Mushroom Foraging with Gary Goldman the Mushroom Fundi in Cape Town

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a BIG surprise. That is, provided you’re following Cape Town’s very own Mushroom Fundi Gary Goldman. Armed with nothing but baskets, boots and pocket knives you’ll head into the forest and learn how to track down elusive porcini, pine rings, slippery Jacks and more. […]

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a BIG surprise. That is, provided you’re following Cape Town’s very own Mushroom Fundi Gary Goldman. Armed with nothing but baskets, boots and pocket knives you’ll head into the forest and learn how to track down elusive porcini, pine rings, slippery Jacks and more. How’s that for working up an appetite?

Highlights

  • Always wanted to know which mushrooms you can eat?
  • Forage your own mushrooms for breakfast
  • Enjoy an early morning hike in the forest
  • Gary will help you identify edible mushrooms
  • Gary will demonstrate how  to gently remove it, clean it off, and how to store it in your basket for safe keeping

Duration

3 – 4 hours (+/- from sunrise)

Schedule

Available any day booking on request.

Price

R550 p.p.  (group size min 1 – max 20)

Overview

It’s hard to comprehend the extent of mushroom fanatic Gary Goldman’s passion until you pull on a pair of hiking shoes and start heading into the woods with him. He’s like the proverbial kid in a candy store, scrambling over boulders, turning over wooden stumps, and scratching around mulch on the forest floor in search of the edible treasure.

“I’ve been doing this for eight years,” explains Gary, who became the fun guy of fungi (sorry, not sorry) after quitting the rat race and taking up walking in the Newlands Forest, where he saw mushrooms around every turn. Since starting out, he’s personally identified and eaten 29 different species in and around Cape Town, and he’s still finding new ones. “A couple of weeks ago, I found my first shrimp russula mushroom. It tastes just like shrimp!”.

Years of experience also means that Gary has familiarised himself with the different traits of edible wild mushrooms, whether they “bruise yellow” or “bleed orange” – tips he’ll share with you depending on which shrooms you stumble across. Since mushroom growth is dependent on the weather, and since Gary has pretty much figured out exactly where to hit pay dirt on any given day, each foraging experience and location is different.

Think of it as a hyper exclusive pop-up that you’re only told the venue of the day before. Whether the fertile ground happens to be in Cecilia Forest, Rondebosch Common or Wynberg Park for the day (Gary phones you the night before with the address), you’d better arrive with your game face on: it can be quite a stiff hike before you luck out on some loot. But the trek is so worth it, Gary maintains. “I guarantee you: as soon as you find your first porcini, you’ll be absolutely hooked to mushroom picking for the rest of your life.”

What’s included

  • Informative foraging walk and talk in the forest
  • A selection of foraged mushroom to take home to cook. Yum!

What’s not included

  • Transfers

Important Information

  • A good quality folding knife is essential
  • A basket to collect your mushrooms
  • Good walking or hiking shoes
  • Raincoat in the case of rain
  • You need to be reasonably fit

Itinerary

The day starts at 7:15am at the meeting point which will be confirmed by Gary the prior evening, dependent on where the mushrooms are most likely to be discovered. Gary will start off with a quick introduction to the world of mushroom foraging and then lead the walk to his secret mushroom spots and give informative talks all along the way. He’ll demonstrate how to gently remove the mushrooms from the forest floor, how to clean them, and how to store them in your basket for safe keeping. You’ll then hunt for your first mushroom on your own, being careful not to stray too far away from the group. If you are not sure of what you have found, Gary will help you identify the mushroom before you remove it from the ground. You will end your foraging experience after a 3 to 4 hour foraging walk. The aim is to wrap up between 11.30 am and noon, depending on the success of your finds.

 

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Photography: Jenni Elizabeth

 

  • Anonymous

    Are there going to be any more? Bleak that I missed it

  • Eatsplorer Team

    Hi Tess – mushroom season is only a few week in the year but great the news – it is still holding up at the moment so we were able to add a few more dates! Have a look and let us know if any of these work for you. Otherwise you are welcome to request any date that is suitable for you and we will try and make it happen! Best wishes, Eatsplorer Team