So I have several fully colonized 10 inch by 6 foot or so Turkey Tale Alders. They've all done best sitting on top of the ground - or in many cases even stacked up and hanging around over it. But for some reason I want to use them a garden bed sidings which means at least the back half of them would become buried. Opinion? They're just sitting around. Should I try to integrate them into a hugle or raised bed or just haul them off to a shady spot out of the way and keep them as is?
Turkey tails are my favorite to use as inoculate. Not good for anything else, what with that shirt cardboard consistency. I would advise you to scrape all the little chips off the log, run them in the blender with some water until no large pieces remain, and then use that as liquid gold to pour on anything you want to compost.
As far as the logs, now that the turkey tails have fruited, a new succession of decomposers will be at work. Down here in Georgia, after a tree trunk with turkey tails falls over, it lasts about 2 more years until the log turns to mush. But your mileage may vary.
I am going to respectfully disagree. According to Paul Stamets, turkey tails are probably the most research-based medicinalmushroom. I agree that if they weren't medicinal, probably no one would eat them. Most of the research has been done in Japan and China. American and European corporations don't want to spend millions proving that an abundant, easy to identify and free living fungi can cure you of the cancer that they use as their financial lifeblood. If you have seen Paul Stamets' TED talk in which he introduces his mother, you will understand the power of turkey tails. I am a member of a mushroom club here in Oregon called the Oregon Mycological Society (OMS) .I became really interested in learning about mushrooms when I heard about turkey tails. Paul Stamets had a TED talk on the internet about how they can fight cancer. My mother in law had cancer, and I suggested she learn how to eat them to fight the cancer. My wife, my dad, my mom, both my grandmothers, and my grandfather have already had cancer. I figure I’ve got to do something to decrease the risk. Then I went out to my garden and looked at a branch on the ground and saw turkey tails growing in my own yard! Stamets’ book, “Mycelium Running” had been on my list for a while because so many of my gardener friends had recommended it. I read it and I was on fire. I needed to learn about mushrooms. I joined the OMS, and I checked out books from the library. Many of them described turkey tails as “inedible”.
This perplexed me, because Paul Stamets described them as eaten in China for over 1000 years and among the Native Americans for hundreds of years. Could they really be inedible? Stamets described them as medicine more than as food.
Then I read Robert Rogers’ book, “The Fungal Pharmacy”. He described various ways that people had prepared them to use as medicine. It was one of the very few mushrooms that I could confidently identify, and there were no deadly poisonous lookalikes, so I followed the procedure. I boiled them for 2 hours to extract the polysaccharides in a kind of soup. Didn’t taste bad or good, but it had a mild mushroom flavor. I decided to add a bit of soy sauce, and it tasted like reasonably good soup. The difference was that it was extremely medicinal and free. Now I often add that soup as the "water" in a can of regular mushroom soup.
Now I got to the mushrooms themselves. I had read that people ate them while hiking. I tried that and found them very tough and flavorless. In addition, Rogers explained that you’ll get more of the medicine out if you boil them for awhile. I noticed that boiling them made them softer, which was good. However, they were large and chewy. I decided to slice them into little strips, about the size of a small piece of chalk or a typical bolt. Now they were chewable, but still relatively flavorless. I decided to add olive oil and soy sauce. Bingo! Now they had good flavor, they had the springy consistency and flavor of beef jerky and I chew them like it. My kids like it too, and we call it turkey tail jerky. One thing to watch out for is when to pick the turkey tails. They should be thin and flexible, with vibrant colors on their zones. When they get thick and with washed out colors, they are nearly impossible to chew.
Some people ask, “Why would you eat turkey tails when there are so many other types of mushrooms to eat?” Good question. I know that most mushroom veterans have their secret hidden locations of delicious mushrooms that they keep going back to. I do not. Many can easily and positively identify hundreds of mushrooms from each other. I can not yet do that, but I love learning to ID mushrooms. I love to go hiking with my kids and one of the things that they like is finding mushrooms. They always ask, “Can we eat it?” Turkey tails are one of the very few mushrooms that are very abundant and very easy to find. Do they taste as good as morels, shiitakes, or chanterelles? No they don’t. However, I can reliably find and identify them and I have found a way to make their outstanding health characteristics taste good, which is plenty good enough for me right now.
posted 5 years ago
John Saltveit wrote: I decided to slice them into little strips, about the size of a small piece of chalk or a typical bolt. Now they were chewable, but still relatively flavorless. I decided to add olive oil and soy sauce. Bingo! Now they had good flavor, they had the springy consistency and flavor of beef jerky and I chew them like it.
What disagreement? I said they were like shirt cardboard.
I just was disagreeing that they are only good for inoculating as compost and turning wood into soil a la hugulkultur. It sounded like you didn't think they were good for medicine or for eating.
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posted 5 years ago
[quote John Elliot]I said they were like shirt cardboard.
Raw I find them to be more like a piece of wet boiled leather or something - with musky overtones and a slightly oxidating mouth feel. I've made tea with them but never been so bold as to add soy sauce. Thanks for the discussion. These logs came down 6 years ago and have been fruiting regularly for the past 3 or 4 anyway. I expect they will last two to four more years before they turn into bug food.
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