October 17, 2011

Wild Mushroom Discoveries

You may recall my blog about hunting for Chanterelle mushrooms while at my home in Skylands this summer.  The rainfall has also spurred a surprising amount and variety of mushrooms at my farm in New York.  Fungus thrives in moist areas and loves growing on decaying wood.  While many may try to eradicate mushrooms from their lawns, they are an important part of the forest ecosystem.  Because they live off of decaying plant matter, fungus breaks down and disposes of fallen tree branches, leaves, and even animals.  Fungus also digests rock particles and other organic matter in soil, in a way cleaning it for new plants to grow.

With thousands of types of fungi, it can be difficult to identify them, but it is quite rewarding when you can.  Here's a collection of the mushrooms I've found recently.