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14 responses to “Foraging for Meadow Mushrooms”

  1. Peter

    Hank, thanks so much, for you have just lifted a curtain of doubt from my mind. Back where I grew up in Marin County CA, buttons were all we ever encountered. Then we moved to the foothills and began finding semi-doubtfuls to the point that I lost all confidence in picking what showed up. Now that I know the yellow scritch test I am going to be a lot happier.

    But one other possible tell-tale about A. californica – Does the cap show as brownish with cracks running across it, instead of smooth?

  2. Oliver Brown

    Thanks Hank,
    My ‘shrooming motto, although it doesn’t come as easily as “if in doubt, go without”, is ‘there is no mycophagy without mycophily’. I reckon you need to revel in the biology – the ecology and the taxonomy – to get in the swing of it.
    An interesting corollary perhaps to the duck cookbook: edible ‘shroom hunters and local mycology clubs overlap in the way that duck hunters and duck ecologists once did. Our still-unrivalled text on anatids in Australis was written by a Frith – that he was a duck hunter is something birdos try not to focus on these days…

  3. Emma

    One of my favorite mushroom hunting memories – near the end of a half-day mushroom ID class as a college freshman, the instructor pointed out a treasure trove of meadow mushrooms growing in the grass near our parking lot. For the next twenty minutes, college students were running about with crazed looks in their eyes, grabbing mushrooms left and right, as many as they could carry. Like kids in a candy store!

  4. Carter

    Hank, you’re making me itch to find some “pinks”! They sound delicious. Seems like they don’t fruit as prolifically in my area as yours. In addition to the omni-present yellow stainers, I’m finding a fair amount of small to moderate sized red-staining Agaricus near my porcini spots. Haven’t been able to key them out successfully yet… Any thoughts?

  5. Anita

    Thanks for a fun and informative piece. I’ve embarrassed my family by picking morels from yards where fancy-schmancy peeps have mulched with redwood compost. Mmm mmm MMM!

  6. lisa mclennan

    Most of my experience with eating is with Agaricus. For red stainer, I love Bernardii. Not everyone does, but they brown up beautifully. I think Arvensis and campestris best used in simple recipes so I really like what you put up. Could add other garden herbs in there too as they are all good with these Agaricus. A. Arvensis are really what I love and eat the most of because I have a place where they are bountiful, like you with A. campestris. For me, A. arvensis being generously sized and fragrant,they make a good meal quickly.

  7. lisa

    I’ve been very confused about all these beautiful white-capped/pink-gilled mushrooms lately. This is a GREAT post. Really clear and informative!

  8. JG Nadeau

    We are in Southern British Columbia up at the 3000 ft level. Mushrooms are coming in fast and furious. I have been finding a species almost identical to what you describe as meadow mushrooms but the gills are not pink but a cream or off-white color, they do not bruise yellow and have the cog on the stem. They smell wonderful, like the store bought varieties. They vary from 2 to 5 inches in diameter with a smooth light brown cap. I could send a photo but don’t know how to do that on this site. Does that description ring any bells?
    Cheers, J-G

  9. Bethanny Parker

    Thanks for this! I have been going crazy trying to figure out which variety of agaricus mushrooms is growing in my lawn. After reading this, I’m pretty sure they are californicus. The only thing that doesn’t fit is that I live in Michigan. Maybe they were transported here somehow.

  10. Kyle

    You really should inform people on taking spore prints to properly identify mushrooms, not just basing it off “oh it didn’t bruise yellow”.

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