Mushroom Hunting in Vermont

– [Ari] If you’re thinking of a wild mushroom, you’re probably thinking of death and poisoning and vomiting. – [Jenna] But, now that I’m a mushroom hunter, I think wonder. – [Ari] Opportunity. – [Jenna] Delicacy. – [Ari] Potential. – [Woman] Beauty. – [Man] Every corner in the forest has a new surprise in the mycological world behind it. My name is Ari Rockland-Miller. – [Woman] And I’m Jenna Antonino DiMare. – [Ari] And we are mycophiles. – [Jenna] AKA, mushroom lovers. (easygoing instrumental music) – In the United States alone, there are at least 40 or 50 gourmet edible wild mushrooms, and those run the gamut from the chanterelle with a powerful apricot aroma, to the black trumpet with an earthy fig-like flavor to hen of the woods, which looks like a hen roosting at the base of an oak tree in the fall. There’s an unbelievable diversity. When I was a little kid, I would just pile up every mushroom I could find in the woods around my house. That was the beginning of the journey. I do have dreams about wild mushrooms, and then I sort of wake up. And the first thing I want to do the next morning is get out for mushrooms. (lively instrumental music) Often, I’m moving fast, looking for brightly colored mushrooms. Other times, I’m really getting down on my hands and knees crawling around the moss at the base of a beech tree looking for a black trumpet. – Ari can become extremely enthusiastic about hunting for mushrooms. And there have been times in the past where he’ll be out for hours and hours and hours at a time but won’t come back with anything. – Finding them does take time, but every now and then, all of a sudden, you see one. (upbeat instrumental music) And that is the most powerful reverie, unbelievable rush every time. We use our knife and our mushroom brush, and fill up our basket. – [Jenna] We don’t over-harvest mushrooms. There isn’t a monetary incentive. – [Ari] We do want to leave some in the ground to spread their spores and to reproduce. The hunt is intrinsically satisfying. It’s an epic treasure hunt. It reconnects me to a childhood sense of wonder. On a good day, we can bring home many pounds of wild mushrooms. – [Jenna] When we bring our mushrooms back, it’s always such a joy to look through our find from the day and cook them up that evening. (easygoing instrumental music) We don’t resell the mushrooms that we find in the forest. We instead enjoy them ourselves. We pick just enough to share with our family and friends. – [Ari] Mushrooms have taught me that even in the tiniest things, there’s so much potential that there are whole worlds that we ignore that contain so much flavor, beauty, mystery, wonder.

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