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Culinary Mushroom Foraging

Each Fall, mushroom foragers congregate in the Tofino area to fill their baskets with treasured fungi. New to mushroom foraging? Here are two great opportunities to learn about mushrooms of the West Coast...

Join our Chef, Ian Riddick, and explore the culinary possibilities in an intimate guided forage in the wilds of our backyard, the spectacular Pacific Rim,
OR
Join the Raincoast Education Society for a 3-day weekend field course (based out of the Tofino Botanical Gardens)

1. Guided Forage with Chef Ian Riddick

Chef Riddick has been sourcing and foraging ingredients from the forests of British Columbia for the past 20 years and this is a unique opportunity to get off the beaten path with Chef Riddick, a chance to fill your basket with mushrooms and knowledge!

Guests pay with a mandatory minimum donation of $20 Cdn per person, which goes to the Raincoast Education Society, helping to shape an environmentally sustainable future for the Clayoquot and Barkley Sound region through education and community stewardship. With an hour travel time out and back, guests meet at the Surf Club for a 2 p.m. departure and are returned to the hotel at around 5 p.m. It is advised that patrons wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing, a rain jacket, sturdy moisture proof footwear and bring a snack, water, any sunscreen or insect repellent and cameras.

Our wild places are home to black bear, coastal wolves and cougars. Like all outdoor activities we will use caution and prepare ourselves for the very rare chance of an encounter.

Each guided tour includes...

  • Pre and post forage briefing explaining the geography, mushroom varieties and safety points of the forage.
  • Forage for choice edibles and learn about local etiquette and technique.
  • Collection equipment, bags, baskets and mushroom knife (Unless you traveled with your own!)
  • Transportation
Please, no pets permitted on this tour

A Mushroom Hunting Checklist...

When you take to the wilds in search of mushrooms, be prepared! Here is a checklist for the well-equipped mushroom forager:

Supplied by the lodge... for your convenience:
  • Basket | collection container
  • Compass & GPS
  • Mushroom knife | brush
  • Shared field guides
  • First Aid Kit

Not supplied... on your body
  • Comfortable non-restrictive clothing
  • Rain jacket | Rain pants
  • Sturdy moisture proof boots | Hiking shoes
  • Hat - appropriate for conditions

Not supplied... in your backpack
  • Snack
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Notebook & pencil
  • Photography equipment

Local rules | etiquette
  • Provincial Parks & National Parks are for the enjoyment of all. No picking. First Nations lands require permission to forage.
  • In the forest we will always leave it cleaner than we found it. Pack out what you pack in.
  • Cut all mushrooms with a knife. The underground system of mycelium is important to regenerate the fruiting body. This also ensures that your mushrooms are as clean as possible before they are in your basket.
  • All members of the tour will be required to stay within 75 meters of the group at all times.
  • Do not collect more than you need and always leave viable mushrooms behind to regenerate the patch.
  • When in doubt of identity do not consume any mushroom or wild food.

Mushrooms we can expect to find in the forest of the Pacific Rim...

  • Cauliflower Mushroom – Sparassis crispa
  • Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus sulphurous
  • Hedgehog Mushroom – Hydnum repandum
  • King Bolete – Boletus edulis
  • Admirable Bolete - Boletus mirabilis
  • Yellowfoot Chanterelle - Craterellus tubaeformis
  • Saffron Milk Cap – Lactarius deliciosus
  • Shaggy Mane - Coprinus comatus
  • Pine Mushroom – Tricholoma magnivelare

2. Mushrooms of the West Coast with the Raincoast Education Society...

October 2015, Dates TBA, based out of the Tofino Botancial Gardens.

Topics to be covered include:
  • Introduction to fungi - what are they and what is their role in our forests?
  • Essentials of collecting and identifying fungi in the field
  • Edible, medicinal and poisonous fungi
  • Cooking with wild mushrooms

Registration & Information

For more information call the Raincoast Education Society at 250.725.2560 or email info@raincoasteducation.org.