December 21st, 2013
Even during the height of winter, it is still possible to find wild edible mushrooms in the forest. These were found a short walk from my front door, growing on a dying Tulip Poplar.
There were also a few other mushrooms out during the snow. The Ochre Spreading Tooth is fairly common throughout much of the year. When you find it completely fresh, it should have a nearly orange coloration to the teeth:
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January 24th, 2013
When giving presentations on morels, there are several questions that I am guaranteed to get asked. Topping the list are:
1.) Should I use a mesh bag?
2.) Should I use a knife to cut mushrooms or pull them up?
3.) Do morels “pop up” or grow over time?
People have solidified opinions on all of these questions, and sometimes it is hard to break through what they have known for decades. With another year having lapsed, people are starting to get the mushroom fever, so this is a good time to add to the sickness and start some discussion. These questions are more complicated than they may initially appear, so there will be several different posts over the course of time. On with number 1:
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July 31st, 2012
We want to thank you for all of your past support with The Hoosier Mushroom Company.
At the end of 2011, we decided to close down our retail location in Nashville, IN and to temporarily close our website. At that time, the owners went back to school, and finalized their graduate studies.
We are currently working to get the company set back up under this new domain and name – The Mushroom Farm located at mushroomfarm.com. We aim to rebuild our extensive product line of mushroom cultivation equipment and mushroom related goods. We will eventually have a retail location again in Bloomington, IN – including a full mushroom farm that you can visit and pickup fresh mushrooms.
Right now, we have a limited number of supplies that you can buy online. The number of products we have available will gradually increase as we build back our capacity. We also plan to significantly increase the information sections on our website, including cultivation information and videos, as well as information on wild mushroom species.
Please signup for our newsletter to stay tuned for information about our company, including the grand opening of our website and store. Once again, thanks for all of your past support, and we hope you look forward to what the future holds.
The Mushroom Farm
November 10th, 2011
Article & Video: Nowhere is Safe
With the explosion of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, many mushroom farms in the area have been affected. Japan eats a fairly large number of mushrooms per person compared to citizens of the states, so it is a significant issue for their population. Here is a quick look at some of the stats:
Normal radiation levels in Shiitake from Japan are 1.3 to 6.4 Bq/kg in fresh product and 6.7 to 73.9 Bq/kg in dried product (from 2001). The legal limit is 500 Bq/kg. A farm 250 km away from the plant was recently found with levels of 2,770 Bq/kg in their cultivated Shiitake. Due to these high levels of radioactive contamination, many of the outdoor farms in that region have been shutdown. There was even an indoor farm that tested above 1500 Bg/kg for their Shiitakes.
I looked briefly in the scientific literature and found a couple neat things. Average levels of Cesium are about 30 times higher in cultivated Shiitake than Oysters in Japan. But a study in Ukraine after Chernobyl found the highest levels in Oysters growing on Pine (Above 32,000 Bq/kg). As might be expected, levels in Shiitake are a function of Cesium levels of the rain and dry fallout. The levels also seem to be inversely correlated with atmospheric temperature. Shiitake grown in logs tend to accumulate more than those grown on sawdust blocks. (This is probably due to indoor vs. outdoor cultivation.) Finally, Matsutake accumulates more Cs than Shiitake, Grifola about the same.
There is only a limited amount of research that has been done regarding the accumulation of radioactive cesium into cultivated mushrooms. I only found about 5 or 6 papers on the issue. Much of the available information was already coming out of Japan, so expect to see a lot more research being presented in the upcoming years.
This is yet another advantage to locally grown produce. You can be sure not to get mushrooms that glow in the dark!