the fruits of roots
The overnight rains have yielded abundant fruits.
I’m happy to report that we have a patch of boletes
on the shady side of the path going to the top of our property.
This morning I discovered three growing near each other
(the magic number needed for picking one when out foraging);
Marmalade found a fourth one, the smallest of them all, and picked it,
so that we could try a small sample later to ascertain its edibility.
(To check a mushroom’s edibility, first rule out any possible poisonous look-alikes.
Then, if in the clear, slice and smell. If it smells pleasant, then sauté slice in a bit of butter.
Then taste, checking not only for flavor, but possible side effects of allergic symptoms.
If it tastes good, and there’s no itchy throat, swollen tongue, or rash developing,
then wait a day, to verify no digestive ailments; then enjoy!)
Since I’ve eaten a lot of a similar looking bolete in America,
Boletus subglabripes, and they smell the same;
I’m assuming they are a similar, if not the same, species.
But I always do the check anyway, just to be sure;
especially now that Marmalade is eating with us.
Also, I feel that in finding this bolete patch, on our property here,
is in someway a sign that my life has come full circle:
while I was pregnant with Marmalade,
and we were preparing our move to Europe,
I was working on a series of illuminated bolete sculptures,
for a commission for Wells Fargo’s Green Team program.
(Actually, that commission paid for our airfare over to Austria.)
Boletes are a mycorrhizal species,
meaning that the fungus lives in a symbiotic relationship with surrounding trees;
each species providing a benefit for each other.
(the fungus unlocks nutrients in the soil for the trees,
in exchange the trees give the fungus sugars.
Mohamed and I created an informative video of the mycorrhizal relationship
for one of his Biomimetics courses: the Fruits of Roots:
More excitingly (because they’re one of my favorites, with their smokey flavor),
I found another parasol growing in our parasol mushroom patch!
Since four unpicked ones had just dissipated from the patch,
I feel no qualms about having this parasol as part of our Thanksgiving feast.
Otherwise, as it is a Root time,
I’m planting a few dozen of the onions today,
in the second half of our second garden box.
I love using the greens from the young onions,
and was told that if they were planted now,
by Springtime we’d have a bunch of giant onions.