Fungi forum: Fungiphiles unite!

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Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
May 14, 2015 12:16 PM CST
I've foraging and eating what I find for many years, I've been expanding to mushrooms the past few year, I'm super excited to see this subforum! @dave - big thanks!

They are such fascinating creatures! The more I learn about them, the more I realize just how vital they are!
Look around, all your lovely gardens...would be very different if not for these unseen undertakers, not only can we thank them for the rich soil they provide, but a great many of them also form a symbiotic relationship with trees and other plants. Often they entwine their mycelium with the fine root hairs of plants, not as a parasite at all, but rather as a lover! Often the plants will share their sugars with fungi, exchanging them for the equivalent of growth hormones for the plant, without this bond, neither creature would have access to these substances!
If you even vaguely believe in evolution, and know about about the natural history of our planet then you can see that most plants evolved in the presence of fungus, if they weren't here for all those millennia, the plant life around us today would surely have taken many different paths. Some scientists actually believe that without fungi, we would have no trees! I can't attest to that... But can you imagine a world with no trees... If you can't then come to central Kentucky! This land is a barren wasteland of grass... Pitiful!

Here in the states we have very little interest in fungi, while much of the old world has a strong history of mushroom foraging and consumption! It's knowledge that gets pasted down through family and friends.
Like most folks around here, I never had anyone to teach me, I know some very knowledgable outdoors people but they never had anyone to teach them, one break in the chain is all it takes...
Thus in surrounded by fungiphobes... Folks that stomp down toad stools and Mow down morels... To each their own I suppose... Funny thing is they do more to spread these fungi than I do... I remove them from the environment entirely, whilst these folks help spread spores...shhhh... Don't tell em... Rolling my eyes.

To be fair, some shrooms are indeed toxic, a few are even deadly, but it really is only a few types, especially when compared to our beloved plants!
Toxic plants far outnumber toxic fungi, it's s fact, please do research it for your self!
I'd wager that almost everyone here on atp has atleast a few planted out... They're everywhere!
The vast majority of poisoning comes from 2 things, idiots that just go out and gather random mushrooms and consume them( it happens a lot, nature has a way of thinning the herd) either as food or with the hope they are active( hallucinogenic).
If you went out and just gathered random plants, you'd likely end up very ill as well!
Poisonous mushrooms do t always taste bad either, that seems to thrown folks off...
There's also a large population of Asian immigrants that are used to gathering paddy straw mushroom in their home country, their it seems, there are no toxic lookalikes... While here in America, and Europe, we have atleast 2 deadly lookalike to the paddy straw... One is the death cap, the other is the destroying angel... So you can guess how it goes when a family sits down to a large meal of several of these deadly aminita mushrooms.
These 2 things account for almost every mushroom poisoning that happens here today.
Know what your putting in your body! Everyday! I'm not just talking about shrooms either, were being slowly poisoned everyday.
Wild gathered food can be very clean, or polluted, depending on their environment, just like any food.
Pesticides seem to be absorbed by mushrooms that grow in areas that's its actively sprayed, as well as residue from many years ago, depending on the spray, many orchards used pesticides full of heavy metals, these can be found in the mushrooms(and plants) surrounding.
Studies have shown oyster mushrooms can actually grow on media that has been saturated my oil! And the the fungi consume the oil, yielding fruit(mushrooms) that are supposedly free if of harmful substances, I'd still pass on that shroom! But really awesome!

Identification can be tricky... Especially if you have no base of knowledge, once you start learning the traits and the ways to distinguish them, it's not so bad, just always be prepared to say " no idea what that one is!" But like anything else, if you get ute rested and start studying, eventually it will come to you!
I'm up to about 20 types of edibles that I feel I can safely ID on my own and feel confident enough to eat them, and share them.
If you even remotely like the taste of mushrooms then you'll likely be blown away when you eat good wild ones... There's a reason high end restaurants pay through the nose for these things!
Around here it's normal to make a meal of mushrooms and everybody pig out...
Contrary to what many believe, mushrooms are actually highly nutritious too! Almost all of them contain long chain polysaccharide instead of simple sugars, doing a little reading on that stuff! Wow!
Not to mention up to 80% of the total weight of some mushroom is protein, it's obvious when you eat chicken of the woods that your eating lots of protein...

