Posts Tagged ‘Foraging’

Foraging: a step forward

I’ve taken a step in foraging if only a little one: I’ve eaten a bit of mushroom I found. Not just any old thing: this was a slippery jack.

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I went exploring in a pine forest today, with the expectation of encountering interesting fungi to view and photograph. But when I found these, I had to take a few home!

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clockwise from bottom left, here is:
-old ammonia test: started pink then turned blue
-whole mushroom
-fresh ammonia test (pink)
-raw slice
-cooked slice (fried in olive oil)

In the interests of caution, I ate precisely one slice. It was pleasant: mushroomy and nutty. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully I have many more years of exploring and blogging ahead though.

Edit: 3 days on and I’m still here! I dried the rest of the mushrooms, which has not affected the lemony, almost apricot smell they have. I’ll try a bit more again in a few more days.
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Companion planting

This is a post from a while back that didn’t get published at the time.

These days we’re coming to think of our garden as a tiny created ecosystem. I’m now trying to expand what started with companion planting and the chickens to another kingdom: fungi. The idea of foraging for mushrooms is a tempting one, but comes with its dangers. Foraging for spore-bearing mushrooms for companion planting had many of the benefits without the risk!

The ink caps are endemic it seems and grow on decomposing matter. We have a ready supply of decomposing matter in our chicken manure, so I hope to be able to keep a colony supplied. And curiously, structures in the fungus are damaging to nematodes. Nematodes are a natural part of the soil, but some species eat vegetable roots.

We have what appears to be a species of ink cap that grows naturally in the garden:

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Using some shaggy manes (I think!) that I found in a garden, I’ve inoculated my garden beds.

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Hopefully they’ll flourish and I’ll have a poo-digesting, nematode-busting, soil-stabilising and curiously autodigesting ally in the garden!

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