Edible Wild Mushrooms – Morels, Puffballs, Chanterelles and other Delicious Fungi

There are several varieties of easily distinguishable, edible mushrooms, with none more well-known than the morel– a fungus, rather than a mushroom. While each has a distinct growing season and distinct locale, they all form a family of delectable wild foods that are much sought after, like the French truffle.

The most distinguishable of the edible mushrooms is the puffball – a globe-shaped mushroom that can grow to soccer ball size, and has a delightfully woody flavour Shroom chocolate. The favourite growing site of this mushroom is on dung heaps, in wood chips and rotting tree mulch, and near sunlit pastures. It is best eaten before the interior begins to turn from solid white to brown to black. Be sure that your pick is truly a puffball, and has no stalk growing inside. It should be firm and light-colored inside. Puffballs begin to develop in late spring & early summer, producing into the early fall.

The next morel cousin is the shaggy mane, a morel-shaped mushroom with upward-turning scales and a dusty brown color. It grows from spring until summer, to a height of 4-6″, preferring open air and meadows to the mottled lighting of a woodland. Shaggy manes are distinguishable by their tendency to break easily when handled.

Chanterelles are another delicacy with a flavour not unlike morels. Although found in summer and fall, they like similar soil conditions. Imagine a trumpet with its mouth facing skyward, and you’ll have an image of the beige to brown chanterelle mushroom.

One of the most unusually shaped fungi is the hen-of-the-woods, a growth found at the base of decaying trees that looks almost identical to a reddish hen with ruffled tail feathers. This delightful mushroom can be found in late spring and early summer. Catch it early and young, though, to ensure that it has not developed a woody texture.

Of course, one of the earliest edible mushrooms is the oyster mushroom which can often be found even as the snows just begin to melt. Growing on the sides of dead trees, these beautiful white clusters offer an early taste of the mushroom harvests to follow.

Other mushrooms and fungi can be edible, including shelf mushrooms, often found growing on decaying trees in shaded woodlands. However, many of the standard umbrella-type mushrooms have deadly sisters, while others (such as the shelf mushroom) may be edible, yet have bland taste, or tough textures. There are numerous options for mushroom tunnels. Hiring a company to build your mushroom tunnel is the best option. A company will provide you with the whole set up. This will insure that your mushroom tunnel is built correctly and will also ensure you are starting with the best growing facility possible. These companies will give you several options as to what kind of building you want, the type of insulation and how big you want it to be. You may want to visit other mushroom tunnels to decide what kind of system you want for your farm. The tunnel can be created in several different ways including underground.

The set up of your mushroom farm can be difficult. A mushroom is a fungus and in order to grow requires a very specific environment. In order to start farming you will have to first create the right environment inside the tunnel. You must provide the mushrooms with the right growing environment which consists of the right temperature and the right amount of water at all times. Mushrooms must be checked for contamination regularly. Contamination can spread and end up depleting your whole crop.

Providing this sterile, air controlled environment can be one of the most difficult aspects of mushroom farming. The other more difficult element of mushroom growing is the medium. Finding a proper medium for your mushrooms to grow in can prove to be very tricky. Talk with other mushroom growers to find out what they use. Look for a supplier who will give you a decent price for what you need.

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