Holiday Giveaway Series 2012: Foraging fun & Ball Canning jar challenge

Thank you all for participating in the is five weeks of giveaways here on the blog. I’m so excited for this final giveaway in the series. Eugenia Bone is one of my favorite authors, and also a mentor in food preservation and the art of writing engaging non-fiction books surrounding food and life. Check out her new site and learn more about her if you’re not already a fan.  

I’ve asked friend and fellow Austinite, filmmaker Jason Cortlund to share his thoughts on Eugenia’s latest, Mycophilia. Screenings of his film are taking place all around the country, learn about upcoming screenings here.

Biology as Subculture: Eugenia Bone’s Mycophilia

By Jason Cortlund

Maybe you’ve noticed that mushrooms have been popping up (literally, figuratively…) in the Zeitgeist with increasing frequency. “Why mushrooms?” you might ask. Mycophilia has a very complete—and entertaining—answer for you.

There are two great reasons to read anything by Eugenia Bone (previous works include Well-Preserved and At Mesa’s Edge). First off, you’re getting meticulously researched content—sound information, access to key players, recipes that have been thoroughly tested. Second—and even more impressive—is her voice. It’s sharp, unfiltered, and a bit salty.  She’s fun to read.

Published in 2011, Mycophilia is a first-person introduction to the word of mushrooms and the people who love them, in all their freaky and fantastic permutations. From the nationwide network of amateur clubs who hunt and study in their local woods, to noted experts in the field like Paul Stamets, Tom Volk, and Gary Lincoff.

More than a look into the trend of wild edibles, the book is a thorough cultural study that tracks the pervasiveness of fungi in science, health, technology, and industry. Yes, there are descriptions of mouth-watering meals with mounds of morels and pounds of porcini. And yes, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to psychoactive “shrooms” (the author does her due diligence, to great effect). But Mycophilia is so much more than you expect it to be.

What the reader discovers is a diverse, vibrant, and vital community where information is still largely shared person-to-person. And that level of humanity captured in prose makes the book intensely interesting, occasionally irreverent, and frequently hilarious.

Jason Cortlund is the writer and co-director of the feature-film Now, Forager ( He is a member of the New York Mycological Society and editor of the club’s quarterly newsletter.

While planning this foraging-themed giveaway, I came across this fabulous Etsy shop owned by an artisan couple based out of Philly. Shauna & Stephen agreed to donate one of the sweet bowties in their Forage Haberdashery brand line, which has its own big cartel shop, too.

One lucky reader will receive this chocolate bowtie, the very last one they made, valued at $48 in their sample sale. It’ll make a pretty sweet gift for any dapper folks on your list.

And, finally, do you remember how I’m giving away 5 cases of jars leading up to the holidays? Well here’s the fifth and final case in that Ball Canning jar challenge. Perhaps you need a bunch of quart jars to stash your foraged morels or dehydrated porcinis? Maybe you need a case of pint jars to pressure can your homemade cream of mushroom soup? You’re in luck because this giveaway includes a free case of any size jars you desire.

The giveaway is now closed; thank you for entering! Congrats to Jennifer in Tennessee, our randomly selected winner.