Water-balloon Mushroom Fruits and The Tao of Terrior (Part 1 & Part 2)

Posted by Rochelle
October 7, 2015 | Edibles

A mushroom is really just the fruit of a giant mycorrhizal (probably perennial) organism that lives underground. I learned that in a mushroom class I took over the weekend.  I kinda knew this tidbit of information, but mostly I didn’t – at least not stated quite like that.

And do you know why mushrooms can grow so quickly?  It is because they don’t grow by cell division (like most everything else on the planet).  They are like balloons where a bunch of mycorrhiza line up in whatever formation that they do and then they blow up – like filling a water balloon.  This is how they just appear overnight.

Lately, I am fascinated with all things going on underground.  It started when Bernadette Giblin wrote The Tao of Terrior (part 1) for the Summer issue of PITH + VIGOR and it continued and intensified when I researched and wrote The Tao of Terrior (part 2) for the Autumn issue.

The Tao of Terrior - learning about soil and how it creates beautiful and tasty regional nuances in our plants, vegetables, and flowers. by rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com

The idea behind the two pieces was to introduce some of the people who are talking about the soil and its impact on terrior – as related to everything we can grow (other than wine) and then try to link together all the different pieces of this hidden world.   This underground ecosystem is complex and fascinating and not one that we know as much about (at least when you compare it to our knowledge of what is going in above ground).

So it isn’t completely surprising that these mushroom facts were new to me – even though I just wrote this whole piece and maybe should have already known them.

I’m curious, do you think of mushrooms as the water-balloon fruits of a giant underground living thing?  Or did I just tell you something new?

– Rochelle

Expert voices of the soil. by bernadette giblin illustration by samantah dion baker for pithandvigor.com

illustration for these two pieces by Samantha Dion Baker

Comments are closed.

Blog Comments

Love your site, and its view on gardening.
But I couldn’t let this slight error go uncorrected.
True a mushroom is the fruiting body of a giant underground mycorrhizal.
But it’s not a plant in any way. Mushroom are completely separate kingdom of organisms. I.e. Eubacteria, Archae, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.

Jack – Did I say it was plant??!!?? I didn’t mean that…. searching for where to correct – Thanks!

Other Posts You Might Like...

skirret in beds
Posted by rochellegreayergmail-com | November 10, 2016
After a couple of seasons of being a lesser vegetable gardener than I once was, I have finally come to terms with what I need to do with the original...
White house kitchen Garden Michelle Obama - Show me a movement - www.pithandvigor.com
Posted by rochellegreayergmail-com | November 1, 2016
I am very excited to welcome a guest here today. Linda Bilsens is the Community Composting Manager at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and earlier this year, Michelle Obama paid a surprise visit...
Floral Salon Credit for Garden Collage Pop up shop by Andreana Bitsis
Posted by rochellegreayergmail-com | May 27, 2016
Are you cooking anything this weekend? I am considering treating myself by using the first strawberries of the season in a special way. I got the idea from the ladies...