Growing mushrooms

Mushrooms are delicious, nutritious … and often quite expensive and who knows how fresh? It would be great to be able to grow mushrooms, so John attended a workshop in Rochester on growing mushrooms.

Two types reported to be fairly easy are shiitakes, grown on hardwood logs, and wine cap mushrooms (Stropharia rugosa-annulata), grown on a bed of hardwood chips.

Oyster mushrooms

We tried one pre-packaged mushroom: oyster mushrooms. Here's how they developed.

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake ©Janet Allen
Shiitake log

This is the hardwood log John got at his workshop.

Shiitake innoculant was put in the holes drilled into the log, and we placed it in a shady place in our garden.

Shiitake close ©Janet Allen
Hole for shiitake

Strangely, something seems to have eaten out the innoculant, so it will be surprising if we get mushrooms. But we're beginners at this, so who knows?

Wine cap mushrooms

Spreading hardwood chips ©Janet Allen
Spreading hardwood chips

First, we prepared a roughly 4 foot by 8 foot frame and filled it with hardwood chips. We bought the chips from a local company and had them delivered.

Spawn ©Janet Allen
Purchased spawn

We bought wine cap mushroom spawn from Field and Forest Products for about $30. (The bag is almost empty; it was full to begin with.)

Spawn close-up ©Janet Allen
Spawn closeup

Here's what the spawn (mixed with some sort of filler) looks like close up.

Spawn distributed ©Janet Allen
Spawn distributed

Here we've spread it on the bed, then we'll cover it with a few inches of the wood chips.

We got a late start on this (July). We might get some mushrooms this fall, but more likely in the spring.