I’ve just finished reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. It is a terrifying post-apocalypse book that made me cry on a plane before I was even half way through. It’s all the horrific tension of Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, but with real, raw emotion.
It made me dream of superflu pandemics and quarantine areas, of survival. I’m worried because it seems inevitable that PA-survival will require a gun (every post-apocalypse book seems to agree on this) and I don’t have one or want one.
I decided to ignore the gun problem for a while and focus on other areas of PA-survival. A current favourite of mine is wild food foraging and I’ve been lucky enough to explore the forest-foods with Alan Muskat, the Mushroom Man!
We found Turkey Tails, known for their medicinal value in reducing and eradicating tumours. With cancer being much more likely than the apocalypse, I harvested a bag full of these mushrooms for a daily tonic.
Chanterelles are a fairly easy and very tasty find, but that represents the limit of my mushroom knowledge. The forest is full of mushrooms, but when I’m starving to death I’m pretty sure irony will direct me to eat the wrong ones!
I can’t decide whether Alan is likely to survive the super-flu. Constitutionally, his wild foods diet is extremely healthy. Mushrooms are medicine! But the laws of fiction are at play here and he may get killed off simply because he’d be too useful…
So, just in case, I’m learning as much as I can at the moment. Mushroom by mushroom I’m building my shopping list.
If you want to ASK Alan then he’s available for entertaining and informative tours, bookable through his website, NO TASTE LIKE HOME.