Friday, May 28, 2010

Mushrooming compost

I am constantly discovering all sorts of crazy volunteers sprouting in my compost pile. Sometimes, I'm blessed with a serendipitous crop of vegetables but more often, the compost pile is hosting a wayward morning glory vine or a buried butternut.  This morning, when I was emptying the pail of kitchen scraps, I encountered a clutch of ink cap mushrooms (Coprinopsis atramentaria).  

So here is a twist on "mushroom compost": this compost is not a by-product of mushroom production, but compost that produces mushrooms.

Ink caps are edible but, unless my mushroom-loving husband discovers them very soon, these fungi will be forked over in the next bout of compost turning. Since my husband enjoys his wine at dinner and since ink caps induce a hyper-sensitivity to alcohol when eaten--hence their nickname, "tippler's bane"--these interlopers are best returned to whence they sprung.

Which, by the way, is steaming!


Puffincentral said...

Well, you learn summat new every day! I'd no idea that shaggy inkcaps did that. I also didn't know that hooped petticoat daffodils (which I love)are natural: I'd assumed they were a cultivar. So educational!

nickbailey said...
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nickbailey said...

Thanks for this post, I've just had some of these little chaps appear in my office compost pots and I was wondering what they were (and if they might be potentially dangerous).