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Anyone who loves hunting, learning, understanding, protecting, educating others, and respects matsutake mushroom and it's habitat is matsiman. Those of us who can't get enough understanding, constantly trying to determine what caused this or that to happen, or not happen. We are not limited to nationality, gender, education, or age group. Anyone can be a matsiman. There is at least one in every picking community. 

Most matsimen use past experience and observations to come to conclusions. In most cases, works well, most of the time. However, as all matsimen know, it is a constant learning process, both frustrating and rewarding. Ah!, the moment when that one little piece fits, or something you've learned takes you to shrooms! 

This particular matsiman has had advantages others have not. 400 acre private property, well protected from mass invasion. One year of near perfect mushrooms, spreading across the landscape in slow motion. There is nothing like watching a flush flow across a mountain. It took a little while of just watching, but eventually some things became crystal clear (As if anything in matsi is crystal clear). Lets just say some things just couldn't be, and some had to be. Took five years to get that far. 

Records had been kept of what was produced each year, buying station sales tickets. Since temperature was suspected of being the major influence, past years temperatures form a local town were acquired. Knowing nothing about a mushroom, I borrowed a mushroom cultivator book from a friend. I had no idea if what I saw was possible, or if this was another dead end. I was surprised to find temperatures play a big roll in mushroom production. In some more critical than moisture, during certain stages. Nothing unusual about this assumption at all, in fact, likely. Suddenly, it wasn't so far fetched.

The next advantage was the computer/spreadsheet. I tried working numbers by hand, but it was too much, and too many chances for mistakes. Using a computer I was able to determine the close relationship temperatures had to formation. At the same time, could find no relationship to rain. Still I didn't believe it.

Spent the last 6 years checking to see if it fits all the time, anywhere. So far it does. While testing findings, other interesting points were noted. When do mushrooms form, how long does it take, how fast do they grow, and many others. With better knowledge of what causes fruit, it sure is easier to find shrooms. 

All matsimen need the best information available now a days. We have watched our sacred areas invaded by vast numbers. Most looking for money, few caring what they did to our patches. So we found new patches. Only to be pushed out again. Our last hope is to educate "them", while learning more ourselves.

Matsimen are there year after year to check their patches mushrooms or not, few or many. We get annoyed when others show up mostly cause they don't know what their doing. We would rather you stayed home, but if you come to our patches,  we ask that you respect us, the forest, and the mushroom. Take the time to learn how to pick, and don't leave your garbage. You will earn our respect as a fellow gatherer.

(Andy Moore)

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