Here in Humboldt County, when mushroom collecting is mentioned people giggle. Ah...what kind of mushrooms?
I'm interested in mushrooms I can eat without hallucinating or going to the hospital, so let's set the record straight. So last night I attended the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society meeting with my coworker, Bill, who knows his mushrooms well, to have a look at table displays of various fungi.
These are oyster mushrooms. They grow on dead and dying alders. Could be in our yard...
These are Golden Chanterelles. They have ridges instead of gills. Bill found gallons of them around where he lives, and is making up a big batch of cream of mushroom soup (and he's bringing some into work). He tends to find them growing near spruce trees under evergreen huckleberry and sword ferns. Could be in our yard...
Below are "Lobster Mushrooms." The red color is actually a mold that grows on other mushrooms and I guess it makes them taste good. You just have to be sure that the host is an edible mushroom! Don't know where these grow.
Bill regularly collects about six species of mushrooms and the only one besides the ones above I can remember him collecting is the Chicken of the Forest (sorry, no picture). This is a bright orange frilly shelf fungi that grows on hemlock and doug firs. Only the tips of the frill are soft enough to eat.
Other tips from Bill: Wash wild (and edible, make sure they're edible) mushrooms well under warm water and cook before eating. Steer clear of mushrooms with white gills and rings.
Well, I know these are in our yard.
From left to right: Strobilurus trulisatus, Pholiota terrestris, and the last two are some species of Lepiota. The scientific names of these are sketchy because the handwriting on the labels were pretty bad. (I brought in the mushrooms and had them identified). The Photinia was growing in the coastal prairie. There are also tons of what Bill calls LBMs or Little Brown Mushrooms (not easy to identify).
Well, hopefully tomorrow I'll have a chance to scrounge around the forest to see what I find. Top prize: Golden Chanterelles!