Mushroom Magic

This week’s blog post has been written by Daniel Butler who was teaching on the Aberystwyth University (SELL) Ecology of Fungi course run here at Denmark Farm last weekend.

Although the leaves are still on the trees (Good God, it’s late November!), apparently snow is its way and most mushrooms are starting to look distinctly tired.

It’s been an amazing autumn – can you believe this was taken near Tregaron on 17 November?

It’s been an amazing autumn – can you believe this was taken near Tregaron on 17 November?

That said, there is still some good stuff out there. I’ve just finished teaching my first Lifelong Learner course for Aberystwyth University. We were based at the wonderful Denmark Farm near Lampeter. The weather, scenery and students were fantastic over the whole three days (15 – 17 November). We had a wide variety of finds, including edibles such as both types of deceiver, blewits, waxcaps and even some very late hedgehogs and chanterelles!

Wendy found wonderful chanterelles and meadow waxcaps . . .

Cantherellus2  meadow waxcap

It’s not all about edibility – there were magic and porcelain mushrooms along with scarlet hoods . . .

Magic3  Porcelain1  Scarlet2

Fun in the woods, fields and classroom . . .

Denmark3  Students1  Denmark7

There was some serious stuff too, however, and any myconerds among you might want to browse through the footnotes on page 2 [1] (apologies for any mis-spellings).

Meanwhile, here’s a pic of one part of the final quiz. How many of these can you identify? I think most are fairly straightforward, but ‘2’ is a bit tricky (and if anyone wants to e-mail their answers, common names are just fine) . . . .

A spore print – the merger of art and science? And here’s the final test . . .

SporePrint1  Test1

Daniel Butler

We are currently planning further fungi workshops with Daniel for autumn 2014. These will be along the lines of a combined fungi foray and cooking workshop over several days. Daniel says that he has ‘cracked’ the perfect sourdough – this is the greatest way to make bread harnessing the wild yeasts that surround us all . . . 

Please get in touch if you’d be interested in taking part. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our website as there are already many 2014 courses listed there. 

2014 Courses at Denmark Farm

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