When my grandson Rory visited this summer he helped with chores, like getting woodchips for the paths in the potager. We were amazed to find something unexpected hiding in the pile.
Mushrooms! At first we only saw the fine white roots but Rory kept digging very carefully and we came upon several groups of mushrooms. I don’t know anything about mushrooms, so I don’t know if these are edible. We didn’t test them out.
I’ve written about mushrooms before. My neighbor Al has a mushroom nook, and some delicious winecap mushrooms growing under some shrubs in wood chips very much like these. You can read about that here. Obviously the mushrooms Rory found in the woodchip pile are not winecaps.
The fine white mushroom (fungi) ‘roots’ we saw growing in the woodchip pile are called mycelium. Fungi help with decompostion of organic compounds in the soil and it has been suggested that they can be used for bioremediation of organic polllutants like petroleum products. One of my most viewed posts has been about mycellium used as strong, non-toxic, non-flammable insulation. You can read about mycotecture here.