About a week ago I was contacted by Brian MIller about the possibility of giving a class or leading a foray for the Knoxville Permaculture Guild members in their “Mushroom Group” of which there about 50-plus members listed. That sounded like a good idea, so this past Saturday I went down to his Winged Elm farm near Sweetwater to check the lay of the land and see what fungi might be about. It looks good for a foray, mixed oak-hickory with patches of poplar and no dense understory; gentle hills and drains. I would rate it as a pleasant and easy area to take the group.
As far as mushrooms go, it’s late in the season so the variety is minimal but we did find a 4-lb Hericium erinaceum (Lion’s Mane) and a downed tree with plenty of puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme). Below is a picture of Craig with the Hericium. I cut it in three sections and shared with Craig and Brian. I sliced my share and grilled them with olive oil, garlic salt and some Cajun spice that evening. Fabulous!
There was 1/2-inch of rain there Thursday and it got down in the 30’s the past two nights. Temps will be warming this week, so there may be a flush of some good edible saprophobic fungi Saturday. With a group of foragers we should be able to cover the entire woodlot. Craig and I only walked a portion. Hey, we left plenty of pinhead puffball buttons.