Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main St, Wolfville, NS
Olivier Matthon‘s fly on the wall approach to looking at the problems “commercial” mushroom pickers have in Up on the Mountain is very eye-opening. While we as consumers love chanterelles, morels and lion’s mane, we don’t know the story behind how it got to the dinner table, be it in a restaurant or home-made.
In British Columbia, those mycelium grown in farms most likely follow strict guidelines in terms of when they’re food ready. But to get them from the lands, the Crown posted guidelines for those wanting to pick and sell. But to be a watchdog is impossible; I suspect the issues are the same as it is Stateside. That is, there’s not enough staff in the Forestry department to go around. With this documentary, we follow in the footsteps of three groups who travel on the “mushroom circuit,” and have to fend for themselves against other poachers and local enforcement.
In the official synopsis, “[They travel embark on] a year-round migration that can take them anywhere from Alaska to California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming—to harvest wild mushrooms from public forests.