I found myself in the U-District studios of NPR Seattle affiliate KUOW 94.9 FM this morning, sitting in a sound room with “Weekday” host Steve Scher and two other local foragers, Patrice Benson, president of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and Christina Choi, a co-founder (along with Jeremy Faber) of Foraged and Found Edibles, a company that provides wild foods to area restaurants. If the other two guests were nervous they certainly didn’t show it. Meanwhile my own stomach was doing back flips.
Despite the nerves, in a fortunate coup of timing I had an ace up my sleeve—or more accurately an elephant in the corner. While en route to the studio this morning I was able to stop off and nab a western giant puffball (Calvatia booniana) that was fruiting on an eroded slope above Martin Luther King Blvd. right in the heart of the Central District (less than half of which is pictured at right). The mushroom was bigger than my head. It looked more like an alien space egg. I had a prop!
Once the show went live all mental preparation went out the window. It was auto-pilot all the way—and I’m pleased to say this auto-piloting forager was able to navigate the radio waves without crashing and burning, landing safely an hour later. I even had fun. Hats off to Steve Scher and all his colleagues at KUOW for making us feel so comfortable.
You can listen to an archived edition of the hour-long show, “Nature’s Bounty: A Forager’s Delight.”