Mushrooms Everywhere!

After a brief period of dry weather, the rains have returned and the ground is once again full of moisture. This kind of weather is good for the perennials - encouraging continued deep rooting and good germination of self sown seedlings. It's challenging for getting outdoor work done and really lousy for staying caught up with weeding, but gardening is always full of trade offs.

The mushrooms are really happy with the weather. They are popping up all over the land - all kinds and colors, in more colonies than I've ever seen before in our woods. I really should take a camera with me as I hike so I can get pictures of all of the different types. Of course, that does make it a little harder to run away from surprise encounters with yellow jackets, which are also having an abundant season this year.

So far this Autumn we've held off on harvesting any edible mushrooms. We don't have a real good way to put them up for long term storage and we are mainly eating lots of tomatoes and peppers right now. Instead of harvesting more food than we can eat or store, we're letting most of the wild mushroom take advantage of the fantastic mushroom growing weather and giving them a chance to mature and reproduce. They can serve as food in future years, and even the non-edible mushrooms contribute to soil health and improve our local ecosystem.

They are quite pretty too. I don't know what sort this is, but they are sprouting up on all of my garden paths!