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OfflineTwiztidsage
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Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA]
    #11173234 - 10/03/09 03:54 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

October 2nd, 2009 - The Lindsay Post

Our three-week flirtation with sunny weather appears to be over, and we're back to the soggy conditions that cursed most of the summer of 2009.

While you and I may regret the conditions, down a few inches below our feet, there are living beings that must be rejoicing in all this wet. As a group they're commonly known as fungi.

The most visible and sought-after of the fungi are mushrooms and it could be a bumper autumn for mushroom enthusiasts, since most of them thrive with warmth and moisture.

There is more to fungi than the colourful shapes you see on the forest floor, though. In fact the variety of fungi is so enormous and their life cycles so unusual that they are classified in an entire kingdom, separate from the plants and animals.

Fungi have an astonishing influence on our lives and in the wild.

It's a fungus called yeast that makes your bread rise -and your beer ferment.

One fungus produces a compound that regularly saves lives: penicillin.

Many types of fungus make their homes inside insects, with deadly results that are now harnessed by the agriculture industry to combat pests.

Some species of mushroom produce toxins responsible for more deaths in Canada than any other toxin.

Some mushroom toxins are hallucinogenic and are responsible for whole cultures of mysticism in peoples around the world.

Without mushrooms, much of the forest's life cycle would grind to a halt. Mushrooms are the great decomposers and nutrient sources for the forest, doing their work hidden from view in the soil.

In fact, a mushroom's life is different from anything else we are familiar with. Where green plants do their growing out in the sun where they get their energy, a mushroom's growth goes on underground. There, it sends out tiny threads called hyphae, drawing nutrients from the soil or decomposing woody material. Mushrooms meet and greet underground, where their hyphae can cluster into colonies hundreds of kilometres around.

When the season is right, they will produce their fruit, which pop up above the ground as the mushrooms we all know. Mushroom fruits are widely variable. Some look like coral, others like waxy ears and others, shaped like traditional mushrooms, are coloured brilliantly red or violet. Whatever they look like they all produce the spores that will go on to become the next generation.

The biomass of fungi is estimated to make up 90% of all the living material in the soil, excluding plant roots. Mats of these fibres gather around most species of tree roots, making water and minerals in the soil available to the tree. In return, the mushroom gets sugars from the trees' roots, so it can continue growing.

This association is vital to forest health. And in some cases, its absence can be responsible for completely different types of terrain and plant colonies. Research recently conducted on the Carden Alvar suggests that the numbers of cattle that once grazed in the area created conditions that forest mushrooms couldn't survive in. This in turn reduced the chances of trees establishing themselves, because there were no mushrooms to feed their roots. The process, it seems, has reinforced the vastly different grass and scrublands that now thrive on the alvar.

So, get out and enjoy the myriad colours and shapes of the mushrooms in the woods. But if you really want to know your mushrooms, remember: there's more to them than meets the eye.

NOTE:Report of the 2005 Mycological Society of Toronto survey of the fungal fauna of Carden Plain, www.couchconservancy.ca/Fall%20Report_ 2005%20Carden%20Alvar.doc

Gayle Carlyle is the outreach coordinator for the Couchiching Conservancy. For more information, contact the Conservancy at 326-1620. Visit our website at www.couchconservancy.ca.


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Invisiblesh4d0ws
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: Twiztidsage]
    #11173776 - 10/03/09 09:14 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

Cool read

I grew some badass mushies this year outdoors in Ontario (I'm right near toronto)
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/10788013/page/1
It's getting so cold out I don't know if cubes could grow this late in the season, I can't wait for next year!


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OfflineEdibleTruth
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: sh4d0ws]
    #11174086 - 10/03/09 11:44 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

Time to get out and browse amongst the cows! :smile:


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Offlinelmfsmoke
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: EdibleTruth]
    #11174432 - 10/03/09 01:30 PM (8 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Some mushroom toxins are hallucinogenic and are responsible for whole cultures of mysticism in peoples around the world.



I wouldn't call psilocin a toxin, good read though.


--------------------
Genesis 1:29 - Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you"


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InvisibleDango_Bill
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: lmfsmoke]
    #11179129 - 10/04/09 10:33 AM (8 years, 1 month ago)

Yeast is a fungus? Wtf? I thought it was a bacteria?


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Onlinegornyhuy
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: Dango_Bill]
    #11186811 - 10/05/09 02:45 PM (8 years, 1 month ago)

That author seems like a fun guy.


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Offlinesnoot
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: gornyhuy]
    #11200332 - 10/07/09 02:33 PM (8 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with about 1,500 species currently described.




nice article, i give a similar speech to most peopel i take out hunting for the first time.


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I am incapable of conceiving infinity, and yet I do not accept finity.
- Simone de Beauvoir -


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OfflineSventington
am what I am what I am what I am

Registered: 01/17/09
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Re: Getting to Know Your Mushrooms....[Ontario, CA] [Re: snoot]
    #11210680 - 10/08/09 10:22 PM (8 years, 1 month ago)

I'm FROM Lindsay! I had no idea!


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