Urban Mushrooming

by Jonathan Mingori

Most of us associate mushrooms with forests, fields, and areas of nature, yet fungi are everywhere among us. When we take the time to look or explore at any opportunity, we can be amazed at what is to be found.

This summer I specifically sought urban fungi: mushrooms that grow in parks, along bike paths and sidewalks, on woodchips and tree stumps of the neighborhood streets of Montreal. This was not to seek edibles as much as the pure curiosity of what would be found other than the ubiquitous Coprinellus micaceus or the occasional decaying Agaricus. As for edibility, one has to greatly consider the proximity of said fungi to industrial pollution as well as human and animal traffic. A fine edible may very well have been frequented by numerous dogs prior to discovery.  The diversity of species and personal new discoveries found were impressive when I made it a point to investigate. One has to be out early, even in the rain, to find something like Parasola plicatilis. A keen eye on woodchips could reveal bird’s nest fungi. An alley raised bed garden may have some Lepiota sprouting. That rotted hole at the base of a large maple providing canopy for the street certainly is a potential spot for a magical find of Gymnopilus junonius. Rotted stumps and logs boast a variety from oysters to ascomycetes and numerous perennials. And the double ringed Agaricus bitorquis (see photo on page 1) is prolific along sidewalks and bike paths.

Here is a list of some of the species found this year:

Agaricus arvensis

Agaricus bitorquis

Agaricus bitorquis

Agaricus placomyces
Agaricus placomyces

Bisporella citrinum
Bisporella citrina

Calocera cornea
Calocera cornea

Coprinellus flocculosus
Coprinellus flocculosus

Coprinopsis atramentaria
Coprinopsis atramentaria
Coprinus comatus
Coprinus comatus

Cyathus stercoreus
Cyathis stercoreus

Daldinia childiae
Daldinia childiae

Flammulina velutipes
Flammulina velutipes

Geastrum sp.
Geastrum sp.

Gymnopilus junonius
Gymnopilus junonius 2Gymnopilus junonius 1

Ischnoderma resinosum
Ischnoderma resinosum

Lepiota cristata
Lepiota cristata

Oxyporus populinus
Oxyporus populinus

Parasola plicatilis
Parasola plicatilis
Pleurotus ostreatus
Pleurotus ostreatus

Pluteus longistriatus
Pluteus striatus

Vascellum (Lycoperdon) curtisii
Vascellum curtisii 1
Vascellum curtisii 2and, Volvariella bombycina.

No matter where we may live, there are always some fungi to be sought and found.

Photo credits: Jonathan Mingori

 

Mike McNally

Simple Techniques for Growing Mushrooms at Home

January 20, Saturday, 11:00 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

You probably know Mike from his articles about cultivation in previous issues of Mainely Mushrooms. Now it’s time for the visuals. Join Mike in Brunswick for a ‘show and tell’ session with equipment and a slide show. Mike tells me that the key word for what he wants to convey is “simple”. Anyone, he says, can grow mushrooms without spending a lot of money on equipment and commercial spawn. Mike has honed techniques for growing oyster mushrooms indoors on old coffee grounds and wood pellets and wine caps in his backyard. He’ll bring his collection of liquid cultures for several mushrooms species that can be used to inoculate prepped grain.

Directions: From I-295, take exit 28 (Brunswick, Route 1/Coastal Route). Continue east on Route 1 (Pleasant Street). At the third light continue straight where Route 1 bears left. Pleasant Street is now one-way. Curtis Library is 2.5 blocks down Pleasant Street on the right across from the Post Office. There is on street parking and additional parking behind the library. Please use the side entrance to the Morrell Meeting Room.

OldDesignShop_MushroomParasol1858 (1).jpg

Seanna Annis

Stay tuned for title…

February 4, Sunday, 11:00 am, Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

Seanna is an Associate Professor of Mycology and Extension Professor with the University of Maine-Orono. Her research examines the genetic diversity, physiology and molecular biology of various fungal pathogens and applied aspects of control of fungi that attack lowbush blueberry. She always has a new and interesting subject to present in our winter lecture series and we’re certain this one will not disappoint. You’ll have to stay tuned over email or on the MMA website to find out what topic she’ll present this year. After the lecture, you’ll still have time to get ready for that Super Bowl party.

 

Directions: Follow Route 3 to Belfast. From the Route 1 intersection take Main Street for 0.7 miles. Bear slightly left to stay on Main Street. In less than 0.1 mile take the first right onto High Street. The Belfast Free Library is on the right in less than 0.1 mile just past Spring Street and diagonally across from the Belfast Co-op. Parking is on street.

OldDesignShop_MushroomFlyAgaric1858-149x300

Kevin Smith

Wood Rotting Fungi

February 18, Sunday, 11:30 am, Curtis Memorial Library (Morrell Reading Room), 23 Pleasant St, Brunswick

 

Kevin is a plant physiologist and forest researcher with the U.S. Forest Service in Durham, NH. His research specialties include studying decay fungi and the responses of trees to storm related injuries. We’ve asked Kevin to give us a presentation about the wood-rotting fungi topic of his choice and he’s agreed! A bit of intrigue for your February…

 

Directions: From I-295, take exit 28 (Brunswick, Route 1/Coastal Route). Continue east on Route 1 (Pleasant Street). At the third light continue straight where Route 1 bears left. Pleasant Street is now one-way. Curtis Library is 2.5 blocks down Pleasant Street on the right across from the Post Office. There is on street parking and additional parking behind the library. Please use the side entrance to the Morrell Meeting Room.

OldDesignShop_MushroomParasol1858 (1)

David Porter

Mycorrhizae

March 3, Saturday, 11:00 am

Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., Belfast

David is a retired academic, teaching occasionally at CoA and Eagle Hill and editor of your newsletter. He has long been interested in the cooperative interactions of fungi and other organisms. This illustrated presentation will focus on mycorrhizas, the well-known, but poorly understood, symbiotic association between soil fungi and terrestrial plants. What fungi are involved? Why does this complex and taxing association persist? How may we as gardeners, farmers, and foresters take advantage of this remarkable inter-kingdom cooperation?

Directions: Follow Route 3 to Belfast. From the Route 1 intersection take Main Street for 0.7 miles. Bear slightly left to stay on Main Street. In less than 0.1 mile take the first right onto High Street. The Belfast Free Library is on the right in less than 0.1 mile just past Spring Street and diagonally across from the Belfast Co-op. Parking is on street.

 

OldDesignShop_MushroomFlyAgaric1858-149x300

Liam Torrey

The Gott’s Collection (The Mushrooms of Great Gott and Little Gott Islands, Maine)

April 7, Saturday 11:00 am

Gates Auditorium, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor

Liam, a graduating senior at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, took on a five-month long exploration of the fungi of the Gott Islands off the coast of Mount Desert Island last year. This ambitious project involved geotagging, identifying, and preserving specimens of the macrofungi of these two islands. When we checked in at the beginning of September, Liam had over 100 species photographed, identified, spore printed, and dried for the COA herbarium. We’re looking forward to learning more about her field season on the islands and what mushrooms she found.

Directions: Take Route 1 and 3 east to Ellsworth. Follow Route 3 south for 17.5 mi to College of the Atlantic before Bar Harbor. Turn left onto the campus at the first entrance. Several parking areas are available. Gates is in the central quadrangle across from the library and admissions building.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s