Edible species of mushroom often pop up onsite such as inkcaps, field mushrooms, or jew’s ears. Recently in some of the older leafmould heaps there has been huge flushes of wood blewits (lepista nuda). They are easy to identify and like all edible mushrooms they provide a welcome bit of variety to the diet. They seem to tolerate quite a few more frosts than most mushrooms. They fry up easily and have a good texture and strong nutty flavour. As they get older, after 2 or 3 weeks they fade in colour, becoming more whitish but they are still are worth picking and eating. They have become increasingly common on allotments especially with the more widespread use of woodchips. If you find some just remember, as with any mushroom, ALWAYS use a knife to harvest them, don’t just pull them. By cutting the fruit body cleanly you leave the rest of the organism (the mycelium) undamaged and capable of further fruiting. And it goes without saying leave much more than you take! Typically they are a late autumn mushroom but they also appear in April and May time, especially if there’s a cold spell. These ones got turned into a lovely breakfast omlette with a bit of fresh thyme!
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- New Conscious Gardening Course