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Wild Gourmet Food


The "Canary" Project


Wild...the original organic!

Why Record Soil Temperature & Information The Unpredictability Factor With the changing of the weather , and dare I say the "climate changes", we are finding it more and more difficult to predict collection seasons on everything. This year we observed a drop of 4 degrees F in one of our woods from the time we began recording in May, 68 F to 64 F in the beginning of June. This after more than a week of 90 degree+ temperatures. Need I say this was not the best morel season we have ever seen?

Bobbie's Butternut Russula, July 4, 2004 - two weeks late.

You will notice that in the botanical listings request, we have long since stopped trying to predict to our chefs and ourselves when they might be able to expect any of these. They come when they come. We have watched a march of mushrooms, which use to be found only in the southern part of Vermont, reach Jay's Peak near the Canadian border. Fall mushrooms come in the spring and some mushrooms just don't bother to come at all.

A Voice for the Wildthings (June 29, 2005)| NRCS This Week | Focus on the Field. Such occurrences have unfortunately been part of Nova Kim and Les Hook's lives -two Vermont wildcrafters whose plea before the State legislature to "save ... Natural Resources Conservation Service USDA

The Earth Garden Path so I was keen to ask kim ... For details... kim ... For details... ... For details... The Earth Garden Path Australia

Climate Change Fruitful for Fungi ...changes in species behavior during springtime apparently related to climate... BBC Environmental News

In desperation, for both our sanity and the expense, we finally started measuring soil temperatures in our mushroom beds to try to understand when they might decide to dain us with their appearance. It has proven an interesting and useful experience.

First Morels of season - May 5, 2005 Full three weeks late.

First, it always helps to take the time to read what you are recording during the year you are actually doing it. Why, because it is ever so much less embarrassing to discover your equipment wasn't working early in the season rather than the next year when you begin sharing it with visiting soil scientists. Sounds foolish, believe me I felt more than foolish. We would rush in, take measurements, rush out to the next spot if nothing was showing or gleefully collect if they had arrived. Well, we now stop and take the time to observe the equipment...not just our surroundings. We would be able to tell you if one tree was down, a bed destroyed, or a new species coming in... So, if you use the Soil Recording Card and Sheet...please not if there seems to be too many similar readings. We hope that you will use the Soil Recording Card and Sheet, and Feel free to make copies as needed, to record areas that you frequent or spots close to your home. It is our hope to distribute both Soil Thermometers and Soil Recording Cards and Sheets to the other Wild Food Gatherers, Collectors and Wildcrafters who will be attending the Terra Madre 2006 in Turin, Italy, later this year. We are working with a near and dear friend (who knows about things like this) to develop a central data collection center so that comparisons can start being kept. It is our belief that others like us have been noticing the same changes. The difference, between the scientists and ourselves, we are there on a regular and routine basis and notice the subtle changes that a visitor would be inclined to miss. Please join us in this important collection and observation project.

Chanterelles - August 30, 2006 4 degree drop in soil temperature.

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Canary project 1