A member recently asked for details on growing the famous (and VERY expensive) Matsutake, the source of some pretty vicious armed confrontations between foragers and landowners not too many years ago. Fortunately for us, there are now several possible means for growing these highly prized beauties without resorting to gunfire. . Current on-line spot price is about $8/oz dried and $28/lb fresh.
The Marvelous Matsutake Mushroom
No discussion about edible mushrooms would be complete without mentioning the elusive matsutake. Every year between September and January, pickers on the West Coast of North America search for this spicy-smelling mushroom with a passion usually only reserved for morel hunters.
Why all the matsutake madness? These mushrooms are big business, with the majority harvested being exported to Japan. These edible mushrooms are prized in Japan, both for their flavor and meaning. To this day they’re still given as important gifts, meant to symbolize fertility and happiness
How to Grow Pine Mushrooms, By Bonnie Grant, eHow Contributor
Pine mushrooms have symbiotic relationships with the roots of pine trees. Known by the more lyrical name Matsutake, pine mushrooms are a prized fungus with a high market price tag. They are collected in season and can command as much as $100 per pound. The North American mushrooms are large white fungus while the ones from Japan are a dark, rich-brown color. The pine mushroom is harvested in fall from under Lodgepole or Jack pine trees nestled amongst pine needles and moss. The mushroom is purportedly very difficult to grow, but you can find spore on some specialty mycelium sites. Easy to recognize by its fruity, spicy, pungent smell, this mushroom is well worth a little effort to grow. Does this Spark an idea?