Monday, July 20, 2015

Successful Mushroom Propagation

There were patches of chanterelles, lovely cheddar-yellow edibles, in my woods last summer, and I did as I was told and scissored them from the earth instead of yanking, and carried them in a net bag, which once held oranges, until I obtained a wicker basket -- the better for them to fling spores far and wide, generating new patches.

Then I waited for chanterelle season 2015: June and July. Propagation worked. Beyond my wildest. Behold today's basket (my basket is small -- I harvest only what I need) and, at right, one of the 20 or 30 new patches, the result of conservation and my active propagation.

Chanterelles grow in patches or "villages" on the forest floor, and only near, but not on, trees. I walked in that area every few days, year round, keeping the earth disturbed; mushrooms favor disturbed earth, which is why fungi grow so cheerfully in your lawn and your mulch.

I've changed my attitude toward rain. Rain means mushrooms. "Go out as soon as possible after rain," my mycological adviser said. So I do. It's a wonderland. I pick a few substandard, bug-eaten "chants" and crumble them in areas I'd like to see chants in 2016.

See "How I Cook Chanterelles" over at the Piehole blog.

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