Mushrooms

We had a large group of school children come visit the farm earlier this week. We had gorgeous weather and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Ready to leave for the hayride farm tour

Ready to leave for the hayride farm tour

When we do our tours, especially if there are a lot of children, we try to mix in fun activities along with education. The idea is to allow them to have some fun, while hopefully learning some things as well.

The kids always enjoy feeding and petting the animals. But this group, especially the grownups, also seemed surprisingly interested in our mushroom cultivation.

As I’ve mentioned before, we grow shiitake mushrooms in oak logs. Fortunately the logs were producing mushrooms at the time of their visit, so they could see the end results. Maybe we even motivated some of them to start growing their own.

This is from last month

This is from last month

We’re fortunate to have an abundance of wild mushrooms on the farm too. Last week we were thrilled to discover that the chanterelles had returned.

Beautiful chanterelles

Beautiful chanterelles

Chanterelles are amazingly delicious and, to the best of my knowledge, they can’t be cultivated. So they are gourmet treats.

Unfortunately just as they were started to appear we went into another hot dry spell, so they retreated. With some rain forecast later this week we’re hoping for a reappearance in force soon.

Gourmet mushrooms growing wild, or in oak logs we seeded inexpensively, are just another of many perks of this lifestyle. You’ll pay a pretty penny for mushrooms like these in upscale restaurants. For us, they’re free gifts of nature.

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