About

One of my many Mushroom Shirts!
One of my many Mushroom Shirts!

My name is Richard Dean Robbins. Raised in Whitehall, Montana, I now live in Bozeman, Montana. I am an Amateur Mycologist and a Cartographer with an emphasis  in  GIS and GPS.

 

I have always been fascinated by the various mushrooms found around this beautiful state. Recently my interest has progressed to growing mushrooms.

See ya in the woods!
See ya in the woods!

 

 

This site is established to talk about mushrooms grown and growing in Montana.

Contact:  MontanaMushrooms@gmail.com

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MontanaMushroom

43 thoughts on “About”

  1. Thank you for your response!
    I agree that mushrooms have a lot to offer us. Feel free to comment or make suggestions anytime.

  2. hi dean, great website here!
    i’ve just been watching the film ‘know your mushrooms’, and have a query about a certain fungi larry evans was speaking of in the chinese restaurant.. a mushrrom good for nasal and sinus relief with the name sounding like ‘cortisae’ or ‘curtis eye’.. i have tried researching but have the name wrong.. can you steer me in the right direction please? or if not towards larry evans.. :]
    thanks!

  3. thank you for your response!
    I will have to refresh my memory of the movie and get back to you. I remember them talking about mushrooms when they ordered, and then Larry left a chunk of a mushroom for a tip. I will do some research and report my findings.
    Larry Evans can be contacted through the fungal jungal link on the homepage. I think he is out of town right now, but I will check.

  4. We heard back from Larry already! He is between trips. He replied “I was speaking about Ganoderma, mentioning LingQi. G. applanatum, G. lucidum, and G. curtisii.
    It does have good effect on hayfever symptoms. Chewing a plug will allow many sufferers to use their noses again…”

    I had a feeling we were talking about the Ganoderma (Rieshi type) group of mushrooms, but I have learned not to assume in the world of mushrooms! I consume reishi on a regular basis. I drink it in a tea and it has a nice coffee like flavor!
    Thanks to Larry Evans,

    Dean

  5. Dean, I moved to Dillon (SW Montana) in mid-2008 and haven’t yet done any mushroom hunting here. Many people tell me that there aren’t a lot of mushrooms to be found here, …but this seems improbable to me.
    Can you give me any ideas about where and when to start looking?
    Thanks,
    Richard

  6. Thank you for your response. There will be morel and oyster mushrooms in the spring, hiding in the cottonwood river bottoms. When the Lilacs are blooming, it is time.
    In the fall, there will be boletes and lots of other mushrooms in the high country.All of this depends on the weather, of coarse.
    Hardcore mushroomers love to tell new arrivals that there are no mushrooms around. I believe there are enough to go around, if we all pick ethically.
    Stay tuned for more picking info,
    Dean

  7. Dean, my family and I were wondering if there are any accessible burn areas that we could go to around Bozeman this year to look for some morel’s. We have lived here for 15+ years and we’ve only found a hand full of morels along the Gallatin river. I’m thinking the year old burns might be better. Thanks for the help.

  8. Hello,
    The rivers around here are worked pretty hard for morels. I am not aware of any large burns in the area recently. I will contact my mushroom friends and try to find a good burn.
    Dean

  9. Dean,
    When I search for mushrooms I only take what I will use. We have alot of black bears
    and they seem to enjoy mushrooms . So I believe sharing with our fellow creatures is also an ethical way to hunt.

  10. Jim,
    I agree. We sometimes take more than we can eat so we can dry them for the long winter months. Some mushrooms are better rehydrated, like morels and boletes. We always leave plenty for “seed” and for the wildlife. Fortunately the wildlife will eat some types that we won’t. The waxy snowbank mushrooms are important for bears to get protein right out of hibernation. Do you eat a variety of wild mushrooms?
    Dean

  11. Dean,
    I have a question, knowing mushrooms seem to thrive on burned forest grounds. Is there any danger eating mushrooms on an area that has been sprayed with ammonium phosphate? I have read where mushrooms concentrate elements in which they are grown and I know ammoniun phosphate is a toxic element to fish and small
    animals such as pets? Just thought you might have some insight into this matter.
    Jim

