More fungi fun in the garden

January 24, 2011 | By | Comments (5)

I am totally intrigued by the various fungi coming out of the straw bale garden. I’m just delighted that this grow method is working! The bales are turning into living, breathing compost piles — as evidenced by all the mushrooms.

So y’all helped identify the funky ones from a few weeks ago.

(Though I did have a near panic attack when Thomas Keller left a comment. It wasn’t Thomas Keller of The French Laundry, by the way. It was Thomas Keller, husband of Tina (friend of Nugget) who, it turns out, are both total mushroom gurus. Hi Thomas! Hi Tina!)

Want more, mushroom nerds? Have at it:

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 11.47.34 AM
Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 11.48.02 AM

Anything I should be eating?

And while we’re on the topic…

There’s the one mushroom that pops out of a wooden wall in the garden every year.

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 11.48.32 AM

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 11.48.13 AM


  1. Thomas Keller

    Hey, did you call us NERDS? Here’s what the real guru, Phil Carpenter, from Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz has to say:
    “Yes, the ones growing on the straw bale are Coprinus ( or whatever the new genus name for this is these days….) but not atrementarius – they grow in clusters and are larger. This on is probably in the C. lagopus group – not an edible. The one growing on the wood does not seem like a honey but I cannot determine what it might be from those photos. With the really scaly cap, it might be a Pholiota, but sorry, there are not enough features to be able to name it.”

    So the ones in the straw are definitely inky caps (Coprinus or Coprinosis) but Phil’s species would be the best answer.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm
  2. tina k (friend of nugget)

    Thanks Johanna, but I am a far cry from a mushroom guru unless you are just talking about tasty edibles. I think that the straw bale mushrooms are Coprinopsis atramentaria (Common Ink Cap) mushrooms. In fact, here’s a link to another gardening blog which describes and shows them growing in their straw bale, just like yours.

    The one in the fence is some kind of a wood rotter. (Duh!) I’m going with some kind of Armillaria, but will check with the true gurus on this.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm
  3. MIke Lieberman

    Random growing mushrooms scare me. I’ve eavesdropped on mushroom experts talking about the possible effects of eating “bad” mushrooms and I don’t want to end up like Alice.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm
  4. Johanna

    It looks like one, huh? But it’s way more firm. Not soft and spongy.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:49 am
  5. Leanne Opaskar

    With the extreme caveat that *I am not a mushroom expert at all*, the one on the wooden wall looks like a shiitake.

    Shiitake do feed on decomposing wood, so I think it’s not unlikely … but I’d get an expert to tell you for sure.

    January 25, 2011 at 1:23 am

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