Directions for the preparation and spawning of mushroom beds
Preparing the beds
Spawning the beds
The mushroom industry
A new species (Agaricus subrufescens Peck)
An excerpt from the beginning:
TWELVE EDIBLE MUSHROOMS OF THE UNITED STATES.
For several years past the Division of Microscopy of the U. S. Department of Agriculture has been in receipt of numerous letters from regular correspondents and others to the effect that in various localities, representing almost every section and climate of the Union, there are found large quantities of edible mushrooms and other allied fungi, few of which are utilized because the great majority of the people do not know how to distinguish the edible from the poisonous species. To obtain some clear and trustworthy criteria by which to make this essential distinction has been the object of the various communications received, and, in view of the highly nutritious properties of this class of esculents and of the great possible value of their aggregate product, as indicated by the vast quantities produced in countries where attention is given to their cultivation, the importance of a satisfactory answer to these inquiries will be readily appreciated.
FOOD VALUE OF MUSHROOMS.
Rollrausch and Siegel, who claim to have made exhaustive investigations into the food values of mushrooms, state that "many species deserve to be placed beside meat as sources of nitrogenous nutriment," and their analysis, if correct, fully bears out the statement. They find in 100 parts of dried Morchella esculenta 35.18 per cent of protein; in Helvella esculenta, 26.31 per cent of protein, from 46 to 49 per cent of potassium salts and phosphoric acid, 2.3 per cent of fatty matter, and a considerable quantity of sugar. The Boletus edulis they represent as containing in 100 parts of the dried substance 22.82 per cent of protein. The nitrogenous values of different foods as compared with the mushroom are stated as follows: "Protein substances calculated for 100 parts of bread, 8.03; of oatmeal, 9.74; of barley bread, 6.39; of leguminous fruits, 27.05; of potatoes, 4.85; of mushrooms, 33.0." A much larger proportion of the various kinds of mushrooms are edible than is generally supposed, but a prejudice has grown up concerning them in this country which it will take some time to eradicate. Notwithstanding the occurrence of occasional fatal accidents through the inadvertent eating of poisonous species, fungi are largely consumed both by savage and civilized man in all parts of the world, and while they contribute so considerable a portion of the food product of the world we may be sure their value will not be permanently overlooked in the United States, especially when we consider our large accessions of population from countries in which the mushroom is a familiar and much prized edible.
In France mushrooms form a very large article of consumption and are widely cultivated. Mushroom beds are cultivated in caves, frequently miles in extent. A cave at Mery is mentioned as containing, in 1867, 21 miles of beds, and producing not less than 3,000 pounds daily. Another at Frepillon contains 16 miles of beds. The catacombs and quarries of Paris and vicinity, and the caves of Moulin de la Roche, Sous Bicetre, and Bagneux produce immense quantities of mushrooms. They are all under Government supervision, and are regularly inspected like the mines.