A weekend dedicated to all things mushroom

The Delheim wine estate plans to host a weekend in June packed with all things relating to wild mushrooms and visitors will not only attend informative workshops, but will also get a chance to forage for their own in the estate’s forest.

Mushroom-lovers and nature enthusiasts will get the opportunity next month to experience a weekend dedicated to foraging for wild mushrooms, as well as attending a number of informative workshops centred around these delectable fungi on Delheim Wine Estate.

Delheim’s mountain pine forests are home to over 20 species of wild mushrooms, and from Friday June 16 to Sunday June 18, the wine farm, will be welcoming new and experienced mushroom foragers to get out there and collect their own mushrooms.

Visitors will also be offered the chance to attend workshops hosted by specialists in the fields of all things mushroom. Each of the three days’ programme consists of a foraging session, a practical guide to growing your own mushroom, as well as a talk on the medicinal properties of mushrooms.

Delheim’s restaurant will be open, offering breakfast and lunch, including a choice of mushroom-related options, and plenty of opportunities for tasting and enjoying the estate’s range of award-winning wines will be available. Bookings for the restaurant experience at the event, are essential, and can be done on Quicket.

The daily sessions kick off with a guide on how to grow your own mushrooms presented by Alec Scott, the CEO of The Mushroom Box. His company is dedicated to informing the public on the practicalities of cultivating mushrooms at home and providing a wealth of knowledge on the variety of local mushrooms.

The “Grow with Alec” talks will be held daily from 8.45am to 10am and attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase Mr Scott’s The Mushroom Box to get their crop going at home. Sessions cost R250 per person, which includes coffee or gluhwein and rusks, but excludes the cost of The Mushroom Box, which cost R150 each.

The daily information session on foraging, followed by the actual hunt for mushrooms in the forest, will be held from 10.15am to 1pm, under guidance of Gary Goldman, who will show patrons the way with expert knowledge and practical insight.

After a short introduction, guests will head for the Delheim pine forest hills with Mr Goldman to gather their mushrooms under the practical guidance of a true expert. Expect to find delectable species such as porcini, pine bolete and pine rings – the latter also known as the chicken of the woods.

Attendees should note that the facilitators cannot guarantee the discovery of any specific mushrooms. For the forage, participants are advised to dress for possible chilly weather, bring a rain jacket and wear good walking or hiking boots or shoes. Attendees are also requested to bring along a basket and a small pocket-knife.

The foraging sessions cost R450 per person and include a glass of gluhwein or cup of coffee to warm you up for the trek to the woods.

The talk on “Magic and Medicinal Mushrooms” by Andrew Killian takes place from 3pm to 4.30pm. Mr Killian has a lifelong interest in mushrooms and has a special interest in their health-giving and medicinal properties.

Subjects to be covered in his presentation include medicinal mushrooms and their uses, tyoxic mushrooms and their effects, the proper way to photograph mushrooms for identification on social media and an insert on “Magic Mushrooms”.

His talks on this subject costs R250 per person and includes coffee or a glass of wine. Note that space for each workshop is limited. Tickets are available online at Quicket.

Those attending the weekend’s activities are encouraged to bring along their own baskets for the purpose of foraging for wild mushrooms in the Delheim mountain pine forest.