Atsali Sowu Mushroom Harvest Tradition / Ritual in Thaiterra | World Anvil
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Atsali Sowu Mushroom Harvest

The Atsali Sowu Mushrooms are extremely delicate and only grow in the deepest darkest reaches of the caverns on Thaiterra. They can only be harvested in complete darkness or they wilt in seconds. As such, harvesting them has become a cherished tradition among certain Weinadi groups.   The Weinadi will seal up the caverns where the mushrooms grow until time for the harvest, and then carefully unseal them and send in harvesters who have been blindfolded and practiced harvesting things in total darkness.


When a cavern of Atsali Sowu is discovered or planted, it is immediately sealed off from all light sources. The faintest possible lantern will be used to determine how close to maturation the mushrooms are, and from that the farmers will make the necessary calculations to figure out the ideal harvest time.   With maybe a week left before the actual harvest, people will apply to be the harvesters, in exchange for a share of the mushrooms. Depending on the farmer, there might be a kind of game to see who will actually do the harvest, or perhaps a contest or challenge. Regardless, the final few days are spent in careful preparation, with the harvesters practicing the best techniques, blindfolded.   When night falls of the allotted day for harvest, the harvesters (and possibly a small crowd of onlookers) will gather at the cavern, and are carefully sent in. Some will still use blindfolds, for comfort, and because some have been known to go a little crazy at the penetrating darkness the mushrooms must be kept in. They harvest as quickly as possibly, shuffling out basket after basket to the outside world, sightless for ten hours or more.   When day dawns, or the harvesters believe the majority of mushrooms have been collected, the harvest is declared complete and a small celebration begins. Some of the fresh mushrooms are eaten, the rest are passed out to those who have earned them or prepared for storage.   The cavern is then flooded with light, which destroys the remaining mushrooms, but also triggers the start of a new growing process as the spores are released. The cave is re-sealed and the process begins again.

Components and tools

While a few cultures will use tools, the vast majority of harvesters will only use their hands, relying on feeling the mushrooms in the soil to avoid crushing any of the delicate fungi.
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