A lot of people are waiting for the mushroom season. Only for a few months of the year we can go to the forests to look for specific species of mushrooms and then enjoy the taste of these tasty benefits of the forest.

However, when picking mushrooms one has to be very careful. Only those people who know how to harvest mushrooms and are able to identify the exact species of the fungus, because in Polish forests both edible and inedible and poisonous mushrooms grow. It should not be suggested to cover the bottom of the hat. A plate underneath it or the lack of it does not always prove the character of the fungus. The conviction that plate fungi are always toxic and that plate fungi without a plate are always edible is wrong. Indeed, most of the plate mushrooms are not allowed to be picked and eaten, and most of the plateless mushrooms are non-poisonous and fit for consumption, but in our forest environment you can also find plate mushrooms that are edible (these include tasty chanterelles, rhizomes and canes) and non-glare mushrooms (the so-called sponge mushrooms), which are very poisonous and endanger health and even life after eating them (an example is the so-called Satan, which are very similar to cep). Both beginner gatherers and long-time mushroom pickers should find every mushroom they find in the atlas and check it before they rip it off, put it into a basket and take it home. Before deciding to use the harvested specimens, it is better to double-check the specimens in question, and preferably consult another person who is familiar with the fungus. Every two heads is not one. You should pay special attention to what you put in the basket to avoid poisoning, which is very common during the mushroom picking period. So let's only collect mushrooms that we are sure are good for. Therefore, special attention should be paid to educating ourselves from the atlases. Because of the season in which these wonderful gifts of the forest grow, it can be a bit difficult to pick them, because mushrooms like to be covered with leaves or needles falling from the trees or grow deep in mosses. Most mushroom hats are similar in colour to mulch (substrate), so it's worthwhile to walk in the forest slowly so as not to miss or frighten the mushroom. Many people who go into the forest for harvesting hold a stick or stick in their hands to remove coarsely planted leaves. And there's something underneath them. When you find the fungus, don't cut it out with a knife, but try to undermine it with your fingers to pull it out of the litter without damaging the mycelium. When deciding to go to the forest, always take a wicker basket with you, not a bucket or a commercial. A basket made of wicker, thanks to its structure, allows air to pass through perfectly and the mushrooms can remain in the form as they were immediately broken off.

We should never go to the forest alone, so as not to get lost. Walking alone is not a good idea, also due to various types of accidents that may happen unexpectedly (e.g. fainting, bite). However, if you decide to pick mushrooms alone, you should not go too far into the forest, because even in a familiar place you can quickly lose your orientation in the field and get lost. We should not drive into the forest by car. Now more and more special entry barriers are installed, which is a very good idea. You should go into the forest on foot or possibly by bike.

We should also be careful and pay attention to proper clothing. Trousers should be long and shoes should be comfortable and, above all, tall (well, the best would be well-worn). This is extremely important, because in the forest various kinds of dangers (insect bites, vipers, snakes, ticks) can lurk. It is also worthwhile to take a special preparation before going out into the forest to deter mosquitoes and ticks. Biting by a tick can be extremely dangerous, because some (not all) of them can spread a dangerous disease, i.e. borreliosis. So in order to decrease the risk of falling ill with it, we should equip ourselves with such a deterrent deodorant. Let us remember that a forest is a home for many animals, so while staying in the forest we should not make noise. Keeping clean is also an essential part of the expedition. Let's take the paperwork and packaging after the consumed food home. So let's approach mushroom picking wisely and with caution.

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