Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)


Oyster mushrooms are familiar to most people who like to try the different mushrooms available from the supermarket.  This is one of the easiest mushrooms to culture and is available in packages for a person to grow at home if you want to try a hand at mushroom farming. In Oregon this mushroom can easily be found growing out in the wilds.  My only problem is most of the time when I find a big patch of them is that they are growing on a dead tree.  Starting at about 10 feet up and growing up the tree.  I am not enough of a monkey to climb up and get them.  Luckily they are also found closer to the ground on tree’s that have fallen over. The picture is from Wikipedia since I could find any worth taking pictures of this year

The oyster mushroom is one of the few known carnivorous mushrooms. Its mycelia can kill and digest nematodes, which is believed to be a way in which the mushroom obtains nitrogen. The standard oyster mushroom can grow in many places, but some other related species, such as the branched oyster mushroom, grow only on trees. While this mushroom is often seen growing on dying hardwood trees, it only appears to be acting like a parasite. As the tree dies of other causes, P. ostreatus grows on the rapidly increasing mass of dead and dying wood. They actually benefit the forest by decomposing the dead wood, returning vital elements and minerals to the ecosystem in a form usable to other plants and organisms.

Oyster Mushrooms are great in almost every type of cooking.  I love cutting them into small pieces and putting them on a fresh homemade pizza.  Stir fry is another popular use for them.  Soups, stews, and fried, the uses are endless.  Experiment to your heart content with this mushroom.

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