  12. Jim,
    Yes, most mushrooms are known to accumulate the toxins they are exposed to. Both chemicals and metals concentrate in most mushrooms.There are some exceptions, as in the way oyster mushrooms eat oil and disapate the toxin cleanly.
    I surely would not eat mushrooms exposed to anything toxic. The problem is that we don’t know what has been dumped on our forests. Between fire retardent and the need for humans to poison anything that grows, or crawls where we don’t want it to, scares me to death. I thought I was safe if I was away from the road, but now we have people running around with backpacks, boats, horses, ATVs and planes spraying who knows what on our wildlands.
    A picker has to be very careful,
    Dean

  13. I just moved back to montana from oregon where the mushrooms are bountiful. Last year I found hedgehogs and chanterelles in the mountains around bozeman. This summer I was wowed by fairy rings, a mushroom I always overlooked, and the grasses of montana seem to produce a bounty of them. I am excited for this fall and hopefully it won’t be a short one. Are there any standout mushrooms you see on a regular basis that I might not be aware of? I’m always finding boletes but not the Kings.

  14. I just found this website! Very helpful – we are still learning to forage. I just posted a link on my Eat Montana Facebook page – hope that’s ok! Feel free to post updates to the Eat Mt site if you like!!

  15. Hi Kevin,
    Glad you found the fairy rings here. They are a great one to dry for the winter. Keep your eyes open for the bitter hedgehog, or hawk wing. It is a large hedgehog and is sometimes plentiful. Cook it at least 20 minutes or you will find out why it is named the bitter hedgehog.
    The Kings are out there…check out the pics on the main page!
    Enjoy, and let us know how you do,
    Dean

  16. I also used to emply GIS in my plans. I was a CADD Drafter in vegas for a civil engineering company.. always used topos and GIS work. Then rolled my civil experience into Structural and such.. Concrete Domes and custom homes in Idaho/Montana. 🙂 It’s fun aint it?!

  17. Hey Dean,

    We met at the community garden last summer, and I’ll never forget what you told me — you said you knew I was a “real composter” when I grabbed food scraps and coffee grounds out of the buckets with my bare hands. Haha.

    Anyways, I’ve been parsing through yer amazing site, and there’s a helluva lot of knowledge on here you’re sharing. I wonder if you’d still like to hold a workshop for aspiring cultivators . . . when would be a good time of year to host such an event? what supplies would you need? and how much would you, the guru, like to make (it’s my sincere belief that artists should be paid)?

    My friends are starting a small farm on the eastern shores of town, conducting research on the irrigated living mulch vegetable cropping systems (one of those beautiful, do-nothing, natural styles of farming) developed in Western Montana. But we’d also love to host a series of workshops for DIYers who want to participate more in the production side of things, as opposed to just consuming local food. Are you interested in such a gig?

  18. Hi Max,

    Great to hear from you! It warms my heart to know young people like you that are making a difference.

    I would be honored to help with workshops for growers. The best times would be spring and fall. Anytime between February and October would work for oyster mushrooms. Extreme temps are best avoided.
    The supplies needed:

    Organic Straw, preferably wheat and it needs to be mostly mold free. 200 lbs or so would work, but good clean organic straw is a valuable commodity for all growers.

    Lawnmower or chopper for the straw.

    Food grade metal barrel, gas burner, and a basket for pasteurization.

    Clean or new tarp and 1-3 gal bags.

    Grain Spawn from a reputable dealer.

    I have seen this done in a couple hours for 30 or so people and everyone gets to take some home.

    It would be difficult to do anything this spring, but maybe we could shoot for a fall session.
    I might be set up with all of the needed tools by then,

    Dean

  19. Hey Dean,

    We’ll reciprocate yer enthusiasm – we’re super excited, too! And I’d imagine many in this town would be, too!

    How does a date (or set of dates) in September sound? We have a bid on unsprayed straw (perhaps 200 lb.) that was harvested in a mostly undisturbed pasture (should be a good rep. of many grasses, but not wheat). Does this material sound workable? How much money was charged at the 30+ person workshop where participants got some excellent inoculations to take home? Another pair of questions my workshop organizing amigo asked: how much money would you like to make from putting on the workshop? And would you like to do a series, or just one?

