Fungi or mushrooms are busy popping up all over the ground at this time of the year. Here are some @thenfordarboretum. Some of us may panic when we see them appearing in patches of grass, believing they will kill off trees and plants.
But what does the appearance of fungi and mushrooms actually mean and are they actually beneficial to a garden?
As fungi have no chlorophyll to help them make food, they live off and rely on for their own nutrition, dead or decaying plant material. But fungi have symbiotic relationship with the plant giving it sugars which it in turns then feeds off. This means the fungi isn’t sucking the life out of your plants. In fact quite the opposite is happening as the plant and mushrooms help each other to grow meaning you have a very healthy nutrient rich soil.
Added to this, the fungi act as important decomposter - they help to break down the complex organic compounds in material such as dead leaves and wood chip and are therefore also a great addition to the compost heap.
When the Puritans first settled in New England, they used apples to make alcohol at first when the grain crops were not growing well. After the cultivation of grain crops took off, grain-based alcohol replaced some of the hard apple ciders.⠀
But colonists still drank a lot of cider and beer. According to historical records, every citizen over the age of 15 drank more than 30 gallons of cider and beer, five gallons of liquor, and a gallon of wine. In contrast, an average Americans drink less than a tenth of that: 3.8 gallons of alcohol, of which half is beer.