Friday, 8 May 2009
another great thing about bananas
I am becoming passionate about fungus. I'm busy collecting spores, inoculating beds and researching the incredibly diverse and interesting fungi we have here on the farm and in the botanical garden. We're cooking with various species, making tea from others and thinking about how we can use still others in our reforestation and gardening projects.
There is very little tradition of using or collecting, or cultivating, mushrooms in Costa Rica, but little by little we are piecing together information from the indigenous workers we know. Thus we learned about the 'hongo de banano'.
This is actually Volvariella volvacea, the Paddy Straw mushroom, except here it grows from the stumps of bananas. And it's delicious. Very delicious picked right off the stump and carried straight to the frying pan. The only problem we have at the moment is that there are just not enough for our liking. So I'm collecting spores and inoculating banana fibers and coconut fibers, and growing mycelium on moist corrugated cardboard. I hope to increase these naturally occurring wonders to the point where they are springing from every banana plant and also from some specially prepared beds.