Excavating Shaggy Parasol Mycelium

KevinCooking w/ Fire, Foraging, From The Wild, Mushrooms, Wood Fired Oven Project1 Comment

When we bought the property we’re now on I started digging up lawn almost immediately. What once was 99% lawn is now maybe 5-10% lawn. I’ve become pretty adept at destroying lawn. 5 years ago, when I started digging up soil that looked like that in the photo [currently excavating for the big-ass wood oven project] – white, granular, entirely different in texture – I thought it had something to do with the previous owners having a dog. I thought it was dog-poo-destroyed soil. Proof, once again, that I’m not always right.

As it turns out, the white stuff is mycelium [mycelia plural more appropriate?] of the shaggy parasol [lepiota rachodes] mushroom. It’s the vegetative part of the fungus that grows in the soil, the ‘mushroom’ bit we think of being the fruit. This white fuzzy, mold-looking stuff permeates the soil, decomposing things, and fruiting when and where it reaches some critical mass. The fruiting locations almost seem random to me in my yard, often fruiting a good 12-14′ feet away from where it fruited last. So far, I’ve dug out 2-3 wheelbarrows full of soil heavy in mycelia. I’ve been dumping it in other areas of my yard, covering it up, with hopes that it will produce more mushroom fruiting. I already get mushrooms in my front ‘forest garden’ due to having moved similar soil there in past years.

It strikes me as odd that me, of all people, happened to have purchased a property whose soil was rich in edible wild mushroom. Strange, no?

One Comment on ““Excavating Shaggy Parasol Mycelium”

  1. Kevin

    This is stellar Kev – and a very low tech but effective way of getting more mushrooms. If you haven’t read Mycelium Running by Stamets (though by the looks of it, it sounds like you did) this is the ticket. You can also start beds of Coprinus Comatus the same way as well… I think mixing in compost will also assist. Thanks again for the spores you sent and I’ll be trying to grow out some spawn to essentially do the same thing that you’re doing here. =]

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