Morels are also eaten after this preparation in some countries, although illnesses have been attributed to long term consumption of False Morels. When boilng these types of False Morels it must be done in a well ventilated room and inhalation of vapours and steam must be avoided at all cost as this would have the same effect as eating the poisonous raw False Morel. It can have fatal consequences. I do not recommend at all!!

Gyromitrin is a hemolytic toxin found in False Morels it destroys red blood cells. It  affects the central nervous system and the liver and gastrointestinal tract becomes damaged. It takes between 6 to 12 hours before symptoms become apparent. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting,cramps, diarrhea, weakness and headaches; if the condition is very bad, these may develop into convulsions, jaundice, coma, and death.

Pine Bolete, Boletus pinophilus  found under Douglas fir, this mushroom forms mycorhizzal associations  predominantly with Conifer trees and Chestnut. These mushrooms are found in late Spring until Autumn. A firm texture and good flavor. Flesh above tubes turns reddish when cut.Stem has a reddish net like pattern which turns red if bruised, as you can see in the picture.

Pine Bolete, Pine Wood King Bolete, Boletus pinophilus. A Very good edible! No maggotts. Fruiting on there own or in groups between Spring to  Autumn. This mushroom is known to be a bioaccumulator of heavy metals, especially mercury if present.

Boletus luridiformes, cap light brown to dark tan brown, stem yellow covered with red dots giving a red appearance, this mushroom bruises dark blue immediately after  cutting. This mushroom is edible but MUST BE COOKED , also causes gastric upset in some! Be  careful not to confuse with deadly Devil Bolete or other red pored poisonous Boletus, as a rule I only eat Boletus species with yellow pores and tubes.

Boletus Luridiformes, flushes blue on cutting straight away. The blue flushing is not an indication that this mushroom is edible as many other Boletus do this in varying degrees and some of the poisonous ones do too! Like the Oldrose Bolete, Devil Bolete or Boletus rhodoxanthus (red data list).

Chanterelle or Girolle, Cantharellus cibarius. These mushrooms can be found  early in May right up until early winter, a great mushroom prized by the French and my first early memory of collecting mushrooms. They are a mycorhizzal type of mushroom and associate with many broadleaf trees and pines to form a mutually beneficial partnership. They like sandy soils and smell of apricots.They have veins instead of gills. Be careful not to confuse with the False Chanterelle or the very poisonous  Jack O'lantern often found growing in clumps on dead wood. See poisonous section to compare the two.

Hedgehog Mushrooms are the white mushrooms with spines in the bottom right hand side of picture.

That's got to be the ultimate basket of Autumn mushrooms for any forager, it took me two days hunting but a proud day exhibiting it at Bentley Museum and wildfowl center.

Larch Bolete, Suillus grevilleri a popular mushroom  and frequently eaten in Eastern Europe. Found under Larch in late summer through to autumn. Cap, stem and flesh are all bright yellow. The underneath has small pores also yellow bruising a pale reddish brown.

Another angle taken of the Larch Bolete but its been a bit munched. Love the bugs!

Young Winter Chanterelle, Yellow Foot, Craterellus tubaeformis

A Good view of the yellow stems and vein like gills, synonymous with Chanterelles.

A mature Winter Chanterelle, Yellow Foot, Craterellus tubaeformisa clear shot of the vein like ridges going right down onto the stem as oppose to gills, a clear identification feature. The stem clearly yellow with a brown cap. These were found among'st various conifers predominantly pines.

Oyster Mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus. An edible excellent mushroom, grown commercially too for its excellence and good texture, its smells faintly of mushroom slightly sweet even minutely aniseed like. It is a saprotroph that acts as a primary decomposer on dead wood. Found frequently on fallen down Beech trees growing in shelf like formations, a fully colonized tree can look quite amazing when covered in these spectacularly oyster like mushrooms with a pearlescent shimmer, when caught in the right light! They come in various shades of white an cream and some are even almost grey/ blue. These trees can fruit up to two or three times a year, temperature change and day light hours and rain all trigger fruiting.

Baby Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota procera .

A fully grown Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota procera. This mushroom is found in pasture and in grassy fields, downland and on the edge of woodlands, its saprobic and helps decay  dead organic vegetation. This mushroom has a double edged  ring which will spin freely and go up and down stem, a good id feature and the stem has snake skin type markings. The cap has a pronounced brown bump in the center and the cap is covered with small brown scales These mushrooms should only be picked at full maturity ie when  they are full, size as not to confuse with any smaller poisonous look alike lepiotas, Stinking Dapperlings for example.