Hunting them is a blast too!
I'm a multigenerational farmer on the same farm, it's what we do, cattle, field crops and garden plants... And it's a lot of work to continually maintain. ALOT!
There's something great about taking a walk in the woods or field and coming back free food, something you just stumble upon... It's great!
It's a great excuse to get out, do something with the family, kids are great hunters! Closer to the ground too! Give em a little encouragement and away they go!
I've found the most amazing native plants when I'm out hunting too! That's the way it works, go out looking for one thing, and your bound to find more of the thing your not looking for!

I think I'll maintain this post with pics as the year goes on... I find a lot ;) I'll have to dig up some old pics...

It's time to get back to the garden now, it's been very dry and extremely hot and breezy the lady few weeks, it's wiped out the wild edibles around here for now...


I'll edit these to include names for anyone interested
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Scarlet elf cup, edible
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Wood puff balls, toxic
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Mica caps, edible, DONOT COMSUME WITH ALCOHOL!
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Violet toothed polypore, not toxic, too woody to eat, some claim medicinal properties, with unknown Orange polypore, no polypore is known to be toxic! :)
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Dryad saddle
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Hexagonal gilled polypore, not toxic
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False morel, gyrometria, toxic
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Dryad saddle
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Mica caps in a hackberry stump
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Mica caps, also known as inky caps
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More mica caps in hackberry stump, these mushrooms are terrestrial, they only grow from rotting wood that's buried, these ones have helped decompose this tree to the point that the fungi things it's dirt!
Note the disk blade embedded in the tree generations ago :)
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My one lonely morel, growing in Fayette co (Lexington) Kentucky!
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Huge dryad saddle, edible!
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Lions mane also known as bearded tooth and bears head, edible
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Dryad saddle, about to cross the threshold from edible to eaten!
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Dryad saddle, I prefer to call them pheasant back, they're beautifully patterned with feathers on top!
Tiny pores below.
Latin name is polyporus squamosis (sp?)
These are a great beginner mushroom!
Very distinctive!
When damaged, the smell strongly of cucumber or watermelon rind, the flavor doesn't come through when cooked, they are delicious!
They can get tough, but if you cook them right (add or trap sufficient moisture to keep them from getting tough) they have a very familiar mushroom taste and texture.
Button stage is no good, you need wait until they fan out, but you can't use all of the cap, it will get tough the closer you get to the stem.
I just cut into them in a radial pattern until I feel resistance, then go around the mushroom, yielding diced chunks, very easy!
Then cook as you normally would any mushroom
We love them here!


Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
[Last edited by Swayback - May 14, 2015 10:02 PM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 14, 2015 12:47 PM CST
Gorgeous photos, and I like your philosophy!

My theory is that higher plants and soil micro-organisms co-evolved so that green plants would thrive and drop lots of organic matter onto the soil for soil organisms to eat.

In effect, the "soil community" co-evolved to benefit root hairs and plants, decomposers, worms, and even soil tilth. A square meter of sand or clay supports little life of any sort.

However, once green plants are able to grow at all, they add organic matter that allows soil microbes to make the soil more fertile and more open. That lets more plants grow, which feed more soil organisms, until there are many living things above and in the soil.

geter
Jun 30, 2015 7:33 AM CST
Great shots and info. I finish my internship on a mushroom farm today. I am learning wild hunting, like you said it's rare to find someone with experience to go with and learn from. The more I ask, the more I find. I think is wonderful we can cultivate wild strains.
Happy hunting. I tip my hat to you.
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
Jul 1, 2015 1:17 AM CST
geter said:Great shots and info. I finish my internship on a mushroom farm today. I am learning wild hunting, like you said it's rare to find someone with experience to go with and learn from. The more I ask, the more I find. I think is wonderful we can cultivate wild strains.
Happy hunting. I tip my hat to you.


Where do you live?
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
Plant Identifier
Image
Swayback
Jul 1, 2015 1:24 AM CST
Chanterelles are on the loose right now around here!
They alway give me a belly ache when I eat enough, I think they just get things moving along *Blush*
They're so easy to spot, and so easy to clean! Just don't wash them until you cook them!
Been finding some shaggy manes too, they're just so hard to do anything with before they melt.

I haven't been getting enough pics, one day I might break down and actually get a real camera and learn to use it...

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I did snap 2 of these, they were particularly interesting to me, so tiny and so numerous!
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!

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