Skip to comments.Lightning Makes Mushrooms Multiply
Posted on 04/10/2010 4:18:23 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Lightning makes mushrooms more plentiful, according to ongoing research that offers a solid scientific basis for Japanese farming lore.
For generations, Japanese farmers have welcomed storms over their fields based on the belief that lightning strikes provoke plentiful harvests of mushrooms, which are staples of Japanese cuisine.
Currently, mushroom demand is so high that dealers are increasingly turning to foreign suppliers. Japan imports about 50,000 tons of mushrooms a year, mainly from China and South Korea.
As part of a four-year study, scientists in northern Japan have been bombarding a variety of mushrooms in lab-based garden plots with artificially induced lightning to see if electricity actually makes the fungi multiply.
The latest results show that lightning-strength jolts of electricity can more than double the yield of certain mushroom species compared with conventional cultivation methods.
"We have tried these experiments with ten types of mushroom so far and have found that it is effective in eight species," said Koichi Takaki, an associate professor in engineering at Iwate University.
"We saw the best effects in shiitake and nameko mushrooms, while we also tested reishi mushrooms, which are not edible but are used in certain types of traditional Chinese medicine," he said.
Shiitake mushrooms grow on a log exposed to lightning-like electricity.
What makes them do calculus?
I’ll stick with the morels thanks.
I don’t suppose this applies to the ordinary mushrooms that grow in caves.
I love ‘shrooms.
Lightening supplies the area around with Nitrogen which causes increased growth.
Exactly what I thought when I read the title... Duh...
Thanks. Nice pic. Man those mushrooms are big!
It would be interesting to go beyond the speculation and determine the mechanism that makes this happen.
Interesting article - thanks for posting it. I’m known around where we live as “the mushroom lady” because I have been known to ask people if I can pick the mushrooms growing in their yard. I always ask if I could bring them half of what I pick and they always always say “no”. Some even say “oh, no, I buy mine at the store.” Hiding my smile, I say thank you very much and go get my haul.
I pick them in yards, farm fields and deep woods whenever I get the chance.
We have chanterelles (5 kinds), morels, meadow mushrooms, horse mushrooms, salmon waxy caps, chicken mushrooms, king boletes and other edible boletes, puffballs, shaggy manes, oyster mushrooms, hen of the woods, blewits and more here some of which grow in great profusion. My favorites to eat are chanterelles, meadow, horse, puffballs and shaggy manes by themselves, in stews and in soups.
I love mushrooms and have learned enough not to kill myself or my family with them!
Wow, Wow, Wow!
Is that you?
I have actually gotten almost that many several times and it about killed me cleaning them (I refuse to eat bugs and slug poop!). I started cleaning them just as it got dark and I was up all night until I ran out of room to dry them. The rest were stored in our extra refrigerator until I had room to deal with them. The supply just from that day lasted all winter and into the next summer.
I do have driers with trays but I have found that when the mushrooms are really wet, either from the rain or my cleaning when they are extra dirty, even low heat will scorch them. I set the trays (light weight plastic) on empty tobacco canisters under ceiling fans. Before they really dry out, I lightly cook them in olive oil, let them cool and freeze them in portions suitable for various dishes with the olive oil. I did not like the result when I dried them - too chewy and tough. Freezing them fresh was not as good either. I can just grab a frozen bag and dump it in whatever I am cooking - very easy.
If that is you in the pic, what did you do with them all?
LOL! I’m a little older and have more hair.
I love mushrooms. They contain Vitamin D and selenium and are loaded with antioxidants! I prefer them raw (more nutrients that way).
I’ve looked at various online places to buy the supplies to do this but have not tried it yet. I’m in Nova Scotia (American married to Canadian) so I’m sure not all the companies would send the stuff to me here. Do you use the company on the box and recommend it?
Where did you find this photo - I’m curious where it is? Giants!
Sept 11-12, 2010 25th Annual Mushroom Festival a fun packed, two-day event in historic Kennett Square, Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday, September 11-12, 2010. Celebrate the mushroom as well as the beauty, history and excitement of Southern Chester County with music, childrens rides and a variety of entertainment.
I have a question maybe you could answer...I use to get giant puffballs growing in one spot on my property..One year, one got a large as a small kitchen table....
