Mushrooms in the Paris Caves


William Falconer

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Tonight, we’ll read a section of the book “Mushrooms: How to Grow Them” called “Mushroom Growing in the Paris Caves”, written by William Falconer and published in 1892. The famous architecture of Paris was built using the limestone extracted from underneath the city. The resulting catacombs were also used to grow the Paris mushroom, a variety of the button variety. Legend has it that mushroom farming in these caves started when some deserters of Napoleon’s army, along with their horses, discovered that mushrooms naturally flourished on the mixture of limestone and horse manure within.