Wednesday 28 September 2011

Toadstool Time

We have fungi. No not edibile ones!  At least we assume none are, so we are not hovering hopefully with a frying pan at the ready. We are, however, just curious as to what keeps popping up in our grass before being ruthlessly chopped down by the lawnmower. 

growing on larch stump
Unless you are an expert, fungi are notoriously difficult to identify. Here in France, foraging in the woods for edible species is a popular past-time. To help make sure enthusiastic pickers do not inadvertently poison themsleves, anyone can take the fungi they have collected to the pharmacie [chemist] which will help sort out any edible ones.

under pines and poplars
Most of our fungi grow in the grass near or under pine trees; although there is a colony of 'something' flourishing on an old larch stump. One sample also pops up near the roots of our poplar trees. 
near pine trees
No idea what they all are--we did identify the death cap, so it doesn't feature in our little gallery.
next to larch tree
tucked into our hedgerow


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
We loved looking at your festival of fungi. Such curious things!

There is a system in Hungary very similar to the one in France where one can take one's pickings to be identified. Important to keep in the good books of the mushroom inspectors, we think!!

GaynorB said...

This seems to be a good time for fungi, both in France. and here in the UK. A colleague at school used to lead a fungi foray every autumn, but she has long since retired.

Sorry, I can't help with identification, and the consequences are such that it is probably unwise to self identify with the use of a key!

The pharmacie looks like the best option.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - very important to keep on the right side of the mushroom inspectors!! Wouldn't want to be served a death cap omlette ;-)

@Gaynor - we love wild mushrooms but will stick to the safe route: store/market bought offerings :-)

the fly in the web said...

The trouble is that unless a pharmacist is really interested anything out of the mainstream is chucked out on the ´precautionary principle.
We were lucky enough to have had a chap who was a fungus fanatic...never mind the queues for corn sight of a basket of mushrooms and he was round the counter like a shot.
But he was good in that he identified as he went along...and did a little test,so when he retired we had the basics.
A friend was also a mushroom fanatic and taught us a lot....I remember finding something new on an old elm stump.
He rang his friend in town over 70...cycled out fifteen kilometres to identify it...and we then ate it before putting him and his bike in the car for the return trip.
I loved mornings out early with the knife and basket...

Why not join the local mushroom club? There has to be one.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - glad it was edible and so worth the effort of the 15km bike ride. No doubt there will a club fairly close--we have public woods where you can forage fairly close by. Right now working f/t couldn't do it justice but an idea saved up for the future :-).