Thursday, 22 September 2011

Fungal foray

As the early signs of Autumn appear one more stage has been added to the task of mowing the lawn. Unless we want a lawn resembling the aftermath of a foam party, the  mushrooms need to be collected first...And by mushrooms, we mean lots of them!

Yesterday's crop filled two large garden tubs.  We added the drinks can in the photo below, to give an idea of scale.

Now, if we could be sure that these are only common field mushrooms I would be making soup till it came out of our ears but we can't be sure - despite several excellent books on the subject. There are so many 'lookalikes' and the consequences of eating the wrong ones can be so severe that it just isn't worth the risk.

......Although, looking at them, it does seem a shame!
If  anyone out there has any advice and would be happy to share it, we would be very grateful. Otherwise, at the risk of throwing away the main ingredient of mushroom soup, it's all going to stew on the compost heap!!


norma said...

I thought they were big on eating fungi in France and that it was possible to get them identified at some place like the local pharmacie?

Diane said...

They say that the local pharmacy should be able to identify them for you. I agree unless you are sure rather leave well alone!! Diane

Tim said...

Norma and Diane are right, take them to the pharmacy.... but they look a bit like 'milk-caps to me [Lactaria sp.] and are probably not edible even if they are not poisonous. There are a lot like that that are non-poionous but pretty indigestible!! They are very definately NOT field mushrooms! The gills are coming from the stalk... field mushrooms are like cultivated ones, the gills are separate and the stalk is able to be detached.

Susan said...

I agree with Tim. They are not field mushrooms. Try taking them to the pharmacy. I'm about to do the same with some Boletes I found on one of my butterfly transects. Note that not all pharmacies have someone trained to ID fungus any more, but they should be able to tell you which pharmacist in the area is qualified.