The students gathered information on the edible and poisonous mushrooms that we find in the forests of Cyprus; where one can find them and during what season they grow since mushroom hunting is a hobby that Cypriots love.
The ultimate goal was to get familiar with this topic and mainly the process of conducting research. To complete this activity, the children were divided into groups. Each group addressed different issues such as:
- The edible mushrooms are found in the forests of Cyprus.
- The poisonous mushrooms are found in the forests of Cyprus.
- In which forests of Cyprus do each type of mushroom thrive.
- What season does each species of mushroom appear in the forests of Cyprus.
- What is the nutritional value of the edible mushrooms of Cyprus.
- What can be caused by the consumption of poisonous mushrooms in the human body.
There are many different types of mushrooms and they come in thousands. In Cyprus, it is believed that the number may even reach 2,000. However, more scientific research and classification is needed. A limited number of species have been studied by the Forest Department. In 2007, the Cyprus Mycological Association was founded, precisely for the study and classification of mushrooms, as well as for their protection. The number of species recorded by the end of 2009 exceeds 500. Of these, about 70 are edible, but as many are toxic and at least 10 deadly. Therefore we can classify mushrooms into two large groups, edible and non-edible.
In Cyprus, there are suitable climate conditions for the appearance of mushrooms. It seems that most species appear in late autumn when sufficient rain falls and the temperature is maintained at appropriate levels. The presence of mushrooms continues in winter, especially at low and medium altitudes, as well as in spring. Some species appear for short periods and in summer at higher altitudes after heavy rains.