Monday, March 28, 2011

Fenceposts & Fungi!

If I have any hopes of ever getting to harvest a single blueberry or strawberry in the near future, the berry garden has to be fenced.  The chickens just love scratching around the mulch in there and the baby goats (who can escape out of the goat yard through the cattle panels) are eventually going to find out that they can eat those bushes.  And I’m sure the deer wouldn’t mind a night-late snack of them.
So while Rhiannon and I were inside doing household drudgery this weekend, Paul was working on my garden fence.  Isn’t he great?!

While sawing up cedar logs for posts, Paul found a funky looking mushroom on one of them.  I think it’s a Black Rubber Cup (fitting name), but of course, I’m not totally sure.  The description fits, but the field guide says they are found in the Pacific Northwest.  I wish there was someone around here with real field experience on local mushrooms.  

Two years ago there was a huge batch of mushrooms on the stumps of sawed off trees, close to the ground.  At first I thought (and hoped) that they were Chanterelle mushrooms, but then found another one, the Jack O’ Lantern that looked very similar.  And of course, the Jack O’ Lanterns are poisonous.  The field guide said that if gathered fresh and taken into a dark room, the gills will give off an eerie green glow.  Next time I see these I’m going to pick some and see if they glow in the dark.

Every once in a while we’ll get puffball mushrooms in the front yard, although I haven’t tried eating those yet.  I think that will be the first wild mushroom I try as they are darned easy to positively identify.  Morel season is also just around the corner and I’m going to try to do some serious hunting around the property for those.
I really need to learn to ID these things.  We just love cooking with them, but I just can’t stand spending $4 a pound on those tasteless, button mushrooms in the stores.  I can also get Portabella mushrooms in the store, but they are even more expensive and they are definitely lacking in quality.  
Paul has mentioned buying a mushroom kit before, but I don’t know if I’m up to another gardening project right now.  Besides, I still want “free” wild edibles if I can find them.


  1. I have never hunted mushrooms simply because it would be just my luck, I'd get the poisonous ones! I can certainly understand why a qualified mushroom hunter would be on your wish list.

  2. We have Chantrelle's in our neck of the woods, and I pick 'em for hubby and cook 'em up. I've also dehydrated them. I'm not a mushroom fan, unfortunately, so there's no since in growing any. There are some good books out there, or you might contact your local Extension Agent for names of local "mushroom" folks.

  3. You know, I've been meaning to talk to the local Extension Agent about several things. This mushroom-craving may finally get me to do it.

  4. The only ones I am sure of are morels....and then I would have my knowledgeable neighbor check them out first.
    Don't eat anything you are unsure of!!!