Johnny popped round the other day to say that St Georges day mushrooms would be out the next day. And he was right. Johnny started foraging at 5 with his dad, so he knows his stuff. Apparently St George’s day mushrooms come out regularly within a few days of St Georges day.
Last time Tim and Johnny went out they were looking for ramsoms/wild garlic, and came across two different types. One lot was like the one’s Tim found in Devon, and has picked up in the Amersham area, with a delicate garlic flavour. The other had a much narrower leaf, and white flowers, with a more pungent garlic aroma.
Johnny finds big puffballs sometimes, which he shares with neighbours that aren’t able to get about as well as he does. At 82 Johnny certainly gets about, he doesn’t waste a moment of life, getting involved in all sorts of things locally, and jaunts off to visit friends in other parts of the country, under his own steam.
Johnny ‘Mushroom’ is a bit of a legend locally, and a hero for Tim. He worked in engineering until he was 74! He’s involved with amateur dramatics, goes to live music events and knows the words to plenty of German drinking songs – we hear he’s a spoon player, too. (One of my Uncle’s used to play the spoons, it involved some sort of business with swapping his knees around – wonder if that’s a Bucks thing?)
Johnny has given permission to post a bit about him and his foraging, with pictures – as long as we don’t reveal his foraging spots.
Tim is hoping to be able to add some foraged ingredients to Temperance Summer menu. Not mushrooms though – most mushrooms fruit later in year, late summer to autumn and it’s bit of a risky business, best left to the experts like Johnny.