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  • I encountered only two people while on my forest walk today. They were Hmong women who were collecting mushrooms.

    I asked how they know which mushrooms are okay. The older woman smiled shyly and almost slyly and said, "We know." I sure don't! I was taught not to pick assume they are all poisonous...rather than how to identify which ones are edible.

    I asked if they were finding a lot. They both shook their heads to say, "No, not very many." I asked if I could take their picture. They hesitated not an instant in saying, "No!" So I asked if I could photograph the mushrooms they had harvested so far instead. Yes, that would be okay. Seemed like a lot to me!

    Then younger woman pulled out a huge mushroom to show me and said it wasn't an American mushroom. I've seen people harvesting mushrooms in the forest before. I now wonder if they have also added some mushroom varieties from their 'home' countries to the forest floor for future harvests....

    [Photo by Barbara, Cedar Lake, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2012]
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