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Anyone EVER cultivated Milky caps (Lactarius delicios) at home???

milky caps lactarius delicios

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#1 liquidwolf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:17 PM

Hi guys i'm wondering if there is any way to cultivate milky caps / Lactarius delicios at home???
From the research and trials i've done it seems like a challenge if not impossible. They are a
fantastic edible mushroom and it sucks only having access to them during the on season, plus
the competition amongst pickers around my local haunts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
I've tried to gather pine needles and soil from some pine forests known for good seasonal yealds,
put in a large plastic pot and then innoculate with spore prints and syringes as well as mycellium
gathered from the area. I kept it moist and tried to get the seasonal temp right and give the lot plenty
of sunshine. Tried both indoor and out. The results are pretty much this post.
Iove these shrooms they are so good i can never get enough! :drool2:
Regards LW.

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#2 Marcel

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:13 PM

You'll need a living pine tree for the mycelium to grow, and even then it's tricky business. They live in what's called a mycorrhizal relationship with pine trees. The relationship is mutually beneficial, although the tree doesn't need the Lactarius mycelium to survive, whereas this fungi needs the tree to survive.

I've heard of people dropping fruits, gills down, around the base of pine trees and finding Saffies where there were none earlier. I've done the same to a potted pine in my backyard, and there appears to be some sort of mycelium developing. Won't know what it is, until I know what it is, though. :wink: You could develop a culture and go down that route, although it won't be as simple as your old PF tek or oysters in a bag approach.

I'm surprised that your spots get over harvested. Here in NSW, if the season is at least half-decent, there'll be more than you know what to do with. In fact, after a while, it's nice to know that you'll have a year's break to build up your appetite for them again.

By the way, welcome to the forum. Lovely bunch of people here.

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It sings because it has a song.


#3 Jonstn

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:49 PM

Welcome to the forum mate :)

Im lucky enough to have a privateish pine are which get covered in all sorts of mushrooms :wink: no one seems to go there it's the bomb.

But to answer your question, I got no idea about cultivation, just a seasonal thing for me, the years move by so fast the season starts just as I begin to miss it :)
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#4 Zen Peddler

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

A guy near me reckons he left some picked specimens below is large pinus radiata and got fruit bodies two years later. Near where I live there are thousands of these - every year i collect a few baskets and cook up an awesome risotto...crunchy...numnumns

#5 NSF

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

ZPBG - Do you find that rows of pines aren't as likely to produce as 'areas' of pines? Or just any old pine with undisturbed needles below is likely to throw up a few fruit?

Any tips for the drive by hunter?

And how do you feel about Cypress? As yet I haven't found saffies under cypress. Have you?

#6 liquidwolf

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:52 AM

Firstly thanks for the warm welcome, I was on the forum with the same user name quite a few years back before it
all changed/crashed so great to be back with a bunch of like minded positive folk!!

Well it would be nice to have an over abundance of MC's, here in melbourne there are a few known areas that many european people raid every year (and hardly ever cut at the stem to harvest thus lowering yeilds over the years)

Zen you just made me hungry.....MC risotto YUM!!

i've found that singular pines or smaller rows in my area don't tend to fruit milky caps, where as larger denser groups do. Might be something to do with what marcel said about there being a catalyst to get the mycelium going in the first place. I have found large patches amongst reeds that have no pines for a fair way from them, this is a reed patch surrounded by pines though in a 360 and the needles are blown amongst the reed patch. Here in melbourne at the prahran market there is a guy that sells specialty shrooms and charges a FORTUNE for MC's as they can't be farmed. But thats half the fun i suppose, getting out there and picking in the forests - i love it :wink:
Thanks for the info guys Great to be back!

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#7 NSF

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:04 PM

Heading to north eastern vic (a few hours driving) is worth it if you really love saffies.



#8 mud

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

Me thinks I remember seeing them fruit, from rather clay like areas of dirt nearby pine trees also.
Collecting stubborn fruiters and cultivating compost in your own garden, from matter collected nearby and underneath fruiting trees
are a couple of ideas. Nothing is impossible.

