One of my favourite things about Autumn is going mushrooming, it is something that I have done since I was little and it’s something that I now do with Thomas. There’s a mix of excitement, anticipation and expectation as we put on our wellies and set off with our carrier bags but over the past few years there has also been disappointment too as they are now less common in our local fields.
Field Mushrooms are most commonly found after rain in fields and meadows that are grazed by horses, cattle or sheep or even in parks and lawns. The field mushroom has a beautiful white cap that grows from 3-10cm in diameter; it is umbrella shaped at first but flattens out as it grows. Underneath the cap are gills which are initially pink then change to red-brown and then dark brown as they mature. Field Mushrooms can be found from late Summer into Autumn and can be easily confused with other similar varieties which are poisonous, if you are in any doubt don’t pick or eat them.
Although I always love looking for mushrooms I have never really been keen on eating them afterwards.
My advice is to get out there, enjoy the hunt and the fresh air and make it into a fun family competition to see who can spot the first, the biggest, the smallest and the most mushrooms, take your camera with you.
This photograph was taken in August 2006 and was the last time that we had a good mushroom season.
You can grow your own mushrooms at home with a Mushroom Kit and watch little white dots develop into white ‘buttons’ and then into white umbrellas, they grow like magic and are totally safe to eat. You will get that mix of excitement, anticipation and expectation as you take a peak at them first thing in the morning but of course you don’t need your wellies.
Have a go at growing your own; they are ideal for children and perfect for the winter months when getting out into the garden seems impossible.