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Mushroom exploration at Udaan Learning Center, 11th November, 2019

Uddan Learning Center Library

Located at Kandbari hills, Udaan Learning Center is working towards nurturing children to become aware, sensitive and vibrant individuals. The center is working with both, the children in the nearby village & the urban children. This November, the learning center along with Himpicked organised a mushroom exploration trip for kids from Youth For Understanding India. The participants included kids from Germany, Belgium, France and local kids from Kandbari village.

Finding mushrooms in the forest

The kids were taught how to find the mushrooms in the forest. After foraging for a few hours, various edible & medicinal mushrooms were identified. The key mushrooms identified were Split gills mushroom (latin Schizophyllum commune), Puffballs, Ganoderma & Turkey tail mushrooms (latin Trametes versicolor).

Harvesting wild mushrooms using cutters

Before harvesting the mushrooms, the children were told about responsible wild mushroom picking, avoiding over-harvesting and the fact than leaving some mushrooms for other pickers is more than just courtesy. They were also informed about proper harvesting techniques, so that there are more mushrooms in the years to come.

Separating Edible & Medicinal Mushrooms

Understanding Lichens

A closer look at Lichens

A closer look at lichens

The children were also able to spot Spirogyra, which a free floating algae in fresh water streams. Later, the specimens were observed under compound microscope for a deeper understanding.

Finding free floating algae (Spirogyra) in water

Overall, mushroom foraging let the children to learn biology & ecosystem in a more holistic & hands-on approach. We believe that biology or environmental science cannot be solely taught in the classroom. So, now when they read about environmental ecology or biology in their classrooms, they could better connect to it.

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