While living in Vancouver I became aware and quite fascinated with mushroom foraging.
I was intrigued by the people who do it, with their beards and whimsical ways. And there was the fact that restaurant ingredients can literally come from the mossy forest floor, and that people have created successful, unique businesses around these foragers.
While doing my Masters of Journalism at the University of British Columbia I wrote my thesis on this subject.
My thesis was supervised by Emmy Award Winning journalist and Director of the University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Peter Klein along with Dr. Michael Hathaway, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University whose recent work has focused on the matsutake mushroom.
I also made a documentary (short subject) on the topic along with my classmate and pal Daniel Hallen (who, rather serendipitously became interested in the subject at literally the same time. He was flying back from an internship post in London when he wrote a list of things he wanted to do in Vancouver in the coming semester. Near the top of the list was “go mushroom foraging”). So Dan and myself made a short doc, which David Paperny (of Paperny Films) and Dan McKinney oversaw. Tyler Gray of Mikuni Wild Harvest was gracious enough to appear in our film as he showed us how to forage for matsutake and chanterelle mushrooms on the Sunshine Coast.
Anyway, the written thesis is available below while the documentary will soon be found in this site’s Video & Documentary section.