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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Field mushrooms

Chatting to my sister about a year ago, we both agreed that our quality of life would be improved by the ability to confidently identify even one wild, edible mushroom. Well, now I can!

I was out for a walk with Ian recently, crossing a sheep field when I spotted these:

Field mushrooms, but not actually in a field. Sorry.

I rushed over and started picking them. Ian was less enthusiastic, Don't eat them! No, it's OK, I said, These are good. They're field mushrooms. An old lady of his acquantance had told him that it's a good time of year for field mushrooms, so that gave some credence to my claim. I promised to look them up carefully when I got home, which I did, and this confirmed my identification, so I added them to the pasta sauce we were having for dinner that night (well, to my serving. Ian doesn't like mushrooms).

Did it improve my quality of life? Well, yes. My dinner was improved a little and it pleased me greatly to be able recognise a common edible mushroom.

WARNING: Do not rely on this photo to identify field mushrooms. Consult three reliable field guides and pay particular attention to poisonous mushrooms that look similar. In this case, the death cap mushroom looks remarkably similar from above.


  1. Fungi spotting has been a hobby of mine for the last few years - I can identify quite a few poisonous/inedible ones but only, confidently, a few edibles -- and they're not particularly desirable edibles - jelly/jew's ear, amethyst deceiver, turkeytail...

    I long for the day when I spot (and can identify) something as edible/worth eating as field mushrooms :) Lucky you :)

  2. Actually, I've known how to identify them for several years, since I put mushroom compost on my roses and several came up in the garden. I've never seen them in the wild before, so this was very exciting!

    The edibles you know may not be very desirable, but they have fantastic names!

  3. Did you ever identify the strange things growing in the store room that looked a bit like foghorns?

  4. The only fungi I can confidently identify is a puffball! I did find a couple a few years ago, which we ate.

    I'm 99.5% sure we had shaggy inkcaps growing in our garden. It was the 0.5% that stopped me from picking and eating them. And feeding them to the children...

  5. Oh, are you not supposed to you use children as fungi testers?


    I'm not a mushroom fan so the acres of wild 'shrooms growing in my mother's fields were wasted on me as a kid. Typical!

  6. Graham, no, I never did get a positive ID for those. Perhaps I've discovered a new species! I'm not going to experiment to see whether they're edible or not, and I don't have any children to test them on, which might be just as well!

    Hazel, I had giant puffball once, years ago, sliced and toasted like bread. I remember it being pretty tasteless. Were the ones you had any better? Perhaps you cooked them appropriately first.

    Jo, these fields full of mushrooms - where are they? Just, y'know, out of curiosity...


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