#9 punkin

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:34 AM

I said that to my grandad once. He came back and told me to bite my arse if i thought i was that clever.

Smart ol guy, my grandad.
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#10 Zen Peddler

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:26 PM

I usually see these guys most in areas or stands of pinus radiata, rather than just rows, but I used to see them up in Eltham some times under single pines. Where I am its a pretty secret location and they dont get raped as much as down on the Peninsula where every prick and his cat goes and rips as many up as possible.
I ended up swapping ones I found today for a coffee at a local restuarant. I was desperate.

Tips would just be pinus radiata and trying lots of locations. Once you work out where your locals ones grow your laughing. Just get in early.

Edited by Zen Peddler BlueGreenie, 07 March 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#11 gecko

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:21 AM

Yes milk cap 'cultivation' is possible if you expand your definition of cultivation.

Trials in Spain sugest that inoculated trees , Pinus spp. specifically can yield mushrooms after as few as 3years after planting out.

existing Pines can be inoculated by various methods, the best/easiest way is to place fresh cap under the leaf litter under the dripline of the tree.

another is to soak caps/spores in a pail of water with sugar and a teaspoon of salt (to suppress bacteria for a bit) overnight and water that around the base of suitable host trees (in ground or seedlings in pots/tubes)

I've used stem butts put into pots growing Pinus halepensis and P.pinea.
There is mycelial growth , but no fruits yet 3yrs....just an experiment to see what happens.
the soils here are alkaline by nature and so I wont plant them out as it wouldn't suit L.deliciosus. it prefers acidic clayey soils.

From what I can gather L.sanguifluus is better on alkaline soils, but I'm not aware of it occuring in Aust....still looking though. :rolleyes: !

When people say that "mycorrhizal mushrooms cant be cultivated", what they're really saying is that
1. they cant be grown without a host,
2. they require more money and research than it's worth for someone to attempt if they want to have a guaranteed financial return.
-truffles are valuable enough for research to have taken off and fairly resonable success can be expected, but you need money and time.
-Matsutake have so for proved too unreliable, but I believe that work is still being done.
3. 'you harvest them wild from the forest' in countries where the 'known choice edible' species occur which is, I guess, another reason for not putting effort into attempts at 'cultivation'


So, dont let that statement put you off.
If you love mushrooms, and dont expect (depend on) financial return from your efforts, then go for it.
Give nature half a chance- give a mycorrhizal host tree spores of a suitable species at the roots,
and you're much more likely to get a good result than with no spores.

I've been hearing for some years now that Boletus edulis occurred in Aust. and last year it was reported from South Australia that some where harvested and sold to a restaurant.

first 'official' reports of it in New Zealand where made around 1999-2000.

I dont know if they've been growing in SA for a long time , and if introduced by accident or deliberately.

How could they have gone unnoticed for so long if they've been there for a long time ,
if introduced as mycelium on the roots of living trees- like how Lactarius deliciousus most likely found its way here.

Thousands of hectares of Pine plantation/forest could be yielding much more than just milkcaps ( in diferent seasons)
if the appropriate species where present.
Boletus spp., Edible Tricholoma spp. and Russula spp., Cantherellus spp.

Give it a go, spread milkcaps to pines that don't have milkcaps, they need their mycorrhizal friends.

delicious milkcaps!. :lol:
so looking forward to my first feed of the season.
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#12 Zen Peddler

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:15 PM

there is a mushroom around in Vic and Tas called the elm bolete or something similar. An old bloke told me abiout it and it is apparently our best edible. they are supposed to have Chanterelles in the Hills but ive found jack so far.

Still have never found a wood blewitt either after extensive searching. WOuld love to try this mushroom.

#13 NSF

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

Yes birch boletes should be found near you ZPBG, as for chanterelles, well, I've heard this rumor too, but nothing more than a rumor.