Where we have been…

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.

-Steve
The Mushroom Farm


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Radioactive Mushrooms from Japan

November 10th, 2011

Japan Shiitake

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!


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Griffy Woods Walk – 10/29

October 29th, 2011

Went out for a little over an hour this morning at Griffy Woods. Took the trail that goes up the hill on the NW side of the lake. Found several things that I had not seen before, so it turned out to be a pretty good walk.  One of the first things I came across were some Brick-Tops (Hypholoma sublateritium). They get the name for the color of the cap. These were growing in a cluster on a large downed log.


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Read more of this post…. »


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Lafayette Indiana Foray

October 11th, 2011

We had a really great time hitting the woods with our Lafayette mushroom friends, as well as meeting some new people from that area. We have been trying to move events for The Hoosier Mushroom Society around the state a bit more, and this was our third event away from the Bloomington/Brown County area. The others were at Indiana Dunes and Salamonie Reservoir.

We met at Tippecanoe Battlefield in Battleground, Indiana for the foray. We picked a great location, because right where everyone gathered to meet, there was one of the largest White Oaks I have ever seen with several Hen of the Woods around it in the landscaping. Made for a great picture.


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Heading over to the nearest picnic table to talk for a few minutes before we got started, we noticed a mushroom growing off the side of a picnic table. This is not very common with treated wood.

Gloeophyllum sepiarium

Gloeophyllum sepiarium



There were also a couple of Agaricus nearby. When these mushrooms are young, the gills are bright pink. By the time we found these, the the gill color had changed to become the actual color of the spores.Probably Agaricus campestris – The Field Mushroom.

Agaricus campestris

Agaricus campestris



Before we headed out, Ben (a local Lafayette mushroom hunter) showed us several of his collections that he had saved, including a jar full of morel mushrooms. It served to get us itching for spring already. He also had some Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, and Honey Mushrooms.

Morchella esculenta - Yellow Morel

Morchella esculenta - Yellow Morel

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So once we got out onto the foray, we came across several interesting mushrooms. The first interesting thing was a nice stash of Chicken of the Woods growing in the interior of a hollowed out Ash tree. I had not seen these growing nearly enclosed in a tree before, but it was pretty cool.

Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods



Continuing on,we found an Entoloma growing in the woods. I usually call this Entoloma strictius. It has a stem that is twisted…like someone gave it an Indian burn. Look for that, pink gills, and growing on the ground.

A quick story…later in the foray, someone held up a mushroom and a couple of us agreed that it looked like Pluteus cervinus – The Deer Mushroom. We were planning to go to the Purdue Herbarium later in the day, so we saved it to look at its unique microscopic characters. More on that later…


Entoloma sp.

Entoloma sp.



Some of the most common decomposers you will find are of the Genus Gymnopus. They are “Collyboid” mushrooms that have a smooth cartilaginous stem. With these, the stem is much darker than the cap, and they grow in clusters. So I am calling it Gymnopus acervatus.

Gymnopus acervatus

Gymnopus acervatus



Coming up next we found a few mycena. This genus has small white-spored mushrooms that grow from wood.

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Mycena galericulata

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Mycena galericulata



And another small mushroom that I have been finding all over the place early in the fall. It is a Lepiota – White spores, terrestrial, and a ring around the stem. This one is Lepiota cristata. I made a page for it on hoosiermushrooms.org, so be sure to check it out. I will update it with the may different growth forms eventually. One interesting thing about this mushroom is that it has spores shaped like bullets.

Lepiota cristata

Lepiota cristata

Frogitty frog

Frogitty frog

Maggie reaching for a giant puffball

Maggie reaching for a giant puffball



Maggie had her glasses stored in that hole in her jeans, rubbed up against a Pokeberry plant, and somehow managed to get some of the berries into her jeans. The stain came out tho.

Pokeberry stain

Pokeberry stain



Finally we ended our mushroom day with a trip over to the herbarium at the Purdue University Campus. I didnt bring in my camera, so all I got was this cellphone shot. If someone has a picture of the collection storage room, please send it to me and I will update the post. Hope you enjoy!

Purdue Herbarium

Purdue Herbarium



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HMS 2011 Schedule

January 10th, 2011

We are going to have quite a busy year with The Hoosier Mushroom Society. We will get together nearly every month for a foray somewhere in the state. A tentative schedule for the upcoming year follows. Please email us at steve@hoosiermushrooms.com with your input, as some small changes are likely to occur. This schedule should allow those interested in the organization from different parts of the state to have an event they can attend nearby, and will allow others to get out and see the many special places Indiana has to offer.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (THERE WILL LIKELY BE CHANGES)

Hoosier Mushroom Society Events

Month of April – Will be heading out into the woods nearly every afternoon in the Bloomington area.
April 9 - HMS Presentation – Tom Nauman from Morel Mania in Bloomington.
April 16 – HMS Foray – Morel Search at Brown County State Park – Nashville, IN
May 21st – HMS Foray – Yellowood State Forest – Bloomington, IN
July16 -  HMS Foray – Salamonie Reservoir – Andrews, IN
Aug.  27 – HMS Foray – Northwest Indiana Foray – Dunes State Park
Sept. 3 – HMS Foray – Yellowood State Forest – Bloomington, IN
Sept. 24 – HMS Foray – Brown County State Park – Nashville, IN
October 8 – HMS Foray – Lafayette, IN Area
October 22 – HMS Late-Season Foray – Eagle Creek – Indianapolis, IN

Other Events of Interest

February 19 – Winter Tree ID workshop – Brown County State Park – 10am to noon
March 28 - “The First Morel” — a mushroom presentation by Don Ruch, Biology Professor at Ball State – West Lafayette, IN
April 30 – May 1 - Morel Festival in Mansfield, IN
May 7th - Morel Festival at Brown County State Park
August 1-6 – Mycological Society of America Meeting – Fairbanks,  AK
August 5-7 - North American Mycological Association Foray (NAMA) – Western Pennsylvania  *Recommend*
August 11-14 – North East Mycological Federation (NEMF) Foray – New York
August 18-21 – Telluride Mushroom Festival – Telluride, CO
September 17-18The Hoosier Outdoor Experience – Fort Harrison SP – Indianapolis, IN

We generally plan on camping out at each of these HMS Foray events that occur in reasonable temperatures. The poor weather replacement day will be on the day after the scheduled foray listed.

If you attend state parks often, or are considering attending several of our events, I would suggest purchasing a DNR annual entrance permit.

Also, if you are looking to go out into the woods on a more frequent basis. There will be numerous afternoon opportunities to go out into the woods in the Bloomington area. Just send an email, and let us know that you are interested.


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