My outdoor Oyster mushroom is starting to flush after a long winter of waiting. I now can call myself a mushroom cultivator! I knew the bed would be successful, but just like planting any perennial in the fall, you wait impatiently to watch it come to life in the spring. This bed was a combination of tree branches, fallen apples and garden waste. I inoculated it with spawn from Garden City Fungi (see link on homepage) as part of a Bioneers workshop Glenn Babcock, from Garden City Fungi, gave in October. (see other posts on workshops and cultivation) The bed did not need much care and there isn’t much money involved. The pictures tell the story.
I now will attempt to grow some other types of mushrooms through the summer and follow their progress on this site. Thanks again to the folks at Garden City Fungi and The Bioneers for teaching me ways to grow Mushrooms!
Shiitakes are a great way to eat your medicine.
Shiitake mushrooms have proven to be an all around healthy food. The medicinal properties are almost as good as the Reishi, which is tasty but difficult to eat in volume.Western society has finally realized what eastern society has known for centuries. Mushrooms are good for you and have incredible healing properties for our ailing society.
It only stands to reason that you would want the shiitake to be organic. There is only a few places in the country to purchase them. Garden City Fungi, outside of Missoula, grows and sells organic mushrooms. The owners are serious about organics and I trust them for a safe local product. Stamets, of Fungi Perfecti, is a champion of the organic mushroom movement, and I trust them for mailorder.
Lincs to both websites are on the Home Page. They are both certified organic. Support responsible growers and get to know your farmers.
Organic Mushroom Cultivation is critical for health and safety.
Most mushrooms concentrate, whether it is nutrients, minerals or toxins. They will grow on varied substrates so it becomes very important how and where your mushrooms grow. When using them for food it is important, but when using them for medicine, it seems crazy to put poison in your body when trying to heal! Organic is a good start, but it can be cheated, and I like to know exactly what my mushrooms have been exposed to.
Growing on trees and stumps seems organic and in most cases can be called organic, but it is necessary to know where these trees grow. Trees growing by busy roadways absorb toxins from exhaust as well as tires and brakes. Mushrooms then concentrate these toxins, and release them to the consumer. Substrates whether from farms or forest need to be scrutinized for contaminates.
Organic is a buzz word right now and I am glad people have been awaken to this worthy cause. Large agriculture and big business is in it for the money. They will grow on whatever is economically feasible, within our weak, and vague organic rules, to turn a buck. This should not be confused with what you or I consider to be organic, and safe.
The only safe way to know what you are eating, is to grow or pick it yourself. The only other way is to know your farmer, support them, and pay them well!
The King Bolete, or Boletus edulis is a treat when you can find them!
This has become my favorite wild mushroom to eat. They are tasty and can be quite large, although I prefer them about the size of this little fella. The king is sometimes hard to find and cannot be relied upon every year. Most of us that are hooked on this mushroom usually pick all we can…eat all we can…and dry the rest for another day.
Sometimes if you are lucky you can find a lot of food with this mushroom. You can eat them rehydrated in the winter, while thinking about when you found them. This mushroom keeps very well if dried and stored properly.
So learn this mushroom, the same way I did, through the books. Your closest friends probably won’t show them to you!