A new season begins for Czech mushroom-pickers
Twenty-six million kilograms of mushrooms - that's how much Czechs picked in the forests across the country in 2006. According to a survey carried out by the University of Agriculture, an average Czech family collected about eight kilograms of mushrooms last year. It seems that mushroom-picking remains one of the most popular Czech pastimes.
"It's a big problem to estimate the consumption of mushrooms because they are picked in the wild; it is not easy to do. But judging just for myself, I know many people who pick mushrooms every year and I think that the numbers provided by the university are in good agreement with my own experience."
"The mushroom season depends on the weather. I think we have an average season this year but in some areas of our country the season was very good because there was enough water in the country and that is the main factor influencing the occurrence of mushrooms. It might seem like a bad joke but one of the best seasons I remember was I think in 2002. This year was the year of flooding in the CR. But such kind of weather caused very good conditions for mushrooms in the whole of the Czech Republic and that was one of the best years in the last decade."
"I think that in general Czechs have among the best common knowledge of mushrooms in the world and fortunately I think people are still interested in mushrooms and this interest does not depend on the age. Also young people pick mushrooms and I believe that this trend will continue."