One year I put out a salt lick for the deer and of course during the winter snows and spring rains I am sure a lot of the salt went into the ground. Now I have no puffballs growing....is it possible that the salt lick killed the puffballs rooting system...
I haven’t had any for 5 years now....and only had put out one salt lick.....
just wondering if that could have been the reason they disappeared...every once in a while I will get a handful or morels in spring, but never in the same place twice...thanks..
Maybe its the Nitrogen that Lighting puts out.
Um...storms bring RAIN...and mushrooms are like 85.92% WATER...so that makes sense to me. :)
Well, lightning ‘fixes’ the nitrogen in the air that is otherwise unavailable to plants. That’s why everything is so much greener after a thunderstorm.
What makes mushrooms grow in one place and not another is not even entirely understood by mycologists and I am not one. My reference library is pretty large, too, so I’ve done some reading on the subject. However, I would guess that the salt did cause the soil to stop being a welcome place for the puffballs.
I’ve noticed that chanterelles and boletes do tend to appear in the same place year to year - shaggy manes also. I think it may have more to do with the nutrients in the soil as apposed to any root system. The mushrooms that aren’t picked leave their spores in the same area where they grow and then grow from the spores taking root the next year or whatever year they appear again. Weather conditions also have an effect on it for sure.
There are some great references on mushrooms on the internet. Many are on university sites. But here is one that is really detailed:
Wish I knew the answer to your question but I am just guessing. Maybe you can find a lead on the above site or by Scroogling it - something like “growing conditions mushrooms” might be a good start.
Hope your puffballs come back. They are to die for when picked all white on the interior, sliced and then browned in a skillet in butter. Yummee!
Isn’t this from a Ray Bradbury story?
Have you eaten elephant ear mushrooms? I found one, just one, when I was about 10, took it home, fried it in butter, and ate it. It was great. The only other mushrooms I saw back then in the countryside near Peoria were morels and hen of the woods.
Never had the pleasure. Looked it up and found this:
Ever find “dead man’s fingers”? Weird but no eat.
“A site for Illinois mushroom lovers”
(gotta be some compensation for being from Obamaland)
I really wasn’t sure thats what they were at first...I took one to a local restaurant that had a chef that wore a real high cap, so I thought he might know something about them...Yep they were puffballs and he said as a child his mother would slice them like a pancake put in a frying pan and with a little syrup they were heavenly.. But because of government regulation wild mushrooms are not usable in any restaurant. The morels are pretty patchy when I do spot them...a couple of years ago while walking the property with my son we found 2 handfuls of morel. They haven’t grown there since...strange little fungi...He said they were delicious...
Morels - I think of them as brain mushrooms due to their appearance.
Some years here, one or two types of mushrooms are everywhere; the next year it is another type and then the next year zip, nothing. Last year was a nothing year here.
Thanks for the link, DB.
I think mushroom hunting is something of an art...
Was the time of year Autumn? Do you remember whether the tree was a hardwood or softwood?
(When I first started looking for mushrooms, I found what my neighbor said was a giant rare form of chanterelle. We cooked it and both my husband and I each stabbed a fork into the frying pan and stuck a piece in our mouth. He spit his out immediately due to poor taste. I attempted to do the same but a small bit slipped down my throat. My throat began to get numb and feel like it was closing up. I ended up at the ER where I drank a pint of liquid charcoal. Turns out it was a Jack-O-Lantern mushroom which in rather small quantities will kill you. I was fine, though. Never asked an opinion again. Learned about mushrooms myself and only eat them when I am totally certain what they are.)
Look anything like this:
Oysters - yes. They are somewhat common so that makes sense. They are very good in soups which is how I tried them when I found a quantity of them. I can see how your memory would be of a light grey. I think I’ve seen that myself. Anyway, glad you solved that mystery.
I was off trying to sign up for photo bucket so I could post a couple of photos from my computer on here but I can’t get the sign up to work even though I allowed cookies from the site. This is the second time I’ve tried and I’m giving up. Can anybody recommend another photo site to use? I don’t want to use my own .com web site because then I’d be too easy to ID and I want to preserve the ability to say unflattering things about certain politicians like the stinker in the WH.
Thanks. I’ll check it out.
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