Foraging with Diego

CPM: So what got you into foraging?

DSC: At the start of the pandemic I was really into
TikTok, I am now not into TikTok, but at the time I
was following this person named Alexis (@Black-
Forager). She posted these really funny and infor-
mative videos about foraging and she would always
show the end product with her recipes. I thought
the concept of food from your backyard was really

CPM: Nice. What sorts of things do you like to

DSC: The most delicious thing I have foraged is
definitely ramps. Previously I had never had a
ramp, but I learned about them in ramp season,
which is late April, that they are really good. Ap-
parently chefs and farmers-market-people all over
the world go and forage for their own ramps. That
being said, the thing that excites me the most is
mushrooms. Although hunting for mushrooms is
definitely on the more dangerous side of foraging,
since there are many more steps that go into it, I
really enjoy the mycology components the most.

CPM: Certainly. Mycology seems incredibly inter-
esting! What is it about mycology, or the mush-
room hunt, that excites you?

DSC: When I was bored and procrastinating, I
would watch mycology lectures on Youtube around
the same time I got this field manual for mush-
rooms of the Northeast. They are really cool. The
mushrooms that we eat are the fruits of the actual
mushroom. The mushroom is the fruit, but the
mycelium is the organism. They aren’t a plant or an
animal, they have their own realm. They have their
own kingdom, that is so sick. About 80% of trees in
the world depend on mushrooms to grow, so it’s so
cool. It’s a huge scavenger hunt, it feels fun.
GinGin: Where do you go to forage at vassar?
DSC:Over the winter I would literally forage in
the backyard for field garlic. That then extended to
looking around campus, and then to the ecological
preserve too. The only thing is that the ecological
preserve has sooo many ticks. It’s not okay. The
plants that grow there that are invasive just help
the ticks because they are high in moisture content.
The ticks are just really turned on by that so it’s
kind of crazy. When I go back home I will have to
read a different manual for Northern Mexico forag-
ing, but for now I am in the Northeast.

CPM: do you have any advice for the aspiring

DSC:Get a field guide and read it. See which plants
you are able to identify and what recipes you can
make from them. The worst thing that can happen