Before cultivated mushrooms became commonly available, New Zealanders had to wait for the first autumn rains to taste fresh mushrooms. At this time field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) sprang up in grazed paddocks and park grasslands, especially if horse or cattle manure had been present. Field mushrooms have thick, fleshy caps, 6–10 centimetres wide, on 5–8-centimetre-high stalks. Like commercial mushrooms, their gills change from pale pink to dark brown as the cap expands.
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The Hidden Forest
Photograph by Clive Shirley
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