Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2017, Volume 43, No. 1 - Page 13

JEB: Although the button mushroom or the portabella, they have gills, right? ARM: Right. There are some great gilled mushrooms, but there are some re- ally dangerous look-alikes, so you just have to be especially careful with that group. JEB: So with all of this mushroom forag- ing, how do you find time to practice law? Is this a seasonal thing? ARM: Yes, it does have a seasonal focus in the summer and fall, and a little bit in the spring during morel season, but we cram our weekends. There are times of the year where I am extremely busy but it is worth it because it keeps me balanced and fuels a passion that is important to me. It gives me perspective. To be a good lawyer you need to stay balanced which comes in dif- ferent forms for people, but for me, it is a really wonderful way to use a different part of my brain. JEB: And then you still have time to practice law! What are your primary prac- tice areas? ARM: I am in a general practice firm here, and my legal clerkship was with the Conservation Law Foundation in Montpe- lier so I have an environmental law back- ground. I do some environmental per- mitting work, but I also do just about ev- erything in the general practice arena in a small town--what walks through the door. I do some landlord-tenant, some business formations and transactions, some guard- ianships and probate, varied areas of law that are in the general practice domain. JEB: Have you ever had a mushroom- related case like trespassing or poisoning? ARM: I have not, but I have had at least one client who initially discovered me through the mushroom workshop. who ended up transitioning out of practice to maintain their passion, is that it sounds like you have been able to achie ve a nice balance between practicing and foraging. ARM: Yeah, it’s all about the balance. JEB: And the other thing that struck me about mushroom foraging, is it kind of goes along with our increasing focus on wellness seminars, about being mindful, and gener- ally it strikes me, that this is a mindful prac- tice. Whenever you are in the woods, you are actually looking at the spring plants or mushrooms and you are being more mind- ful about your surroundings. ARM: For sure. It really is a way of see- ing and a practice in mindfulness. I warn people when they come to our workshops, that you are never going to see the forest in the same way again once you experi- ence it through the forager’s eyes. It trans- forms your view of the world and overall, I think that is a mindfulness thing as you hunt through the woods for a certain spe- cies with a target in mind. It also can come in the form of all of a sudden you begin seeing potential mushrooms in every cor- ner of the forest getting overly obsessive and excited. Sometimes you have a hard time keeping conversations or focusing on anything other than the potential mush- rooms. It can be distracting. JEB: It would be like my friend with the barracuda, saying it tastes really good, but…. ARM: Right. Definitely not a risk you ever want to be taking. There are plenty of mushrooms that look nothing like the de- stroying angel that are delicious, so in gen- eral for beginners, never eat an all-white mushroom and know that the gilled mush- rooms in general tend to be more danger- ous than mushrooms that might have pores or teeth. JEB: My father told me about all of the spring plants so when I hike in the spring, I am a lot slower looking for new trilliums or jack in the pulpits or spring beauties, or whatever is coming up in the spring, mov- ing slower than in the summer when I am just trying to move as fast as I can to keep the bugs away! I probably never notice things in the summer. ARM: Exactly. There is a beauty in slow- ing down sometimes. JEB: Because the practice of law is un- doubtedly fast-paced and stressful. ARM: Right. JEB: So we will end with slowing down and de-stressing. Excellent. Thank you so much for your time, Ari. Happy foraging! ____________________ Do you want to nominate yourself or a fellow VBA member to be interviewed for Pursuits of Happiness? Email me at jeb@ vtbar.org. JEB: Well that’s good! Your partners are supportive of your outside passion? ARM: Everyone here has been very sup- portive and wonderful. JEB: Great. So I find that to be one of the best things about this talk, because some of my other interviews were people www.vtbar.org THE VERMONT BAR JOURNAL • SPRING 2017 13