Dutch Mushrooms

Laccaria verity

While traveling in Holland, we found many nice mushrooms. There’s a fungus everywhere in the world, yes, even in The Arctic, but luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to the south pole to meet some new ones. Whenever Bernard and I find ourselves in a new place, we keep an eye out for mushrooms and are never disappointed. Even in December, in The Netherlands, with cold wind whipping across the landscape, we found our fungi friends.

puffball- vert mature

We wandered a dune system near The North Sea, where oak savanna dominated. The site was now a park, but was once a military instillation with bunkers and large guns to defend against sea invasion. We saw many bare spots in open fields that reflect great impact from human use. The park is now allowing recovery, and water systems for public drinking water support the larger cities near by.

Tremellaceae- “witch’s’ butter”

Oak groves are a rare treat for those of us living in Western Washington. Even in a very different bioregion on the other side of the world, familiar friends of the fungi kingdom were easy to find. The mushrooms are as recognizable as the oaks themselves, and it was such a pleasure to just look around and see so many knowns. That’s the reward of pursuing nature. She will become a close friend, and you’ll find her everywhere you go.

The soil beneath our feet is often neglected in our search for nature, yet it holds most of the nutrients and living matter that supports all life on earth. Within the leaf litter and debris of the oak savanna where we wandered, mycelia was running, just out of site under the duff. Pulling up a large white cap, we can see the extent of a mushrooms connection into the soil, and better understand the complex living system around us.

Mycelia on foot of a potential Hygrophoraceae

The mushroom kingdom is a wild one, with many new faces in every search. I’m drawn to these little fruits of the woods, because they are so unique and under appreciated in the natural world. Mushrooms have some of the most mysterious and amazing chemical compositions, as well as the ability to consume and neutralize many toxic elements now polluting the earth. There are also some delicious species to eat and enjoy, with confidant identification and awareness.

As mushrooms continue to captivate, Leafhopper Farm pledges full support to fungal farming, and encourages anyone interested in mushrooms and how they can help save the world to contact us- info@leafhopperfarm.com

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