Friday, May 7, 2010

Mushroom Harvest

Well, my chicken polypore mushrooms have been corralled and growing for over a week. Several people told me they thought i should harvest them, but i was resisting. I did not think the color and size was at the maximum. I had broken a few of the little protrusions off and cooked them to try it...my mother watering for more! Finally, i gave in, and set off through the woods with a basket, a knife and a few dogs.
Kismet is keeping watch for me. I cut away the plastic shield, and find
the mushroom has grown to conform to the mold. I might have had larger mushrooms if i had not corralled them!





BUT the mushroom does not seem hurt, and i am sure the corrals kept them from being run over by 4-wheelers, etc.



My purpose in making the corrals was to keep dirt from being bounced into them by passers-by or the rain.

This was only marginally successful. I found, when i took them up, that i had left them too long. I really did not need the knife to harvest, they had already separated from the wood. I think ideally i would have wanted to cut them off. There was some white fluffy mold on the bottom, between the mushroom and the dirt. I do not think this is optimal. the mushroom is full of crevaces, and there are many little beetles, and ants living there.

I cut away the really dirt filled portions, and tried to pack my basket for the way home....


wow, more mushroom than basket! This is exciting! I should have judged that, but i really thought there would be more loss.



Do you think the dogs want some? Well, they might get a bite. Are mushrooms poisonous to dogs? I know squirrels eat those white ones in the yard, and that i cannot eat those. hmmmm.

More cleaning and trimming and getting out little insects at home. I give in and wash the whole bunch. I have been told you are not supposed to wash mushrooms until right before cooking, but there is so much here, and so many ants...


In the end, i cook a whole panfull for lunch (they really absorb alot of butter!) and they are delicious! They have a very meaty texture, and i hesitate to say it: They taste a bit like chicken!

I have at least twice this many left, and i am half afraid to put them in the fridge. I am leaving them out, in front of the air conditioner vent...what do you think?

Next time, i think i will try a barrier that does not retain the moisture, and harvest more protrusions as they grow. What an adventure!

Hey, look, my friend Nifty found one, too!
pamela

4 comments:

Von said...

Exciting!!I would just fence them loosely, not that I have any experience at all!

niftyknits said...

Pamela - wish I could taste it! so pleased your experiment worked out ok, and I have no doubt it will be even more successful next time.

Sharona R - שרונה ראובני said...

Ooh, what an impressive mushroom!

Midnightcoiler said...

Pretty great! I love that this is becoming a tradition for you. The mushroom is cool, and it's exciting to find something in the wild from Mother Nature that's such a delicacy!