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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fungi & Mushrooms

Steve Russell's presentation on fungi and mushrooms was excellent.  Here he is in his morel t-shirt pointing to a slide of the filament-like growth patterns of fungi.

For those who weren't able to attend, here's a recap of the things we learned:

Mushroom identification starts with these five areas:
1)substrate--is the mushroom growing on wood or soil or other mushrooms?
2)spore bearing surface-does the mushroom have gills or spines or pores?
3)spore color-cut off the top and let it rest on a white paper for 3-4 hours.  The spores will drop out.  The color of the spores is an identifying factor.
4)gill attachment to the top and stem
5)other features--is there a volva or egg sac?  Is there a ring around the stem?  Does the mushroom bruise a particular color?  Does the mushroom exude latex?

Some of the edible species that Steve mentioned include:
Morels, Chicken of the woods, Chanterelles, Boletes, Oysters, Hen of the Woods, Lion's Mane, Cauliflower Mushrooms, and Puffballs.

Remember to cook all wild mushrooms. Enjoy your explorations and observations of fungi!

The Hoosier Mushroom Society can be reached at

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mycological Meeting--Mushrooms!

For some of us "mycological" is almost "mythological", but to Stephen Russell is is a way of life.  Mycology is the study of mushrooms and Stephen has been following fungi for years.

His presentation will focus on edible mushrooms--both finding them and making sure they are safe for consumption!

Join us at 6:30pm on Tuesday, Jan 10th to meet Stephen and learn more about mushrooms.

More about Stephen:

Stephen Russell is the owner of The Hoosier Mushroom Company, based in Bloomington, IN ( He been growing mushrooms for nearly a decade.  The company not only grows mushrooms, but also offers pre-made grow kits for indoor and outdoor cultivation, as well as most of the supplies needed for mushroom cultivation processes and mushroom hunting. His ongoing love of fungi has led him to found The Hoosier Mushroom Society, Indiana’s first and only amateur mycological association ( He holds a Master’s of Environmental Science with a focus on Microbiology, and a Master’s of Public Affairs with a focus on Public Policy – both from Indiana University, and is currently writing a book on at-home mushroom cultivation.