loligo: cheering crayfish! (crayfish)
[personal profile] loligo
Have any of you ever grown edible mushrooms on logs or mulch? If so, I would love to hear about your experiences! I've just started this experiment myself.

Last spring we had a terrifying, destructive storm in our region that brought down huge trees everywhere, including in my yard. I had fantasies of growing all kinds of mushrooms on the resulting logs, but it took us so long just to clear the debris (with two little kids under foot all the time) that we just didn't have the energy to deal with it until the wood had already been sitting around dead for too long. But there was one alder growing near our mini swamp that only came halfway down. It clung to life for another year and a half, but finally crashed down all the way just recently, so I was *not* going to miss this chance.

I ordered thimble spawn of Double Jewel shiitake from Field & Forest Products. Not that many places seem to offer spawn in thimble form -- it's sawdust and spawn formed into a plug and capped with a thin layer of styrofoam, eliminating the necessity for melted wax to seal each plug. Yeah, not as sustainable as wax, but given that the aforementioned little kids were going to be helping with this project, I wanted to keep scalding wax out of it if possible.

We drilled and plugged three big logs today, and we've only used about a quarter of the sheet of plugs. This is going to be a bigger project than I realized!

For fun, I also ordered some Wine Cap Stropharia spawn, which can be grown on straw or wood chip mulch. I made a bed of straw for it at the foot of my magnolia tree. Supposedly after the fruiting is spent, you can move shovelfulls of the bed around to new spots and colonize your whole garden. I've never seen these offered in stores, so I have no idea if the taste is all that great, but the idea is fun, anyway.

I'll let you all know how things go!

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Permaculture: Food From Sustainable Landscapes

November 2012

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