How to grow mushrooms
Growing Oyster Mushroom can be an involved process. So, this is just an overview. More detailed posts on the whole process will follow soon. Oyster mushrooms are the easiest of all mushrooms to grow, so we'll focus on them.
There is a learning curve involved with mushroom growing. However, the post-shift climate will be the perfect environment for them to thrive in.
Knowing how to grow mushrooms should be useful during the first couple of years when your vegetables may not produce significant yields. This is especially true for those who may not be in the direct vicinity of volcanoes but still find their presence making for much gloomier skies than other parts of the world.
Before we go any further let's look at what a mushroom is all about.
Life Cycle of a Mushroom
A Mushroom releases millions of spores instead of seeds to propagate itself.
Once the mushroom spores are given a humid environment to grow in, they transform into cotton thread structures called mycelium.
This is what the growth cycle of a mushroom looks like ------->
The mycelium is the equivalent to a plants roots. It spreads out digesting what it can (mainly fibre), and then fruits mushrooms when the conditions are right.
"Primordia" is the bunching up of mycelium that goes on to form mushrooms.
The primordia turns from little pins into mushrooms
A mushroom is actually made out of the same cells that form its mycelium.
If a small piece of mushroom or mycelium is cut and placed in a humid environment it will sprout more mycelium and produce mushrooms. This is the equivalent of cutting a stem from a plant and growing a second plant from it.
Cloning mushrooms will form the bulk of the work involved with growing mushrooms. Before buying mushroom culture from a vendor, we'll practice cloning on store bought mushrooms. (More on this in later posts)
How mushroom "seedlings" (i.e. spawn) are started
This is the "seedling stage" of mushroom growing. What you get from this stage is called spawn. Mycelium is initially grown in grain from a culture syringe you would buy. The grain can be anything that at least has the bran on it. Any grain with its hull is fine as well. Mushrooms eat fibre, so polished rice will not work. Seeds from wild grass and plants is something you will be able to harvest in the aftertime. But before the shift, wild bird seed is a cheaper alternative than grass seed or any other grain.
Fruiting the mushrooms
The grain spawn can eventually be added to straw (not hay), or any other brown plant material like yard debris (brown leaves) or lawn clippings that have been dried to a straw-like color.
Alternative # 2
Instead of grain spawn, wooden dowels with mycelium spawn can also be purchased
(or made). They are meant to be drilled into logs and fruited. Conifer wood cannot be used.
What mushrooms can I grow?
Growing mushrooms can be a year round operation in the aftertime
There are warm weather and cool weather mushrooms. Warm weather ones prefer 20 - 30 oC (70 - 86 oF) to fruit. Cool weather ones prefer 10-20 oC (50 - 70 oF) to fruit.
In the vegetative state, when the mycelium is spreading through the grain jars, logs, or straw baskets, it prefers room temperature.
The two species I am working with at the moment are:
Pink Oyster (Pleurotus djamor): Warm weather (click for growing requirements)
& Blue Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus): Cool weather (click for growing requirements)
i)There is a website dedicated to growing mushrooms that I rely on.
Should you choose to grow mushrooms, you will find that website & its forum tremendously helpful.
ii)I am not an expert mushroom grower. I have only started on this endeavour for the last 3 months or so. So keep in mind that I'm still a novice.
iii)The following link does a good job of demonstrating how to grow mushrooms . I highly recommend it.
iv)There are two types of mushrooms.
1)Mushrooms that break down brown plant materials (like oyster mushrooms) &
2)Mushrooms that need dung. Portobello/white button mushrooms fall under the second category.
The two types are grown in different ways.
Hey lana, I was wondering on how to produce an example of mushrooms growing on wood. thank you for these
Growing King Stropharia
They grow on wood or bark mulch. They can grow in straw as well.
Even before the shift, you can incorporate them with mulch in your garden beds. (Dont use cedar or pine).
More food for ya.
If you keep supplying the growbeds with woodchips/straw, mushrooms should be coming every year. You can also transfer the substrate to other wood chip beds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4KnMDaUi2o -- Detailed How to.
Like all mushrooms, they thrive in the shade and under moist conditions. (And in the aftertime, protected from the rain)
It occurred to me that in the aftertime many ppl will be looking about at mushrooms in the wild, not knowing which ones are edible and which ones aren't.
In foresight it wouldn't be a bad idea to find groups that forage for mushrooms in your locale & take classes.
With the rise in contactees, ppl are preparing. You can get classes on mushroom foraging & permaculture.
Because of the constant rain, mushrooms in the wild would be more common. And mushroom cultivation would be easier & plentiful than it is today
Hen of the Woods
- Grows near the base of oak trees
Chicken of the Woods
A few percentage of ppl can have an allergic reaction to chicken of the woods. The suggested course of action is to try a small size first & observe for swollen lips, nausea or vomiting. Avoid chicken of the woods grown on confiers or cedar; (only hardwood like oak,etc)
Neither of the two above have poisonous look alikes.