A fully grown Parasol Mushroom, Macrolepiota procera with a good shot of that scaly cap and raised dark center. .

Cauliflower Fungus, Sparrasis crispa a parasitic mushrooom that grows on the roots of conifers. A good edible great for ravioli!

St Georges Mushroom, Calocybe gambosa a fabulous spring mushroom which virtually comes out on St Georges day. 23rd April. It is found within a broad soil type but likes chalk. I It grows in rings and troops under hedges on the side of roads (do not eat mushrooms from the side of roads, they absorb heavy metals and pollutants from cars) in fields and woodlands. It has a strong mealy smell, firm white flesh and gills,a very good edible. Be careful not to confuse with spring species of Entoloma, these generally have pinkish gills and no mealy aroma.

A Spring basket of joy! St Georges, Primrose flowers and violets.

A Common Puff Ball, Lycoperdon perlatum edible when young but not choice.

An old Common Puff Ball,  Lycoperdon perlatum  that has shot out its spores to the wind!

A Mosiac Puff Ball,  Handkea utriformis found on heaths, pasture and grass fields. This is an amazing looking puff ball and gets to big sizes approx 20 cm tall and 25 cm wide with an amazing mosiac pattern and texture. Smell not all that pleasant a bit inky but edible non the less when young. This mushroom has antibiotic qualities but prone to absorbing copper and zinc in high proportions.

A Mosiac Puff Ball, Handkea utriformis photo taken from above, amazed at it perfect circular shape!

An old A Mosiac Puff Ball,  Handkea utriformis

A Basket of Parasoles and Mosiac Puff Balls

A lawyers Wig, Shaggy Ink Cap, Coprinus comatus. A great begginers mushroom, there is no other like it. Not the best choice mushroom but delicate and worthwhile. Some people cook in milk I have yet to try! Its a saprobic mushroom that helps to decay dead organic vegetation, primarily wood and dung. They are found in pasture, grass verges and fields, it likes highly fertilized areas.This mushroom quickly decompose and become very slimey,black and inky, hence their name Ink was made from these mushrooms in the past and used with feathered ink pens. It is not good to eat at this stage and must be eaten when at it prime as in the picture below.

It has a close relative the Common Ink Cap which although edible must not be consumed with alcohol otherwise it causes palpitations and sickness.

The Prince, Agaricus augustus A wonderful agaric, easy to identify. It is a handsome bold mushroom which stands out with its long pendangular ring and white stem and gills. The cap has brown radiating scales. This mushroom is quite hard to find in good condition, I was amazed to find this beautiful specimen before the worms has got to it as they are very partial to a bit of Prince.

I'm not too fond of this sometimes confusing Agaric genus and always relived that mycologists rely on chemicals to ascertain correct and true identification within this genus; without this it is apparently very hard to be sure. I have always treated this genus with caution as I felt it could be easy to make a mistake. It has always amused me when the real amateur has such confidence when picking just a good ole field mushroom Mmmme it does worry me! Look out for the yellow bleeders and a few others that smell a bit phenolic, inky or like carbolic soap, they are the bad ones that can give very nasty upset stomach..

Agaricus urinascens

Young Agaricus urinascens , I only picked three from a huge ring of mushrooms all at different stages of maturity. Smell of almonds/marzipan and the large one in the picture is the size of a grapefruit.
 
A good close up of the ring Agaricus urinascens of which will become independent of the cap as the mushroom grows.
 
A close up on top of the cap, wart like.
Agaricus urinascens in the pan, they were very good, firm, crisp bite and good flavor.

Amethyst Deciever, Laccaria amethystina a bright purple small mushroom found in broadleaf wood land abundant and common.It is called a deceiver because as the cap dries out and looks brown one is deceived into not picking it. Good for colour in pickled jars of mushrooms but that's about all, its a bit tough with a mild mushroom taste. It has the capability of absorbing high levels of arsenic. Pretty little thing though!

 A very old Shaggy Ink Cap, Coprinus comatus, now you can see why they get the name! Do not eat at this stage.

Fairy Ring Champignion, Marasmius oreades. A good edible found from spring throught to Autumn. MUST BE COOKED. Often in rings, ring discolored brown due to competition from mycelium, this is the only mushroom that grows in a ring that discolors the ring brown with an outer and inner circle of nitrogen enriched darker grass either side.

Fairy Ring Champignons, Marasmius oreades. Cap, gills and stem creamy beige, gills widely spaced. Stem tough, central boss in cap a strong id feature. Make sure that this mushroom is not confused with any early fruiting mushrooms such as Ivory Funnel Cap, Clitocybe dealbata and Fools Funnel, C. rivulosa. One way of telling them apart is that the gills of the Fairy Ring Champignons delicious species are free of the cap and the poisonous species gills flow down the stem or are firmly attached.