  20. Just looked at your web site. It is great, very informative and the pix are great for us that don’t have a clue. Way to go. Love you!

  21. I have some pictures of mushrooms that I took in my yard this morning. Maybe you could tell me what they are, and if they are save to eat.

    How do I attach the pictures to you?

    Marie

  22. Where do i attach pics to you?
    We found toadstool type with black velvety-looking gills.
    They are couple inches to 9″ across. The top looks like a droopy or floopped pancake thats light beige.

  23. I have a disease called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It is a neurologic disease that came from a Harley accident 11 years ago. Since getting this (there is no known cause nor a cure) I have also gotten many other auto immune diseases. I was watching your movie “Know your mushroom” and saw you had talked about a mushroom called Ling Chee. Don’t know if the spelling is correct. I am interested to learn more about this and what you think about my taking it to help heal myself. How does one take it- Eaten, drank like in a tea? I would appreciate your help. Presently I am on a feeding tube and weigh only 84 lbs. I am desperate to heal in more ways than one and thoughts and comments would be sincerely appreciated.

  24. Hello, The mushroom Larry is talking about in the movie is from the reishi family. Reishi has been used for immune problems and more! It is a great mushroom for health and is usually consumed in a tea. You might consider cordyceps also which is available in teas or in chocolate. The safest place for medicinal mushroom products is http://www.fungi.com
    Good luck on your recovery and hope mushrooms can help bring you some comfort.

  25. I was wondering if you still buy mushrooms? I know the flush will be upon us shortly so im just trying to find a buyer now? if you do buy or know someone who is buying can you let me know thank. frank wright

  26. Hi Frank,
    Yes, I will be buying mushrooms this year. I usually buy dried morels, but will consider fresh morels this year. The flush is just getting started here, and I will know more soon.
    Keep in touch,
    Dean

  27. Hello, I just found this website – very nice. I have recently taken an interest in wild mushrooms and have some photographs from a recent day trip just over Lolo pass. I believe one photo may be a lobster mushroom and then a nice specimen of conifer coral – the others I am not sure. My goal in all of this is to be able to find, identify and photograph every mushroom I come across and also to become proficient enough to safely identify and eat the most common choice edible mushrooms without ending up on a kidney/liver transplant list. Thanks for creating this site.

  28. Hello James and welcome to Montana Mushrooms! Thank you for your kind words about the site. I did receive your pictures and will look them over and post them. You can send more if you want and I will slowly make my way through them.
    Happy hunting,
    Dean

  29. I was also watching know your mushrooms. Is thete anywhefe to obtain g curtisii. I am figthing a cold and could use some… I am on a new job and no vacation…

  30. Hello, and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!
    The mushroom growing kits on my site come from fungi perfecti
    Thank you,
    Dean

  31. Hello and welcome to Montana Mushrooms!

    Yes there are poison mushrooms in Montana. We have Galerina, Amanita, as well as some others that are deadly and plenty that will make you sick. Wild foraging is a great hobby, but a forager has to take the time to learn.

    Stay tuned,

    Dean

  32. Greetings from SW Montana! Great site! I have been foraging the riverbottoms and mountains since I was a young. I began cultivating oysters and shiitake and a few years ago and have been having a great time learning and experimenting.
    Last year we found some mushrooms, but few and far between.
    I was wondering what are your thoughts on what effects the mild winter, early spring, and generally warmer temperatures with a little more moisture than the passed couple years might have on the mushroom flushes this spring/summer. I’ve Been out the last couple weeks consistently checking, patiently waiting. The oysters are just starting to fruit so it’s definitely time and day now…

    Thanks for the great site & happy hunting!

  33. I live in whitefish, mt. on the base of lion mountain and my dog has been eating mushrooms around my yard . Will these hurt her?

  34. When I was a teenager I would visit my relatives in Montana and we would sometimes drive through these dirt roads and find clumps of dirt turned up and clodded up — we would stop and look under the clods of dirt and there would be huge brown mushrooms — in various stages of development. We cooked them in butter and salt and pepper and they were like portebella but a little smaller. Anybody have any idea what these are or when and why the best time to get them is?

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