Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Agaricus campestris

One of the all time most prized and collected of wild mushrooms, the Meadow Mushroom, Agaricus campestris, is usually found in open grassy fields. It has a low, squat stature and chocolate-brown spores. We find it in the rows in the vineyard where I work. It is frequently found late summer and fall after a rain in areas where the grass is cut very short.

We use a flail mower in the vineyard which cuts and pulverizes grass to dirt level, allowing the light cream-colored caps to be very visible when they begin to grow. The physical mixing of grass and dirt by the flail mower probably assists in the growth and spread of A. campestris.

This is a close relative of the button mushrooms and Portabellas you find at the grocers. However, the flavor of the Meadow Mushroom is very rich and much superior to the varieties available in the store. Given favorable conditions, you sometimes find A. campestris in great abundance, in quantities that can fill baskets and bags.


Anonymous said...

I have a place in Fort Valley, too, and I am so grateful for your blog! Wow! Your photography is beautiful! Take care with the amazing snowfall this weekend.

riburr said...

Yeah, the snow is something. Tomorrow, I will try to take some pictures of the snowy countryside for the Shenandoah Vineyards blog. And, much admiration for choosing one of the best places in the universe to live.

Always optimistic, this snow holds great promise for mushrooms in the coming year. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. After the last big snow a few years ago, I found many good-sized Golden Chanterelles in the Fort.