Mushroom Obsession RSS

Here at Shortsinwoods, we harvested a huge crop of Shaggy Parasols (Chlorophylum rhacodes) this Fall. These mushrooms dehydrate very easily, and after doing this we found ourselves with about a half dozen gallon-size bags full! These beautiful mushrooms began growing (wild) in our gravel driveway a few years ago, then took up residence in a decaying pile of Bigleaf Maple leaves which I had been using as a repository for the huge Bigleaf Maple tree in our back yard when it dumped its leaves each fall. The caps have a lovely feathery appearance and can be 7" or more in...

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The Morel may be my favorite mushroom (taste-wise), but the Spring season isn't my favorite season. There are a few other mushrooms out there in the Spring, but not near as many as in the Fall. So Morels are definitely the focus. And here in Washington State, Morel hunting is a tough go. This is primarily because they grow mainly in burned-out Douglas Fir forests, and there is fierce competition for them with professional hunters, who take the lion's share. These hardy folk are out there each Spring, and they know where their favorite spots are. Makes it hard to...

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Okay, I promised I'd share my thoughts about Lycoperdon (Puffball mushrooms). Each fall we see clusters of these rimming the various trails through the forest areas where we hunt Chanterelles and other delicious shrooms. We've harvested them while they're young (firm and white), but they are a lot of trouble to peel. Their flavor is fairly nondescript, many compare it to scrambled eggs or tofu. And like tofu, they pretty much soak up the flavor of whatever you cook them in or with. But the painful part is that you have to peel off the tough, leathery outer shell, and...

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Well, the obvious answer is "no" ... right? Mushrooms aren't sentient. They don't have brains. How could they scheme? The more I get to know mushrooms, the more I'm confronted by some of life's greatest anomalies. Evolutionists tell us that mushrooms evolved not from plants, but from animals. And they do indeed exhibit some very animal-like characteristics. For instance, we've been talking a lot about Oyster Mushrooms. Some time ago I learned something amazing about Oyster Mushrooms which I really can't explain, at least by appealing to evolution. Here it is, hopefully in a nutshell ... Oyster mushrooms, like many...

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In my last blog I briefly discussed my recent (successful) attempts to cultivate Ostreatus pleurotus, the lovely Pearl Oyster Mushroom. (These come in a variety of colors, but the one I've attempted is the most common, the pearl-grayish-white color of the prolific Pearl Oyster.) The method I spoke of was using 3-foot lengths of cut maple lots, about 5 or 6 inches in diameter, with mycelium-impregnated spawn plugs (commercially available) hammered into quarter-inch, inch-deep holes drilled into the log, then sealed with wax. The log is then mounted on a tripod-like mount (which I made of outdoor wood) about 18"...

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