Chicken-Of-The-Woods

TeeDee

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Odd question maybe.

I know a location of a normally good crop of COTW.

I went to visit it yesterday for a little harvest.

I could see where it was just breaking through the exposed surface in several areas but not actual heads to be harvested.

As the weather has just gone from a period of sunny & Hot to a few days of Wet Weather I feel it maybe ready to 'bloom'

But my question is , how many days may that take??? How long should I leave it until I return? I'd rather catch it when its young and tender.
 
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Broch

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I wish I had an answer for you but, in my experience, they (fungi) have a mind of their own and rarely do the same thing twice :(
My patch of COTW isn't showing anything yet last year it was in full bloom at this time - and, no, I didn't over-pick it :)
You're right though, young and tender is best!
 

Toddy

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Young and tender....and it will still be so when it's a fair size though if it's growing quickly.
I generally go for the handspan sized ones here. By the time they get to dinner plate size they're a bit woody and an awful lot of it goes to the compost bin.

I like it, but ye gods it doesn't like me. My tummy bloats up and there's a reason babies cry with wind. It hurts :sigh:

Shame, it's good food. Interested to see what culinary delights you make with this one :)
 

TeeDee

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Young and tender....and it will still be so when it's a fair size though if it's growing quickly.
I generally go for the handspan sized ones here. By the time they get to dinner plate size they're a bit woody and an awful lot of it goes to the compost bin.

I like it, but ye gods it doesn't like me. My tummy bloats up and there's a reason babies cry with wind. It hurts :sigh:

Shame, it's good food. Interested to see what culinary delights you make with this one :)

I think I'm going to return in a week unless someone convinces me differently.

As for Culinary things.... I have ideas.... :)
 
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TeeDee

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Depending on how far/long it will take you to get to it, I would check on it in a couple of days, and then judge from that.
It is about 1 hours drive. Which at this time , isn't essential ( Bad me ) hence why I'm asking for input ref the best timing - think is I kinda know a Fungi can explode growth wise over 48 hours but I'll kick myself if I go back too soon and its still in its embryonic state. On a FB page someone else had posted photos of a Large COTW that they had just harvested and straight away I went into Golem mode and coveted it.
 

Toddy

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I've just asked HWMBLT who collects some for me to send down to my cousin in Hampshire. He says that once it's growing it'll last, and crucially still be well worth harvesting, for longer than a week on the tree.
I think you can safely leave your trip for another week.

M
 
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TeeDee

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I've just asked HWMBLT who collects some for me to send down to my cousin in Hampshire. He says that once it's growing it'll last, and crucially still be well worth harvesting, for longer than a week on the tree.
I think you can safely leave your trip for another week.

M
Thanks Toddy!
 

Broch

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I think I'd be more worried that someone else may get there first than that the fungus has gone past its prime TBH

Checked again on my walk back from the woods, no sign at all where it is usually seen :(
 
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TeeDee

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I think I'd be more worried that someone else may get there first than that the fungus has gone past its prime TBH

Checked again on my walk back from the woods, no sign at all where it is usually seen :(
I , ahem , did think about that... And i did do an impromptu bit of covert shielding using some branches and debris...

This is last years bloom - I check my photos and this was June 12 so maybe I'm too early.

haul.jpg


haul1.jpghaul2.jpg


However Broc , thanks for feeding my Golem Paranoia just a tad more.... :)
 
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TeeDee

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It does look man-made doesn't it; reminds me of that expanding foam gap filler that ends up going everywhere because it expands more than you think!

It does look a bit unworldly. How long do you think Broc?
 

Broch

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I personally prefer it when it's still relatively young - I'd like to harvest it before it got to the stage of your June photo from last year. Toddy said handspan; I'd probably pick slightly earlier. But when, in time, is difficult because I have seen it suddenly 'bloom' and go past it's best (in my opinion) - so, given that's really just a week's growth you've photographed, I would only give it another week - true, you may not get the full crop, but it won't have been spoilt either. However, (sitting on a fence here) the weather is supposed to drop a bit cooler next week so it may be slowed a bit :)

I've consulted the oracles: both Philips and Dann recommend eating when young. That's probably when it is still in the sulphur yellow phase as opposed to starting to go orange/brown. Dann suggests it starts to go a bit bitter later - I've never left it that long :)

It's a shame that Geoff Dann appears to have left the forum; he would have been a far better guide.
 
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Toddy

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From just breaking the bark to handspan size took about a fortnight last year. I reckon that's still young. A month or so is getting tough in the centre, and pretty tired around the edges. I like mine to look 'fresh'.
It's been awfully dry round here though, and even though the fungus takes it's moisture from the tree, the trees are working hard to get enough moisture themselves. You're unlikely to get sploonging wet stuff this time round, which is no bad thing.

To be honest I think every area is just a bit different. It'll be interesting to see what yours' ends up like :)

M
 
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Toddy

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I , ahem , did think about that... And i did do an impromptu bit of covert shielding using some branches and debris...

This is last years bloom - I check my photos and this was June 12 so maybe I'm too early.

View attachment 58633



View attachment 58634View attachment 58635


However Broc , thanks for feeding my Golem Paranoia just a tad more.... :)
Your middle photo looks odd to me. The CotW that I see here is wide clear spreads, up to huge serving plate sizes.
I have little hands so a handspan one to me is at most the size of a teaplate.

M
 

TeeDee

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Your middle photo looks odd to me. The CotW that I see here is wide clear spreads, up to huge serving plate sizes.
I have little hands so a handspan one to me is at most the size of a teaplate.

M

Odd in what way Toddy??