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Mushrooms Galore

October 6th, 2012

This past Tuesday evening, Mr Chiots and I attended a seminar at our new local library about mushrooms. It was led by Greg Marley who wrote Mushrooms for Health.

It was mainly geared towards the health benefits of mushrooms and why you should add them to your diet. I’ve read a lot on this topic and we try to eat a lot of mushrooms, both because we like them and for their health benefits.

He also brought in loads of mushrooms to look at and identify. They came in all colors, shapes and sizes and were so fun to look at.

He also talked about which edible mushrooms you could find in Maine, specifically, which ones we could find this fall! I knew many of the mushrooms we had in Ohio. Mr Chiots and I harvested morels in our own backyard. I even grew some of my own mushrooms last fall from logs I had inoculated with spawn plugs. I am looking forward to learning all the edible mushrooms we have here on our property. We certainly see mushrooms by the hundreds when we’re out hiking.

Greg definitely knew a lot about mushrooms, I was very impressed with his knowledge. He collected mushrooms all over the Northeast and sells tinctures and mushroom tea. You can read more about him and see his products on his website Mushrooms 4 Health. I’ll definitely be reading his book soon and all the other books he recommended.

Mr Chiots and I are even going to talk to him about partnering with us in a new project we’ve got in the works (more on this exciting new in the coming months).

Greg is leading other seminars in the area this month, I may just have to attend one on mushroom identification. I would love to learn a lot more about all the wonderful mushrooms I find, both edible and not. There are always books (a few that he recommended are listed below), but there’s nothing quite like hands on study when it comes to something like this. A photo in a book doesn’t come close to seeing something in person.

Have you ever harvested mushrooms from the wild and eaten them?

For more reading on this topic:

15 Comments to “Mushrooms Galore”
  1. Marina C on October 6, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Oh yes!
    When we lived in England, in the North Downs, there was a profusion of Boletus Edulis in the pine and birch woods near us, and we used to go often. Our two year old daughte knew to find the poisonous Amanita, the ‘Disney’ red cap with white dots, and Boletus grew near by. We were a mushroom hunting team…
    Some day, tell us the story of how you and Mr. Chiot made this plan up. To up root and get a whole little kingdom in Maine as you have just done!
    What fun…

    Reply to Marina C's comment

    • Susy on October 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

      We do have something in the works to explain the whole story. Stay tuned, we’ll se launching once we get settled and get all of our ducks in a row.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Jaye on October 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Morels! We used to take “Sunday Drives” and look for spots that grew them. We’d all pick them, them Mom would cook them up when we got home :) I haven’t seen a Morel in years now though…:(

    Reply to Jaye's comment

  3. jennifer fisk on October 6, 2012 at 9:21 am

    When I was growing up, every fall my family would go to pastures and harvest meadow mushrooms. We would come home with shopping bags full and have them for dinner. I have been know to run onto someone’s lawn and pick them. Right now I have a crop of honey mushrooms on a few stumps in my back yard.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  4. kristin @ going country on October 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

    My mother-in-law just went on a mushroom walk with a mycologist at the university she works at, and then she collected a bunch of mushrooms from somewhere on her way home from work. We ate them last night in beef stew. They were delicious. We’re going to take our kids on that mushroom walk next year, I think.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  5. KimH on October 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I’ve never had the opportunity to learn about wild mushrooms and I’ve always been hesitant to try to identify them from a book since the area where I used to live (when I had time to do something like that) had some pretty noxious shrooms that looked like edible ones.

    I would love to find someone local like you have that I could go learn from. While I’ve learned loads of things from books, I agree, there are just some things that are better when you learn hands on… I think mushrooms are one of them.

    Good luck on “whats next!”

    Reply to KimH's comment

  6. sharon on October 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    In Germany if you were a mushoom expert you could find edibles and I had them …delisios

    Reply to sharon's comment

  7. angie h on October 8, 2012 at 8:16 am

    How long can you store mushrooms you harvest yourself? Do you have to can them/saute and freeze?

    Reply to angie h's comment

    • Susy on October 8, 2012 at 8:18 am

      You can saute them and freeze them. I also like to dry them, you can rehydrate by throwing them in soup. Some mushrooms rehydrate better than others, some get kind of leathery. You can also grind dried mushrooms and add the powder to soups, which will add flavor and health benefits and avoid the possibly leathery rehydrated mushroom bits.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • angie h on October 8, 2012 at 10:48 am

        So do you use this in place of cream of mushroom soup in recipes? I hate the look of cream of mushroom soup from the can. I know it is used as a base for a lot of good recipes…my sister-in-law makes a yummy beef stroganoff and uses it. I bet would be even better with homemade cream of mushroom base!

        to angie h's comment

      • Susy on October 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

        Yes you can some powdered mushrooms and cream.

        to Susy's comment

  8. Kaytee on October 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I’m so glad you posted about this. I’ve always wanted to know more about foraging for wild mushrooms. I might go see Greg’s talk at the Kennebunk Library on Thursday. Looks like it could be really interesting.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  9. Miranda on October 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Man… learning about mushrooms is yet another lifelong practice. My hbus and i have two IDs down: King Bolete (Porcini) and Chantrelle. Oregon is def a land of mushrooms, though these past two months have been record breaking dry spells, so we haven’ thad any luck lately. I can’t wait to learn more about adding mushrooms to our diet as a supplement and using them for wool dying.

    Isn’t nature grand?

    Reply to Miranda's comment

    • Susy on October 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Grand indeed! We just spotted a Chaga mushroom while out the other day. Will harvest it later this month I think and try making some chaga chai.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on October 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve been trying to learn about wild mushrooms for about three years now – I say “trying” as it’s tough being so seasonal and place sensitive — I can’t “grind” learning it like I can do crafts. I can identify a good number now – though few with enough confidence that I’d be truly happy eating a plate full.

    We had an ad-hoc mushroom walk at the weekend – spurred on and led by our five year old niece. I think she had a better nose for finding fungi than a truffle pig!

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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