Mushrooms are in high season – not only in castell

Hunting fever is on the rise. It affects more and more people. A small knife is enough for them as a weapon. So they simply cut the prey at the fub and put it in a basket. This currently fills unusually easily and quickly. The steigerwald and the surrounding area are a dorado for mushroom pickers these days.

The riedel/genske family from castell has been one of the latter for years. As soon as "mushroom weather the trio is drawn out into the forest, meadows and fields. Eight-year-old marius was out and about with his parents this weekend. Mama claudia's and papa bertram's eyes still light up when they think of the edible treasures they brought home. "It was just amazing", bertram riedel's mushroom hunting record: "we've had some nice finds in the past. But there was nothing like that!"

Coarser mushrooms than normal

Champingnons, whose umbrellas are coarser than soup plates, boletus mushrooms, under which a fox child finds cover, and chestnut cane mushrooms, which feel as if they are covered with velvet and "already smell like autumn" – the family found all these delights at different places in the steigerwald. In just under two hours, two mega-baskets were filled – and they were so heavy that only daddy bertram could carry them.

In fact, this is an unusually good time to stock up on homegrown goodies. In the months of august and september this year there were hardly any mushrooms. "It was too dry", female mushroom expert renate schoor. They have their consultation room in the heidingsfeld offices of the wurzburg city forestry service. There she offers advice as needed. And this was on monday – after the great "mushroom weather"-weekend – gigantic.

Only now is mushroom weather

Normally the consultation time lasts from 10 to 12 o'clock. But this time it was not enough. Because the rush was huge. A queue of more than 40 collectors with mushroom baskets and buckets stood in front of the door. Renate schoor had already thought of something like this. The weekend before, the passionate mushroom lover herself had been out and about in the spessart region and had come across many parked cars along every field path – the vehicles of mushroom pickers.

"In the past weeks the weather was optimal. First the rain and now the fog with still warm temperatures during the day – just ideal for the growth of mushrooms", says the expert. The fine mist droplets gently seep into the forest floor, drenching moss and foliage and feeding the mushrooms in the soil. Schoor speaks of explosive multiplication – and that with an infinite variety of species and an extremely large number of specimens per mushroom species. "Everyone finds something."

The expert assumes that the mushroom season 2012 has reached its peak now. For it is predicted a temperature depression. If it really does become wintry already, schoor will be at their next advisory meeting on 29. October certainly visit much less collectors than this week.

Picking mushrooms before the frost

Mushrooms are available all year round, but the main season is from the end of august until the first frosts. In some years there are still boletus mushrooms at the end of november. But be careful: once mushrooms are frozen in the forest, they can not be used again. They can then cause food poisoning.
If you are not sure about mushrooms or have not been picking them for a long time, you should take an experienced person with you into the forest or ask for advice from mushroom experts like renate schoor. In the past, these experts were also mushroom consultants. They take an exam and can then give public advice in schools, adult education centers, associations, mushroom advisory centers on the edibility and toxicity of mushrooms and their role for humans and the environment.
Bertram, claudia and marius from castell are sure that their finds are not only edible, but that they will become culinary delights of the highest order in their home kitchen. The reward for hours of mushroom cleaning sounds extremely tempting: porcini carpaccio, venison mushrooms with porcini and mediterranean grilled mushrooms… Marius is already licking his lips: "mushroom picking is worthwhile!"

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