Cathy Isom fills you in about the mushroom you can still forage in the wintertime. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
It’s the time of year when many mushrooms disappear as the last of the autumn leaves fall to the ground. But there is one that’s a wintertime survivor. The oyster mushroom. It’s actually loves winter so much, it’s not fruiting until temperatures dip down in the low 50s.
Oyster mushrooms can grow just about anywhere in the contiguous United States, as well as much of Canada. Like most mushrooms we can cultivate at home, oysters grow primarily on wood. Most of the time people find them on stumps or fallen trees. And they will bloom there for two or three years until all of the tree’s nutrients have been zapped.
A large part of identifying mushrooms is knowing what looks similar and the differences between the good-eating ones and the ones that will make you sick. One of the great benefits of foraging for oyster mushrooms in the winter is that the number of other mushrooms around is hugely reduced, so it less intimidating.
With oyster mushrooms or any wild mushroom, it is very important to take it slow. Go through the ID points, and seek the advice of experts. Checking pictures online or on social media sites to get some help verifying your find.
I’m Cathy Isom…