Rain means hunting season — for ‘shrooms

All the recent rain may get some folks down, but it also signals moose hunting season. And for those who prefer to hunt with a knife rather than a gun, it brings on thoughts of mushroom hunting.

Many of these mushroom hunters have learned to stalk Darius at the Homer Farmers Market with his reliable stock of tasty oyster mushrooms (keep an eye out for shitakes in the coming weeks). But now gardeners and hunters alike should be jumping for joy at the sight of the bags of mold he is selling at his booth. Yes, those bags are full of king stropharia mushroom spawn. This fungus is commonly known as the “Gardener’s Mushroom” because of the benefit it brings to the soil of home garden plots. You could enjoy 1-2 flushes of mushrooms indoors over the next 3 months. And layering it into a perennial garden bed in the spring will improve soil health and produces mushrooms worth hunting for years to come.

All hunters know that there is an urgency that sets in, a competitive desire to reach the harvest goal before the season ends. Since September is the last month of the Homer Farmers Market, many hunters will be stalking their favorite veggies down the aisle before it’s too late. If sauerkraut is your old favorite for winter vitamin C then you can see how now is the time to load up on cabbage. Spice it up a bit with some smoked jalepeños or add some apples or beets to switch it up a bit. If you add something like that to your sauerkraut, make sure that you keep a high percentage of green cabbage or your kraut can turn mushy. If kim chi is a favorites of yours, I should point out how the daikons and napa cabbage are piling up at the Market. There is no better time than now for stocking up. So do your hunting down at the Homer Farmers Market on Ocean Drive this Saturday between 10am and 3pm or Wednesday from 2-5pm or shop on the Kenai Peninsula Food Hub this weekend.

Kyra Wagner is the coordinator of Sustainable Homer and the Homer Farmers Market’s biggest fan.

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