Calling All Metaphilter Mycophiles
December 8, 2012 10:09 PM   Subscribe

Secret Santa gift for a mushroom obsessed coworker? Help me, Metaphilter Mycophiles!

My workplace is doing a Secret Santa this year, and the guy whose name I've drawn is very into mushrooms; hunting for them, cooking them, eating them. I know he's gone mushroom picking, but I am pretty sure he's only just starting to get really into it. I was hoping to get him something useful (or just awesome?) that is...related to mushrooms? To mushroom hunting?

The budget set for the Secret Santa is $20. We work in the food industry, and we have access to delicious, interesting mushrooms regularly, so I don't want to get him actual mushrooms. But then what? Do you go mushroom hunting? Is there anything you find really useful in that endeavor that might not occur to a non-mycophile? Or something else I'm not thinking of?

Thanks in advance for helping me be the awesomest co-worker ever!
posted by JuliaIglesias to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Perhaps a membership to his local mycological society?
posted by jamaro at 10:23 PM on December 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


You would think he already has a good mushroom field guide, but the classic one is Mushrooms Demystified or this one
posted by silvergoat at 10:24 PM on December 8, 2012


I have given these mini mushroom farms from Far West Fungi as housewarming presents a few times with great results. You can pick them up at the Ferry Building.
posted by kelseyq at 10:26 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ooo, if he's in the SF bay area, the Mycological Society of San Francisco is an excellent club. They have an electronic membership (access to pdfs rather than the paper newsletters) for $20.
posted by jamaro at 10:32 PM on December 8, 2012


Quick update: we are, indeed, in the SF bay area, and my coworker is actually friends with some of the Far West Fungi peeps, so probably those mushroom farms are too easy (tho I had one a while back, and they are awesome!). The mushroom field guides are a great idea...keep em coming!
posted by JuliaIglesias at 10:42 PM on December 8, 2012


Paul Stamets company, Fungi Perfecti, has a ton of mushroom related products. The $20 calendar looks nice; there's t-shirts, books, Candy Cap Mushroom Cookie Mix, Shitake sawdust spawn,
Pearl Oyster Patch....
posted by at at 11:50 PM on December 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Morels card game?
posted by redsparkler at 11:59 PM on December 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Etsy has lots of neat mushroom art.
Or a Grow Your Own Mushrooms kit?
posted by Glinn at 12:07 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mushroom Lover Parking Only?
posted by dottiechang at 1:45 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hunt mushrooms. I really like my Vitorinox Gardener folder. It's $18.
posted by Thug at 1:59 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anything with spore print artwork would be awesome... Napkins, greeting cards, mug...
posted by anaelith at 3:29 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I attended a guided mushroom hunt early this fall, in the hills of Western Pennsylvania. It meant walking around in the woods, in weather that is conducive to mushroom growth, i.e. rather cool and damp, so appropriate clothing like flannel shirts or smartwool socks might be nice. It meant cutting mushrooms free from wherever they're growing and trimming off unwanted bits, so a long-bladed folding knife is very useful. It also meant carrying these very delicate fungi around without damaging them, for which a rigid basket is very appropriate (and flexible, non-breathable bags are not).

This page is full of good suggestions.
posted by jon1270 at 4:54 AM on December 9, 2012


This is on MY Christmas list:

Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms


$17.15 plus shipping.
posted by polly_dactyl at 5:32 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am seriously into mushrooms and my favorite book about them is called "Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds." The guy is like the Michael Pollan of mushrooms. Very great book! You couldn't go wrong.

I also have an antique mushroom print that I got at a consigned furniture store. It looks like it's a page taken from an old nature book. It is nice.
posted by mermily at 6:05 AM on December 9, 2012


Truffle _______
posted by goethean at 6:14 AM on December 9, 2012


Second the suggestion for outdoorsy-type items. One of the things I always wish I had when I was mushroom hunting was a nice walking stick. Might be a stretch to find one for $20, but something in that department would be appreciated I'm sure.
posted by brentajones at 6:24 AM on December 9, 2012


If he doesn't have any Stamets Books, then that's a good start. Mycelium running is really quite interesting....
posted by lalochezia at 7:36 AM on December 9, 2012


My mushroom hunting fanatic friend insists on using a basket to pick in, rather than a plastic bag or something. A nice basket and a brush to clean off the big chunks of dirt and pine needles?
posted by purenitrous at 8:22 AM on December 9, 2012


I hunt mushrooms. I really like my Vitorinox Gardener folder. It's $18.

I also hunt mushrooms, and was going to suggest a knife. Most mushroom picking knives are pricy, but this Joker is 24 bucks and includes a corkscrew and bottle opener (and most pickers I know like their beverages). It's likely he has the books mentioned already.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:49 AM on December 9, 2012


... and this Mercury is not as pretty, but is cheaper and has a folding brush (bristles are white, and hard to see in the photo).
posted by oneirodynia at 11:54 AM on December 9, 2012


I am also mushroom obsessed. You want to get him a mushroom knife. It's a pocket knife that also has a nice nylon brush on the handle, so he can clean his mushrooms in the field after picking them.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:47 PM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oops, just saw oneirodynia suggested the same. She's right. :)
posted by mudpuppie at 12:47 PM on December 9, 2012


A mushroom log!
posted by jadegenie at 2:53 PM on December 9, 2012


I also have an antique mushroom print that I got at a consigned furniture store. It looks like it's a page taken from an old nature book. It is nice.

I don't have a specific idea, but I bet they might have something like this, or another neat decorative item, or an interesting book, or something at Paxton Gate (since you mentioned being in the SF area).
posted by naoko at 5:43 PM on December 9, 2012


I'm late to the party - we are pretty into mushrooms and I think a mushroom knife would be perfect.
posted by tealcake at 8:16 AM on December 11, 2012


Thanks you guys! It turns out the dude is all over the supplies (I interrogated his roommate at a conveniently timed party) portion of this, so those lovely mushroom knives are out, as are the basic field guides.

But!

It turns out he still hunts with paper bags and has never gotten around to getting reusable fabric/nylon mesh bags, so I'm going to make him a simple muslin mushroom hunting bag with a couple different compartments, as well as a few separate little sacks.

And now I really want to go mushroom hunting.
posted by JuliaIglesias at 10:39 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and silvergoat, I bought that second field guide for myself, because, well, LOOK AT IT! Thanks for the tip!
posted by JuliaIglesias at 10:42 AM on December 14, 2012


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