Volume 1, Issue 7
Recommended summer reading: The Mushroom Hunters
Reviewed by Curator of Horticultural Literature, Brian Thompson.
Excerpted from the Winter 2014 Arboretum Bulletin.
In The Mushroom Hunters: on the trail of an underground America [also available on CD, for those long road trips], Seattle author Langdon Cook asks what professional foragers get for
their efforts: "An itinerant life on the road, continually moving with
the seasons? A low hourly wage and no chance for health insurance? A
garden variety of potential wilderness pitfalls, including injury,
exposure, even wild animals?"
The answer is: all of the above, but that doesn't stop this from
being a very big business. The collectors, those who buy from
collectors, the distributors, and even the celebrity chefs who are at
the top of this commercial food chain weave in and out of these pages
much like in a high-energy, first-person novel. The settings, from the
Yukon to California are evocative, too, but mostly somewhat vague--the
secret locations of valuable hunting grounds are not to be shared.
This is Cook's second book on foraging. The Miller Library also has Fat of the Land
from 2009. In addition to mushrooms, this book highlights the
collection practices for fiddlehead ferns, dandelions, huckleberries,
and a selection of animals including clams, crabs, and various fish.
Several recipes will set your mouth watering.
Plant Answer Line: obscure questions welcome
Question: Can 'Giant Feather Grass' (Stipa gigantea)
be propagated by division or by seed only?
You can propagate Stipa either by division or by seed. According to the A-Z Encyclopedia of Plants and the AHS Plant Propagation
books, both ways need to be started in the spring. Specifically, seeds
should be sown in containers in a cold frame in spring. Divisions should
be done from mid-spring to early summer.
Seeds should be sown when you can maintain a temperature of 59
degrees F. Most grass seed germinates in a week. Transplant seedlings
one to a pot or cell as soon as they are large enough to handle.
Transfer pots of established seedlings to a frost-free place to grow.
Plant out in mid-spring.
To take divisions, cut back the foliage for easier handling, then lift the
clump. Shake loose soil from the roots or wash clean, to make it easier
to separate them. Use a sharp knife to divide the clump into good-sized
sections. Trim any overlong or damaged roots. The divisions can then be
replanted in the garden. I have also noticed that in my garden, Stipa usually reseeds itself and if you look carefully you may find some small seedlings already started, which you can transplant.
James Toner exhibit continues through July 30
Artist James Toner
creates sculptures, furniture, and lamps with mixed materials
including wood, stone, ceramics, and bronze. Bronzes, cast flowers and lamps
made from handmade paper & birch bark are included in this
exhibit at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.
Centennial Woods restoration and management plan by Jonathan Peter Diemer
Elwha River revegetation 2013: a plant performance study by Crescent Calimpong