Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mushrooms On a Log

So, now that I've talked up wild mushrooms as the best things ever to hit a soup pot,  I must admit

that I am trying to grow some mushrooms myself.

A couple of years ago I purchased a kit for Sonoma Brown Oyster mushrooms and Lion's Mane mushrooms. Why those? Just because they would grow in Maple logs and I knew I would always have a ready supply of them. The Big Leaf Maple is practically a weed here in the Willamette Valley.
You may have noticed I said "a couple of years ago".

I actually never got around to using them because the envelope with the mycelium plugs in it had fallen to the back of our very unpredictable refrigerator and froze. They were all brown and slimy so I assumed they were dead and left the envelope in the back of the fridge for TWO YEARS. Can anyone out there beat that for procrastinating?

In my defense we are talking about a spare fridge which does not get used for much except canning overflow and summer produce.

Anyway I cleaned that fridge out last week and lo and behold, the mycelium plugs were white and fluffy!

As luck would have it, or sad to say, depending on how you look at it, we had fresh cut Maple logs on hand.
Our beloved Maple which was somewhere around 200 years old, had given out in the heavy rain we had this fall. We are very sad and miss her every day.

But then I had these limbs for my mushroom project.
A 5/8" hole is drilled, the mycelium plug pounded in and then hot bees wax is poured over the hole to keep out competing fungi.

Every 4" all around the log.

This project took about an hour per log, which adds up to 4 hours. Oh, my aching back!

Mr. J kept climbing on the logs and letting me know that he was bored and that he thinks that log mushrooms are absolutely no fun and he feels I would benefit much more from crawling around in the woods looking for mushrooms with him. He may be right.
Now we will see if it all worked right... in... about a year. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I will be excited when, and IF, I get some Lion's Mane mushrooms next Fall.

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