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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms (book review)

By Pelle Holmberg and Hans Marklund

I must apologize, I am very late in reviewing this book that Skyhorse Publishing sent to me. I digress,

Both authors are biologists, and have worked hard over the years to spread their knowledge of mushrooms. 

The book is simple to read, easy to understand and the mushrooms described come with a color code so that once you find the picture of the mushroom you can quickly ascertain if it will kill you or not.

It also gives you the look-a-likes, what type of forest or woodland and where it can be found (US, Canada, UK) The book will also inform you of the best ways to prepare and preserve each type of mushroom listed.

This book is not complete. And the authors admit that. This is a small pocket guide to the more easily identified mushrooms, some common, some not.  

This has become my quintessential mushroom book for our hikes. It doesn't fit in my back pocket, but the BOB that I have emptied and now use for mushroom gathering, tucks it in nicely. Husband and I have brought it along on every hike. 

We took your advice and the books and searched for morels again this weekend. I am not ashamed to say I found nothing, as it is the first time I have ever attempted to look for them. I have heard people have looked for years before finding their first and others, not looking, stumble upon them. We did however find more mushrooms from last years batch. And the book helped us identify them easily.

We have more oyster and Indian oyster mushrooms than I first thought. And that is just close to the house. We will be drying them out and making mushroom soups with them come winter. However new ones are just now popping up, last years stand dehydrated in their glory. At least we know exactly where to go to harvest.

The book says there are other mushrooms (not all of the above are oyster) that grow on leafy trees, none are poisonous.  And can be found through summer months through the winter.

We think this is a bolete, however can not match it postitivly in the book. The authors suggest not eating anything you can not find in the book, however I will do some research to discover what it is. Like I did with the next set of pictures.

The above photos are of Black Cup Fungis. They are not poisonous nor are they edible. Just kind of cool looking. 

I neglected to get a photo, however Small has a great eye for finding mushrooms. He found a Death Cap.

Don't worry, he didn't touch. He knows what the bad ones listed in this book look like.

I do recommend this book for the beginner mushroom hunter. You may purchase the book through Skyhorse Publishing.


Practical Parsimony said...

In the picture second or third from the bottom with the red mushroom that looks like and open mouth, is that a dinner knife lying above it?

This is a book I need. I don't live in the woods, but my side yard is woodsy. Actually, the side yard thinks it is a woods.

There are poisonous mushrooms all over my yard. I worried the chickens would eat them, but obviously chickens know they are not good to eat.

Do the authors have a newer addition out? What year was your book published? Thanks.

Phelan said...

Lol! It took me a moment to figure that one out. Sure does look like a butter knife! But no, it is just wood.

1999 was the original release and then again last year. I don't know if they have anything else. I could go look. I received this book for review right before the move.

And you can find edibles in open grass as well, not just woods.

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