Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Mushroom Time


Bright golden Chanterelles are beacons of cheer this time of year for gardeners and hikers.  These huge ruffled mushrooms pop up year after year under our ancient oak trees at Wildwood Farm.  They like to hide under cover of fallen leaves so it takes an eagle eye to find them.  The cold wet dreary skies are always a reminder to look for them though; it’s definitely a reminder to the mycelium to send up fruitbodies!

Of course, the mycelium lives underneath the ground all year with the oak’s roots.  The fungus gets extra sugars from the oak. The oak uses the mycelium to absorb extra water and nutrients.  A classic symbiotic relationship.

Besides admiring the Chanterelles from above, we also harvest them.  Each mushroom has gills that radiate outward from the stem – very photogenic any way you slice it.  Of course, we eat them too.  They are packed with Vitamin C, Potassium, and Vitamin D.  And they taste great with eggs, in stuffing, or alone.  The trick is to cook the right mushroom!

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