Interesting Information about Wild Mushrooms

A friend recently commented that they don’t forage for wild mushrooms because many can kill. I respect that feeling and a great number of people feel the same way. However, there are some truths about wild mushrooms that many people don’t know or don’t understand. Mushroom classifications When it comes to edibility, it is helpful to classify wild mushrooms in one of five categories. The mushroom can be deadly poisonous, poisonous, inedible, edible and choice. A deadly poisonous mushroom is one that can kill when only a small amount is ingested. A poisonous mushroom can kill only if enough of the mushroom is eaten. Usually people don’t die from these, they just get sick to their stomachs. Inedible mushrooms won’t hurt you if you eat them, but they are similar to chewing on a cardboard box. They aren’t worth eating unless you are in a survival situation. Edible mushrooms aren’t always the best tasting, but they are still worth eating. Choice mushrooms are those that taste wonderful. Note that ‘choice’ a subjective classification. Deadly poisonous and poisonous mushrooms What surprises many people is that there are very few deadly poisonous mushrooms. Most are also unappetizing, either in looks or in smell. This is true of most poisonous mushrooms as well, and many inedible mushrooms have a disagreeable aroma or flavor. In other words, a person would probably need to be desperate if they ate these mushrooms. The numbers are also worth looking that, though I won’t get precise. The reason Continue Reading →

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Learning Where Morel Mushrooms Grow

Like many mushrooms, morels can grow at different altitudes and in different places. However, the key to finding them is often in knowing where they are most likely to be abundant. Armed with this knowledge, a person is more likely to find them, though they may also grow in other places. The morel and forests Morel mushrooms are primarily forest mushrooms, and they prefer mountainous terrain. While they can occasionally be found growing in low altitudes near deciduous forests of oak and maple, they are more abundant in coniferous forests of fir and pine, or mixed forests that include such trees as aspen and cottonwood. They are also more likely to be found at elevations above 3500 feet and especially those around 4000 feet. Optimum growing conditions A great deal of this has to do with the optimum growing conditions for the fruiting body of the morel; what most people think of as a morel mushroom. The hair-like roots are also morel mushrooms, however they are hard to see, and they won’t always send up the morel we are used to picking and eating. These mushrooms need a lot of good nutrients in order to send up the mushroom stalk. This doesn’t mean that the soil needs to be rich, and in fact, morels are often known to grow in poor and rocky soil. The nutrients come from the natural breakdown of pine needles, fir needles, and leaves, laid down through the year. The tiny roots of morels actually aid Continue Reading →

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