"I have 800 euros in retirement, it helps pay for the diesel...": When the boletus business helps make ends meet

“I have 800 euros in retirement, it helps pay for the diesel…”: When the boletus business helps make ends meet

Mushroom season is still in full swing in Losers and mushroom pickers sometimes take advantage of this to find additional income.

“A stacked kilogram! And 1.3 kilograms on the scale for the lady!”. Francette, 62, has just delivered her harvest for the day: porcini mushrooms just picked in the woods a few kilometers from this storefront warehouse in Saint-Chély-d’Apcher (Lozère).

Here are 40 bullets. Pascal Theo answers him annoyed, gray mustache and laughing eyes. The cute mushroom picker hands him two 20€ worth of papers and a signed voucher. The young retiree who worked in wire is a regular and is coming in for the first time this week Wednesday, October 26th.

From 2 EUR to 16 EUR per kilo depending on the quality

She says it directly: picking porcini mushrooms allows her to improve her daily life. “I have a pension of €800, and it helps pay for the diesel… It’s been a good year for porcini mushrooms” She says before she opens her heels. Roman, 23, also talks about this damn substance “that costs an arm” By depositing 700 grams of mushrooms that were found while walking the dog.

Genevieve, 67, has gray bangs, square glasses, following in her footsteps. She did not hesitate to drive 35 kilometers from Cantal to display her crop discovered in its corners, of course a secret. “It’s extra income for our small pension, for insurance or heating” Says this is a former farmer who lives on 750 euros a month.

Purchases per kilo.

Purchases per kilo.

Under the benevolent eye of Pascal Theo, Chantal and Pascal, his prized lieutenants sorted porcini mushrooms into three classes before the boxes returned to Aveyronnais Primeur Jean-Luc Bernat who redistributed the goods in the Albi, Sète or Montpelier markets. “3” where green moss won the mushroom, 2 euros per kilo, “2” for light green porcini mushrooms 5 euros, and on that day, the first option goes up to 16 euros. The end of the season is coming and prices are going up.

“It pays wood to keep warm, frankly it really helps”

Enough to spark strong interest among collectors who want to tackle inflation or even get by. Corinne, 53, arrived proud of the app that counted her steps into the woods: “14,000, or 8 km” announces with a smile. Unemployed, prone to big back problems, a 17-year-old girl to raise … She was picking mushrooms every day for a month and a half and the beginning of the season for more than a hundred kilograms. “This keeps me busy and pays for wood to keep warm, frankly it helps a lot… Today, in the supermarket, there is not much left in my cart for 50 euros” She is scarring.

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Mushroom picking: porcini mushrooms, chanterelles … Here are 10 golden rules to follow

Josephine, 65, just stopped his car. She still raises cattle in Kantal, with her son taking over the business, while the husband hangs up : “Everything is getting bigger, food for us and for the animals, I don’t know where we’re going!” She said, putting her box on the scale. The few Euros collected would make it possible in particular to pay part of the electricity bill for animal enthusiasts. “We’re counting cents, not billions like Mbappe!” Says.

“We count the cents, not the billions like MBappé”

“We can make 70 coupons a day” Calculate the manifold. The boletus season is exceptional in Loser, it is much less or not good at all in the other departments, up to the peak of one ton bought by Pascal Theo one day in September. Always in cash. Some managed to win as much as 1,500 or 2,000 euros. He will not risk not declaring anything, because all these points of purchase are monitored by fraud and tax authorities.

A trip to Disneyland

But he assures him, no one arrives with tens of kilograms to give up, his clients of Lozériens are “clean”. Many of them are above all enthusiasts, not necessarily in need. “I have fantasies” Jano, 76, smiles, while Michel, a former mason can buy something to mess with: Put butter in spinachEmilian, 73, or Jean Bernard, 78, go ahead ‘to spoil young children’Alexis “Make a cat for a trailer” Just like David, a father of two: this year, he’ll give them picking porcini mushrooms “Stay at Disneyland”.

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