ISSUE 6Cultivating a Love for MushroomsJason IrvineIt’s not difficult to fall in love with the wonder of mushrooms. From small, light, and delicate, to rich, meaty and dense, these little powerhouses hold the secrets to youth and longevity. They are truly magical in their abilities to heal and nourish at every level of the human experience. This is why I started my love-affair with these sacred spores.
In modern Western culture we primarily use many different variants in our cooking for their unique flavours and high nutritional value however, they have been used in the East and in many indigenous cultures throughout the globe for thousands of years for their healing properties. Medicine men and Holy men have used the psychedelic types or “magic mushrooms” in ceremonies and treatments for ailments of the soul and to access higher consciousness in meditation.
Fairly easily recognisable by pinching the “bottom end” of the stalk and waving it through the air for a minute, if the pinched tip turns blue or green it means that the fungus most likely contains psychedelic components and should only be consumed with caution and under the guidance of a qualified spiritual teacher.

Most mushrooms that you will find nestled among the debris on the forest floor are edible and often have surprising flavours and textures. You can usually find a nice selection, for your culinary curiosity, on one lovely slow stroll through the undergrowth. Be careful to identify any mushroom BEFORE you pop it in your mouth though, as the death-cap mushroom (and a few others) look eerily similar to the popular, common button mushroom and other edible fungi.

Unfortunately, accidental poisoning or death due to misidentification are not all that uncommon, so it’s recommended that you have your haul checked out first, before you eat anything.
Shitaki MushroomOyster MushroomMy favourites are Shitaki, which is also used for refining skin, anti-aging, removing blemishes and helps to balance blood-sugar levels too. They are big, brown, beautiful, densely textured and pairs perfectly with everything! 
The same is true for the white Oyster mushroom, which I dry, cut into strips, and add to whatever I’m cooking. They are always in my fridge and are my “go-to shrooms” for most of my meals. Packed with proteins, amino-acids, fibre and so many unique benefits with every variety, the fungus family is a Super-Food of Note and must be included regularly in every diet for a healthy body and mind.
We grow many different kinds of beneficial mushrooms at Druid's Garden. Lion’s Mane is a popular little guy which we use for increased cognitive function and memory retention but is even used to treat diseases like Alzeimer’s and Dementia. 
Lion's ManeReishiWe’re also growing Reishi, which is the “mushroom of longevity”, a protector of your immune system, its cell-regenerative properties make it one of the most popular medicinal plants in the world.
We do also import a few, like Snow Fungus, which is considered the “fountain of youth” of the mushroom medicines and really makes a huge impact on youthful appearance.
Snow FungusGrow KitsGrow kits are available from many online sources that allow you to water a prepared log or container and grow your own mushrooms at home. This can be a fun way to eat fresh mushroom and introduce tasty new varieties into your diet. Anyone wanting to take up mushroom farming as a serious hobby or business really needs to do a course, as the process is highly scientific and takes many years to master. We do periodically run courses, so keep an eye out!
If you are curious and want to know more, please email me at or visit us here at Druid's Garden and expand your horizons.

Trailblazing Partners - Issue 6


Foreword - Issue 6


Issue 6 - Cover

Issue 6 - Cultivation