Mushrooms, like the very forests in which they are found, are sources of both danger and wonder.
And not all embrace them.
For many, mushrooms—used in sacred rituals and as sustenance since ancient times—contain an aura of mystery. They’re often associated—especially in literature, poetry, and fairytales—with malevolence, supernatural powers, darkness, death, and decay. Mushrooms were fairy food, the way witches caused trouble for gardens and crops, and ingredients in poisons and potions, enchantments and aphrodisiacs.
Famous scribes—from Percy Shelly, Lord Alfred Tennyson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to D.H. Lawrence, H.G. Wells, and Ray Bradbury—all wrote about menacing mushrooms. Emily Dickinson insulted them: Had Nature … » More …
Delicious ways to enjoy local chanterelle mushrooms.
Read more about Pacific golden chanterelles.
from WSU Creamery
This creamy, comforting risotto features WSU’s own Cougar Gold cheese as well as a mix of mushrooms, including seasonal chanterelles.
4 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup peeled and minced shallots (or ⅓ cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped)
1 pound flavorful mushrooms (such as crimini, portobello, chanterelle, oyster, and shiitake, or a combination), thinly sliced.
1½ cups arborio rice
6 cups chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, very … » More …
Last August, shifting sands on a well-trafficked beach along Oahu’s west coast revealed 400-year-old carvings left behind by Hawaiian indigenous people. The 17 petroglyphs etched into the sandstone on Waianae Coast, and the stories they tell, had never been recorded. Without the right conditions, they may have remained hidden for years or centuries.
Archaeological sites like the one in Hawai‘i, or ancient buried pyramids and tombs in Egypt, open up their secrets when the conditions are right, but sometimes even plainly visible ruins hold mysteries. Mesa Verde’s astounding Cliff Palace and other Pueblo sites provide insight into the continent’s past civilizations to … » More …
WSU meteorologist Nic Loyd is stuck on one word for last October’s Washington weather: Wet.
Make that two words: Abnormally wet. Sea-Tac measured over 10 inches of rainfall. Even dry Yakima saw almost 2-1/2 inches. But the undisputed epicenter of soggy conditions was Spokane which registered not only their rainiest October ever, but the highest precipitation for any month ever recorded: a whopping 6-1/4 inches. That’s remarkable when compared to an average October rainfall of just 1-1/4 inches. Especially given that their typical annual total is just over 16 inches.
Loyd says this was due to an unusually deep and persistent trough of low pressure … » More …
From abundant fall rains emerged a menagerie of nature’s recyclers.
Notes by Lori Carris, WSU professor of mycology.
Read more about the circumstances that led to last fall’s mushroom boom.
Advice and tips from Washington State University mycologist Lori Carris on safe hunting for mushrooms.
Learn the rules & regulations for your area
Learn to recognize the common edible mushrooms AND poisonous mushrooms
Eat mushrooms in moderation even when you are confident of identification
Always cook mushrooms thoroughly before eating.
When in doubt, throw it out.
A good guidebook is essential
A mushroom guide should be:
Easy to use, with lots of color pictures
Accurate & up to date
Relevant to the area in which you are … » More …
Mysterious. Elusive. Delicious.
The smell of rain-soaked earth permeated the logged-over clearing in the woods in mid-May as my friend Mike and I peered closely at the ground and walked slowly. We were hunting mushrooms.
Mike’s more adept eyes spotted a cluster of light brown, honeycombed caps. He sliced the morel mushrooms with his knife. After a while we filled a small bucket, which we took back to Mike’s mom. She battered and fried them and, as a teenager in northeast Washington years ago, I had my first taste of the rich flavor of the wild Northwest mushroom.
Mike and I had likely picked Morchella … » More …
For Zachary Frederick, forest farming is a challenge. The WSU doctoral student grew up in the shady woods near Ithaca, New York, where he too learned to cultivate oyster mushrooms on logs. Upon landing in the wheat fields of Pullman, Frederick was momentarily stumped but soon learned to grow oyster mushrooms on rolls of toilet paper using a Tupperware tote as an incubator. For those who are interested in entry-level forest farming, here are a few ideas for growing your own mushrooms:
You can also buy mushroom kits and other supplies … » More …