Mushrooms - Stationary Animals

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Mushrooms - Stationary Animals

By ACS Bookshop UK on December 24, 2016 in | comments
To the casual observer mushrooms may look like plants that have forgotten to synthesize their green pigment.  Afterall they grow in soil, they do not move and do the things that animals do, and we buy them at the green grocer’s not at the butcher’s.  However, take a look at an evolutionary tree and you will find that fungi are the closest relatives of animals, not of plants.

Gardeners have a love hate relationship with fungi.  We love them in our casseroles but not in our lawns.  However, there are many beneficial fungi and it has been calculated that as many as 9 out of ever 10 plants forms a very close relationship with fungi in the soil.  The fungi help the plants to take up nutrients from the soil and the plants give the fungus some of the sugars that they make by photosynthesis in return.

Fungi do not produce flowers or cones, but they do produce fruiting bodies that we know as mushrooms and toadstools.  We are taught as children to be very careful when handling mushrooms and toadstools, especially the bright red ones.  However, some mushrooms are completely safe to eat and it is possible to grow these in the same way that it is possible to grow all our vegetables.

Fungi do not need light in order to grow, and so you do not actually need a garden to be a mushroom gardener.  In the same way that there are many different vegetables with many different flavours, so too are there many different varieties of mushrooms and if you have not tried growing them then I would urge you to because fresh mushrooms taste as good as fresh vegetables.

If you want to learn more, take a look at our Growing And Using Mushrooms eBook, or try our 100 course on Mushroom Production.

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