Mushrooms
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

September 5, 2011

When you start to really look for food, it can be found all around, especially when it comes to the coastal temperate rainforest. I was out walking beneath an old growth canopy the other day when I stumbled onto some mushrooms that I thought looked like Chanterelles or Cantharellus cibarius. I picked one, along with the substrate it was growing out of to take it home and try to identify it. Many people are often scared by mushrooms thinking they will be poisonous. But with a little research online and some know how, these can become some delicate treats to add to the list of the foraging forest wanderer. To identify fungi, the substrate is often important so make a note of what you found the mushroom growing on. The color, odor, and way the gills are formed are also important. If you have a piece of white paper, you can take a spore print as well.

Walking along a path I saw these mushrooms growing... food all around

On this occasion, I found out that these mushrooms were in fact chanterelles although the jack-o’-lantern mushroom Omphalotus olearius which is considered poisonous is sometimes confused. This poisonous mushroom has unique characteristics though and can be distinguished if one takes the proper time. I found this site helpful for mushrooms growing on the west coast of North America http://www.mykoweb.com.  

By cutting mushrooms, ones leaves the mycelium to regenerate in following years

I also learned that when you harvest a mushroom, you should cut them at the base of the stalk rather than pick them, helping to promote regenerative growth in following seasons. It is also a good idea to shake the cap, or lightly tap them to help release the spores aiding in promoting the mushrooms return. Happy foraging!

Cut and ready to add to the garden greens, the berries, the food that grows all around

 

 

 

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