Dryads Saddle,Pheasant Backed Mushroom, Polyporus Squamosus. Edible when young otherwise as tough as old boots, tastes good too, mushroomy and unexpectedly ok!  Parasitic, found on Elm, Beech, Sycamore  in Spring about the time St Georges are out. It causes white rot and digests the lignin within the wood, finally killing the tree.

Chicken Of The Woods, Letiporus Sulphureus. A large bracket fungus found in late Spring to Autumn. Bright orange and yellow with pores on the underneath. Found on Oak, Cherry, Chestnut, Willow and Yew ,do not eat this mushroom found on Yew, as Yew is poisonous and may affect the mushrooms edibility. This mushroom MUST BE COOKED otherwise can cause stomach upset and cramps.

Young Chicken Of The Woods, Letiporus Sulphureus. This mushroom MUST BE COOKED otherwise can cause stomach upset and cramps.

Hedgehog Fungus, Wood Hedgehog, Pied de Mouton, Hydnum repandum. These mushrooms are found in mixed woodlands and among'st conifer. The caps are a bit suede like and they have spines instead of gills, they are cream colored to pinkish. often found growing in rings. Very good edible firm texture and good flavor, regularly eaten abroad.

More Hedgehogs

Take a look at this guy hes been munching away , so hes the culprit as always! Like his style!

Giant Funnel, Leucopaxillus giganteus. Often Found in rings from Summer to Autum, cap is 30 cm across and I would not eat anything smaller than this in this genus, for me this size is a clear identification as the many species within this family are smaller and hard to distinguish without a microscope, it is a good edible, sweet, mealy and a good mushroom flavor but be careful with this mushroom if you decide to have the courage there are some good edibles within this genus but more poisonous ones . The poisonous  ones contain  toxins such as muscarine and others.

Saffron Milk Cap,Lactarius deliciosus. This mushroom is a highly prized mushroom an excellent edible, highly prized in Europe. The milk is carrot colour and the flesh bruises green. Stem has distinctive round depressions, orange and sometimes green, these little marks are a clear identification feature of this species.

Saffron Milk Cap, A clear picture of the gills, marks on carrot colored stem  and vivid orange after cutting.These were found in among'st Pines.

Shaggy Parasole, Macrolepiota rhacodes. I eat these and like alot, with me they are ok but have been warned by veteran tree expert and mycologist Ted Green," people will come a cropper eating these and its just a matter of time! "So kind words of warning taken on board and passing on the message. They are considered an edible but with some people it has adverse affects and  causes a very unpleasant stomach upset. Generally found in woodland or close by conifer, it has a strong smell sort of spicy.

Shaggies being cooked up!! Cut in circles for a change.

A Chanterelle, Porchini, Deceivers  and Black trumpet medley with Quail eggs!

A late season basket of Blewits, Parasoles and Porcini. I would not normally pick such a young Porcini (bottom right) but a few had been kicked over by someone so I took em ! A bit mad to be finding Porcini  and Parasols in December as well!!

Wood Blewit, a great late mushroom, early winter. Perfumed smelling, bluish violet colour throughout careful not to confuse with any Cortinarius species of similar colours.

 Butter Wax Cap, Hygrocybe ceracea  found in pasture. Greasy cap, striate at the margin of cap, these brightly yellow to orange coloured Wax Caps are edible.

The broadly spaced gills of Wax Caps.

White Coral fungus, Clavulina corralloides. A very delicate and pretty little fungus also edible, common in conifer and broadleaf woodland.

White Coral Fungus, closer up!

A Summer Truffle poking through the ground.

All the next photos are either not edible, should not be eaten or poisonous, Remember do not eat mushrooms without the advise of a professional !!

Brown Roll Rim, Paxillus involutus. This mushroom is very poisonous. It may not affect you the first time or even the second but the toxins accumulate within and after repeated consumption it can be fatal. It has been responsible for numerous deaths. Found in deciduous  woodland often with birch and heathland, Has easily been mistaken for other types of mushroom. Brown cap, always darker in the middle, bruising red/brown on stem cap and gills. Cap is very inrolled  when young with clear grooved margins along the edge. The cap can be easily removed from stem.

Brown Roll Rim, gills and cap show discoloration after bruising.

In the above picture is the egg stage of a stink horn, said to be edible but I would not like to recommend this ball of slime.

Fully grown Stinkhorn, flies attracted to the green sickly smelling spores.

