Finding Coprinus comatus

Me admiring the mushroom.

Me admiring the mushroom.

A large specimen.

A large specimen.

These are pictures of the first edible mushroom I’ve found on my own and eaten. For the eating part I did have some help from Juan-Fran. We both enjoyed (and survived!) it fried in butter with garlic served on toast. I cooked the thinly sliced mushroom for quite a long time as this mushroom has a high water content and does taste much better when you’ve cooked the liquid away – I tried a little piece halfway through cooking while it still had a lot of moisture left and it wasn’t as good as when fully cooked.

I have a mental map of 3 different edible species that are resident with us here at Ragman’s Farm – not including the Oyster and Shiitake inoculated logs that are produced here. There is Coprinus comatus (Shaggy Ink Cap), Honey fungus (Armillaria Species) and Auricularia auricula-judae (Wood Ear). I hope to post some more photos soon. There are many more species that I have observed around the farm in the fields, the woodland areas; In fact nearly everywhere you look there are fruits of the fungi that are living and working the land with us. There are also many more species that do not produce mushrooms that we humans are able to see, but they are working just as hard. Some fungi are building and enriching the soil, some are working with plants around their roots to share nutrients for mutual benefit, some are on the leaves and other parts of the plants and trees here and all are performing many functions that are vitally important to the health and vitality of the ecosystem here. I am becoming more aware of the huge variety of fungal species and their many different contributions to life on The Earth and aim to learn much more in the hope of working with fungi to restore some of the damage we humans have inflicted on our shared home. Before I can do this though I have a lot more to learn and a lot more personal development to work on. One of the most important ideas that has come from some of my recent readings is that we need to change ourselves before we try to change the world – But I think that’s perhaps a subject for another post…

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