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Jan 27, 2011 05:23 PM

Wild Edibles?

Just wondering if someone knows of a place in Ontario that might offer some kind of guided wilderness tour with a guide that shows you various edible plants, mushrooms, maybe combined with other survival techniques like fire building, shelter making, things like that. I dont know if such a thing exists, but it would make for a good weekend outing!

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  1. Humber college has a one day course on wild edibles that is quite good. They actually have a small tract of forest (second growth) that is very nice. There are also beautiful gardens with flowers and every shrub imaginable. Even in winter, it is a beautiful property.

    Unfortunately mushrooms are out of the question. No one will accept that risk. That's one I'd suggest you stay away from too (except maybe those amazing spring time morels).

    HC also does outdoor survival too. Sign up quick if you want to get out this winter.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PoppiYYZ

      The Toronto Mycological Society does do mushroom foraging outings, and I believe they will allow a newcomer to come along on one before they are expected to become a paying member to participate.

      1. re: Wahooty

        I know mushrooms are the tricky part, and one mushroom could look very similar to an edible mushroom and be poisonous, which Is why id love to atleast learn about a couple varieties that are edible. I know theres lots to consider, such as the shape of the stem and cap, color of the spores and much more, but learning atleast about a few edibles would be great for hiking excursions and camping trips to add a bit of flair to the meal of the day.

        The humber course sounds like a nice first step, Ill look into it for sure. Do you know if its in the North Campus or Lakeshore? Im guessing North because its by that ravine and Lakeshore is just on an old apple orchard/mental asylum.

        That would be fun for a local course, but what about further north, in wild country, where the canadian shield is exposed and all the forests are old growth and bears roam the trails...

        Lakeshore Restaurant
        2390 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M8V1C3, CA

        1. re: Wahooty

          There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old bold mushroom hunters.

          There isn't much worth eating that may end up killing you.

          1. re: PoppiYYZ

            I just wouldn't eat any wild foraged mushrooms with two exceptions, morels and puffballs because both are easy to identify and there is nothing easily confused with them, there are poisonous "false morels" but in reality they look nothing like a real morel. Even real morels are arguably very mildly toxic.

            The way the more serious mycotoxins work you feel fine for a few days after the meal, then your liver shuts down and then fairly soon after you die, your only hope is a liver transplant on short notice, good luck with that.

            1. re: bytepusher

              Well I know many are poisonous, but there are lots of common mushrooms that shouldnt be too hard to verify. I forgot the name but I know some of the mushrooms that grow in trees are good. Ofcourse I wouldnt try anything without an expert there...

      2. Try contacting the foiks at Forbes Wild Foods ( . There are a number of textbook referrals on the website, and they seem to have a large network of professional foragers. They might be able to put you in touch with someone who would guide you.

        1. Saw a fascinating Canadian Geographic show on APTN about a weekend wilderness survival "workshop". They were really roughing it and eating only what the foraged (roots and plants) and caught (bugs and minnows). The only things they avoided were spiders and mushrooms because of the poison risk.

          The weekend ended with a Chef preparing a meal with only foraged ingredients and it looked very very good. Not sure if that is "standard" for the course or done just for the TV show.

          Company was called "Survival in the Bush Inc".