Montana Mushrooms 2010

We are going to grow some mushrooms in 2010.

After getting a taste of this mushroom growing thing, I am hooked. I will always love to hunt for wild mushrooms, but they are unpredictable and impossible to control. The best way to insure you will actually get to harvest mushrooms is to grow them.Not only that, but you will have control of the growing conditions. We would like to think that our mushroom picking spots are pristine, but lets face it, there are very few wild places that you can guarantee have not been contaminated.

Another great thing about growing is that you can control the watering and take a big variable out of the picture. The rain does not always cooperate. By watering at the right time and temperature you can greatly increase your chances for a successful harvest.

The other plus to growing is that you get to control the volume and variety of different strains and types of mushrooms. There is a growing number of varieties and products for growing out doors available. I like to find mushrooms I like, and transplant them to my yard or a place close by for easy access. This also insures that you will be able to pick this particular mushroom if your spot becomes a parking lot or a subdivision. A simple thing like a change of ownership can legally close you out of you favorite spot.

I like to spread fungus wherever I can. Whether it is whole mushrooms, cut off stems, or just spreading spores whenever I can. Mushroom kits that have been flushed out are reused and spread all over again and again. Let the mushroom decide where it wants to grow. Mushroom scraps from picking or pieces from the kitchen are never thrown away. They go in the yard or in the compost bin. Unless that is, I have a secret spot scouted out  where I think they will grow.

Happy New Year cont.

Happy New Year to  all of my fungal friends! It was a great year for mushrooms, and I am looking forward to another great year ahead.

Along with wild mushrooms, last year was a great year for growing mushrooms!

The oyster mushrooms proved to be aggressive and versatile again this year. We grew, harvested and consumed oyster mushrooms growing on cornstalks, coffee grounds, wood chips and garden waste. I even had oysters growing out of the bottom of my compost bin. They flushed at different times and were a treat each time!

New projects last year were interesting,

The garden giant outdoor kit was planted in the spring. The fungus consumed half of the wood chips and spread all over, but they did not flush before fall. I know they will flush next spring.

I ordered reishi and shiitake plugs early in the year. The summer slipped away and the plugs didn’t get plugged until late fall.  I look forward to spring to see if they grow.

A close friend of mine received a shiitake growing kit in late fall and so far has had 1 small flush. We are hopeful for the next flush. The kit will be put to good use this spring after it is done producing.

My mom planted her morel mushroom patch. It is in a good spot so it should produce. We have seen this one work in Oregon, so we are excited to see it work closer to home!

All in all, it was a productive year for a budding mushroom farmer!