WINTERTIME? It's surely about snow. It's full of chilly winds and rooflines sparkly with icicles and hills made for sledding. You've got to wear your parka, and tromp through sleet and frost, all to reach a cozy cabin where cocoa is on the stove. And yet? That's not winter everywhere in California, or even most parts of our state. For in some other amazing areas, beyond our higher mountain peaks, where the ground is loamy and the soil is rich and sea breezes reign, there's a different approach to the outdoors come January. It's all about foraging, and finding mushrooms and such that are perfect for the sauté pan, and learning about the ancient art from those that practice La Vida Forage on the regular. Where to go to experience this particular version of a California winter?
BIG SUR, of course, which is where the annual Big Sur Foragers Festival sprouts each year. And the 2020 dates were just announced, if you are already dreaming of pulling your rain-proof boots out of the closet and your favorite hiking pants. Best make plans to visit the coast from Jan. 16 through 19, 2020, for a host of forage-focused festivities. Will the popular Fungus Face-off return? You bet, so make a date to be at the Big Sur River Inn & Restaurant on Jan. 18 for "food tastings, fine wines, craft beers, raffles, a silent auction, and more." The festival reports that not only does the Fungus Face-off sell out, but tickets will go early, so best nab yours when they first become available in July 2019. And, of course,
A FORAGING WALK, with experts at the lead, is part of the four-day to-do, so you'll want to sign up for one or more. Other brunchy happenings, and sit-down-and-dine events, fill the schedule, balancing the festival between happenings that have you looking down at the ground and looking at your plate (and those seated at the table around you). If you've wanted to burnish your forage skills, or commune with Big Sur again, or a bit of "all of the above," dig here for more information.