I had been hanging on to a little thread of hope that we would get some rain and I would find some motherload of mushrooms here in Topanga Canyon. I wanted the thrill of coming into an old shady oak grove to find chanterelles….but I’ve finally let it go. This is poised to be the driest year in California history….not really mushrooming weather. Above is my last store of dried morel mushrooms I had brought from Minnesota, wrapped in a California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) crepe. I ate them in honor of that crazy fungi kingdom and fun guy Paul Stamets. I was lucky to hear Paul speak here in LA a few weeks ago at Farmlab.
Paul believes we need to engage mycelium to help repair much of the damage we’ve inflicted upon nature. Mycelium are in every landscape in the world, and could be used to a much larger degree in habitat restoration and bioremediation. He has a visionary book called Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, which you can purchase on his website. Did you know that the common button mushrooms, as well as portabellas found in grocery stores, contain the same dangerous carcinogens as those produced when you smoke cigarettes? And that mushrooms in general contain more vitamin D than any land-based organism, with the ability to enhance that vitamin D content further by leaving them in the sun with the gills facing up for 2 days.