Monday, June 14, 2010

Shroomin' Queens

Kicked off the 2010 mushroom season yesterday with a safari through the New Cavalry Cemetery in Queens, NYC. Expectedly, an interesting bunch arrived. (One woman confessed her past hatred for mushrooms and efforts to kill them.)

At this time of year, just as mushrooms are beginning to pop up around the NYC area, open grassy areas (such as cemeteries) are the best place to look for fungi. (Mushrooms will begin to appear in cooler, forested areas in a few weeks).

We found

Some tidbits for prospective mushroom hunters:
  • Small mushrooms are almost never edible.
  • Parks are the best places to look, but any bit of dirt or tree is a possible substrate.
  • Mushrooms like it hot. Some species require multiple days above 90 degrees to grow.
  • The mushroom is the fruiting part of a vast, underground system of hypha. An event, usually a period of drying after rain, triggers the mushroom to sprout up. The fruit is a spore dispersal system - allowing the mushroom to expand.

See everyone June 27th in Central Park for the next walk! (