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Adventures in mushrooming

Several years ago, I wrote a column about growing shiitake mushrooms in oak logs. Jim and I enjoyed shiitakes for about four years, but after the logs were spent, we didn’t discuss growing mushrooms again. At the Machicomoco Indigenous Peoples Day event in late October, Master Naturalist Felicity Rask mentioned wanting to try to grow morel mushrooms. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued, and I mentioned to Jim that growing mushrooms again might be a fun project. Jim didn’t waste a moment; by the next day, he had a ordered a morel-growing kit.

I cannot honestly say I have ever eaten a morel, so I had to research these particular mushrooms, along with a general review of popular edible mushrooms. Most of us are familiar with white button, cremini, and portobello mushrooms that we purchase at the supermarket. Despite their differences in size and color, they are all the fungus Agaricus bisporus. Portobello mushrooms are mature creminis, and white button mushrooms are a different strain ...

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