Surf and turf. The law of secret places.

There's an unwritten code among the foragers I know. And that's to respect someone else's patch. If someone takes you somewhere to show you something it's a priveledge that should never be abused. It's a trust thing. Why not? It's all about the effort you put in to find the goodies. Often it's more than the reward. But when you hit the jackpot it's all yours. As long as you've left enough for nature to continue to produce this wonderful harvest, fill your boots. Or your basket.
It's like that with surfing. Secret places are few and far between these days and we treasure them. And if you get taken down the steep and winding path that leads to a secret break, it is your job to 'forget' everything you learned along the way. You can talk about it but you can't give directions. Trust is everything. If I tell you that I surfed this place (above) last week with just two others you might fancy taking a look along the coast somewhere north of Sligo. But please don't ask me any more.

So I was very happy when Freddie's chanterelle patch sparkled with the heads of some very fine mushrooms recently. I was passing on my way to somewhere else and stopped off for a peek. He showed it to me when I was writing the Camper Van Cookbook. We went down there to take a few pictures and sample the delights of mushroom foraging. It was my first fungal foray so it was marvellous to do it in the company of someone who knows what he's doing. Of course lesson one was a simple affair: chanterelles. Not much apes it so it's a pretty sure bet.

Anyway, I phoned Fred to say that the mushies were there. 'Go for it' he said, 'I can't get away and the cows won't milk themselves.' Fair enough then. Rules is rules and we weren't about to break any. So we went back the next day and had ourselves a mini feast.

Much to our delight we found a new patch on a walk a few days later. It was right under our noses but it wasn't until we were ambling that we noticed them. We picked a load and took them to Freddy's. As a gesture of thanks.

After all, it was he who set us off on that road. He gave us the knowledge to know what we're looking for and the confidence to pick it. It seemed only right to share the spoil, now that we had found our own patch.


  1. Great post! echo the vibe of share the wealth the don't spend the trust!

    be well and enjoy your feverent foraging!


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