I love mushrooms. I’ve always been slightly intrigued by them – maybe it’s because my mother told me to stay away from them? I think part of what piqued my interest in mushrooms is the amount of diversity in them. They come in all colors and seem to pop up overnight. They exist in a network of mycorrohizae that we walk on and around all the time, but are totally unaware of. But, the thing with mushrooms is that once you open your eyes to them, they seem to be everywhere. Now not all of them are edible – and I’ll write a post about that soon – but a good many of them are, and if you’ve priced mushrooms in the store, (not just the white button ones) you’ll know that they can get fairly expensive. So whenever I find edible mushrooms, I get really excited.
One of the things I noticed about our house when we moved in three years ago, was a willow tree near the side walk. My wife loves the willow, and I admit they are pretty trees, but they get big, they drop lots of leaves, they’re heavy, and they have a pretty big root structure; I certainly don’t want a willow growing 20 feet from the house. In fact, it is already starting to buckle some of our sidewalk. So I put in my head that I would take it down in the winter; winter came and passed into spring, and the willow still stood. Part of it was lazy, part of it was other tasks, and part of it was wanting to root a twig to move the willow somewhere else where we could enjoy it in the future, after all they make a dynamite shade tree.
Three years later, and the willow still stands. I think this spring will be it’s last, but instead of using it for firewood, I have another plan. You see, after a recent rain storm, I went outside to find the willow full of dinner: Oyster mushrooms! Now I got out there a little late and these guys got a little old (see the yellowing?), but they aren’t buggy which is a huge win for Oysters. While oysters aren’t always the best, they can make a mean burger when cooked right. So now, instead of cutting down the willow and putting in the woodpile to cure, I’ll be relocating the willow logs to a damp, shady area and will hopefully be able to keep the willow log producing dinner for sometime to come.