Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mushrooms sprouting in Laura's garden plot

Laura recently discovered mushrooms growing underneath the squash plants in her plot. It turns out they are morchella esculenta or common morel, which is a highly sought after edible mushroom. I believe they were cultivated in that same area of the garden by a former gardener. These mushrooms are sometimes called the "May mushroom" because they consistently fruit during that month. We'll look for them again next year!


Shawn Harrison said...

Hi those morels aren't the Morchella esculenta species. In fact you have Morchella rufobrunnea, the same species Ronald Ower figured out how to cultivate which there was a patent put out long ago but since then has expired. If you Google Morchella rufobrunnea you'll find pictures and info about it and if you google morchella + cultivation you'll find pictures of Gary Mills' indoor grow op of these mushrooms. M. esculenta tends to be more of an east coast species. The west coast has different species i.e. burnsite morels, platinums, types like that. And San Fran is notable for the "rufo" as it is called.
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Shawn Harrison said...

Also I've noticed that the mature specimens of M. rufobrunnea are much smaller than M. esculenta. M. esculenta in a good season can reach the length of half of your forearm and the caps the size of both of your fists together. These sizes are scary in the woods, and they can resemble bee hives.