In article <3A374685.654BFFD6 at ic.ac.uk>,
Edwin Hutton <e.hutton at ic.ac.uk> wrote:
>truffler1635 at my-deja.com wrote:
> > In article <912vl1$e9i$1 at pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>,
> > "Colin A. B. Davidson" <c.davidson at biotech.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> Snip... (about shaggy parasols)
> > >
> > I still remember a dish of blewits and steak. And as I recall, the
> > mushrooms cooked longer than the meat. But it was still quite good.
> > BTW, Lepista nuda grows readily on ryegrass straw here in the Willamette
> > Valley of OR. In fact, that's where I first grew it, after allowing straw
> > bales to sit in the rain and freeze and hail and snow, I was rather
> > surprised to see fairly abundant flushes of blewits, but _only_ after we
> > had had a fairly cold snap: about 28 degress as I recall. Since the
> > weather is now getting colder, I'd expect some coming on shortly.
> > I have also grown them on older, slightly composted grass clippings which
> > were cut wet, but then allowed to totally dry out, then inoculated with
> > some dried specimens I still had from previous feeds. Blewits dry well,
> > BTW. And I have often seen blewits fruiting on ryegrass straw or bales
> > left out in the fields, well after the last mushrooms have usually
> > fruited.
> > I have collected blewits in the middle of a hard freeze, and several have
> > had snow on top of them. Yet none appeared the worse for exposure. It
> > seems to me that they have something like fungal antifreeze in them.
> In previous years I have picked both field and wood blewits with
> snow on them. Of course Flammulina Velutipes can be frozen and
> thawed and still continue dropping spores, so the Lepistas
> (Lespistae?) may behave similarly.
>> So far in the UK we have had a very mild autumn, albeit very wet
> (record breaking with floods) and windy (small tornadoes). Even
> the usual colder spot in November wasn't really cold. The long range
> forecast is for the mild weather to continue until February.
> Perhaps the blewits will start coming in March? The Hyde Park (London)
> blewits seem to be best in frosty weather. It has been very
> poor in London and Kent though I have had a few good pickings
> further south and west in Sussex.
>> BTW we have had two small wood blewits come up in our garden
> (English for yard?) next to the compost heaps. They were nice firm
> ones and we will have to keep an eye on that corner whenever we
> put out the kitchen vegetable scraps.
>Or you could try this. Put a bale of straw or old grass clippings there
for next year's production. In wet years, straw becomes super-saturated
with water, causing anaerobic decomposition. You can do the same thing in
dry years by immersing the straw for 3 days under water. The bale then
becomes effectively a near-sterile substrate for growing a variety of
fungi. Stropharia rugoso-annulata does well, Lepista nuda does best, and
Pleurotus ostreatus does OK provided you allow the straw to dry for 4-5
days before inoculation. In this area expect to see a number of secondary
fungi as well: Coprinus micaceus, Coprinus disseminatus, Coprinus
plicatilis, and the cup fungus Peziza vesiculosa can be scattered to
abundant. The specific parameters favoring one species over another are
unknown, and the succession of these fungi on individual bales can be
both fascinating and educational.
Daniel B. Wheeler
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