Fly agaric, a hallucinogenic poisonous mushroom which can result in deep comas and occasional death . Amanita muscaria , Amanitas are a dangerous genus.

Fly Agaric depicted as a fairy tale mushroom aimed at children, maybe not so clever!

Love how these Fly Agarics have lifted the soil with them.

False Death Cap, Amanita citrina, slightly poisonous maybe even not but should be well avoided in case of confusion between other deadly species of Amanita.

Jack o'lantern,  Omphalotus olearius highly poisonous cause severe abdominal cramps which last for a few days. Careful not to confuse these for Chanterelles.

Jack o'Lantern

Sulphur tufts, Hypholoma fasciculare. This picture does not do this mushrooms colour justice as it can be bright yellow. Found in coniferous and broadleaf woodland. Not edible , possibly poisonous!.

A Dark Scaled Mushroom, Agaricus moelleri . A Poisonous agaric mushroom found in chalk woodland.  Its a bit like a yellow bleeder with similar poison and also has flesh that turns yellow on bruising.Fruits in large troops.

A Dark Scaled Mushroom, Agaricus moelleri .

Violet Web Cap, Cortinarius violaceus, Said to be edible but not recommended as part of the very dangerous genus, nearly all the species within this genus contain very nasty toxins,  a mycorhizzal mushroom that is On Red Data list and should not be picked as it is an endangered species.

Shaggy  Scalycap , Pholiota Squarrosa. This mushroom has been known to cause problems if eaten often or with alcohol so best avoided. Found on old Aspen, Birch and other deciduous tress.

A Rustgill mushroom

My Mushroom Farm pics below

Innoculating logs with mycelium plugs

Fir Oyster plugs lined up ready to go in.

Woodland  mushroom  cultivation farm, rounds of Chicken of the Woods, Pearl and Oyster Mushroom and a stack of Shiitake logs.

Mushroom logs

Lions Maine mushroom logs

Other truffle related events that I have done.

Truffle hound training session with the wonderful Marion Dean to confirm to myself I was on the right path with Zebedee.

Zebedee and myself at truffle training school with Marion Dean at the only  truffle hound competition that has taken place in the UK. A great day which affirmed to me that I was training Zeb in the right way, he didn't come first but not last either, as an eight month old pup I was happy!

Marion Dean at her truffle hound competition, a wonderful event!

Hard to see but this is when I attended the Spoleto Tuber Conference In Umbria 2008, I did a presentation on Marketing and Advertising. Raising truffle awareness for gastronomical, ecological,conservation, sustainable and economic reasons.

Young truffle trees, oak whips ready to plant out that already have the mycorhizzal asociation on the roots, which after a few years wait should produce truffles.

Richard Mansfield Clark and I at Bentley Museum in East Sussex for the Woodland and Countryside Festival at the Wildfowl Center at Bentley Museum, Thanks Richard for letting me hijack your stand!

All photographs on this site, except for photographs directly attributed to other photographers, are the property of Melissa Waddingham, Copyright 2017.

My truffle hound Zebedee at work

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Zebedee on the scent of a truffle!

First find of the season

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Picture of a Summer truffle, small first find of the season harvested about two months ago, I was not encouraged to look anymore as this truffle was immature, patience crucial to obtain best specimens that are of edible and gastronomical value and flavor.

April 24, 2017

Truffle Hunting Vouchers

My fungi blog Thinking about great present ideas? Vouchers are now available for Truffle Hunts…
February 27, 2017

My new logo

Proud to present my new logo! A big thank you to Tess Smith and Emma…
January 16, 2017

They are still out there!

If you wish to hunt for truffles they are still out there, a combination of…
December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and want to take this opportunity to…
October 29, 2016

Summer truffle for sale!

I have a little extra Sussex summer truffle for sale if anyone is interested...?
October 28, 2016

Devil's Fingers just in time for Halloween *Cackle Cackle*

Sedgwick House Mushroom Foray, Clathrus archeri I believe, shame some got mowed over by the…
October 21, 2016

Wakehurst Place staff foray

So nice to get feed back from events, especially one like this: "Hey Melissa! Yeah…
October 05, 2016

Wakehurst Place- Bountiful Botanics

Come and see me this weekend at Wakehurst Place I will be doing a fungi…
September 17, 2016

My Truffle Tag Line

I'm adopting this phrase as my tag line as I use it so frequently "Look…
September 04, 2016

The New Forest, Fungi Ban

There is very little scientific evidence for either argument, lets face it. I would like…
September 02, 2016

Hunting with the Truffle Fly an acquired skill.

I'm back after a long three months of exploring many truffle grounds abroad...what a trip!…