Finding and preparing Psilocybe Semilanceata(Liberty Caps)
As a citizen of northern and central Europe, it may surprise you to know that every autumn your unmolested fields and pastures are littered with one of the most potent psilocybin mushrooms in the world.
Perhaps equally surprising is that these mushrooms are not only easy to spot, but easy to prepare - they in fact need no preparation at all, though I don't recommend that for reasons I'll expound on a little later.
Less surprisingly, the possession of Psilocybe Semilanceata is illegal in most European countries. The purpose of this article is purely educational.
In late September our continent will begin cooling rapidly, and shortly thereafter many of our fungi friends begin popping up from their mycelium homes and ejecting spores for reproduction. One of these mushrooms has been named "Psilocybe Semilanceata", or "Liberty Cap" for the lay-person - among other names you'll discover in this blog.
Like many of its distant relatives, the Liberty Cap enjoys a wet and cold environment, which is a double-edged sword for those of us who are looking to find them. The presence of other similar mushrooms can be an indicator that A) We're looking in the right places, and B) That the climate conditions are ideal. On the other hand, many of us will be picking the wrong mushroom and at best wasting our time or worse, dying - more on that later. As a general rule: you should be heading out when the temperature is between 1c-10c after a good spell of rain in October-November. Adjustments may be needed depending on where you are in Europe among other factors, for example high places will cool earlier than at sea-level, and if you're in southern Europe it may not be cool enough until November-December. Once the first frost arrives our fungi friends will disappear until next Autumn.Continue reading...