Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Every year I'd like to try something new and this year is no exception. As you have gathered from the title I thought I'd try my hand at growing my very own mushrooms. I'd seen starter kits in a shop in my little village and as the price was very reasonable I'd thought I'd give it a go. I love to experiment, that is one of the bonuses of being a gardener, isn't it, you get to experiment every year to your heart's content.
So last Saturday I bought a starter kit for chestnut mushrooms as I prefer them to white mushrooms.
In the box you find a container of well-rotted compost containing the mycelium (on the left) and a small bag of covering soil. You let the box stand for 3 days with the lid slightly ajar, temperature 20 to 25 C, to promote the rotting process of the compost even further.
well-rotted compost with the mycelium (the white, fluffy bits)

There is only one place in my house where the temperature is constantly between 20 to 25 C, day or night and that is in the bathroom where I have underfloor heating. So I put the mushroom box there.
I also knew where the very bestest, cosiest. toastiest place in the whole bathroom was. If you are wondering how I know this.....
the above picture says it all. ;-)

Today I'll have to make a few slits in the bag of soil and bung it in half a litre of water for roughly 8 minutes. Then remove the bag from the water and let it drain for half an hour. After that spread the soil evenly over the compost. Within 6 to 9 days the mycelium will start growing in the soil. As soon as the mycelium is visible I'll have to place the box in a cooler space say 13 to 18 C.

It will be awhile before I can show you my chestnut mushrooms but fortunately here is a box I prepared earlier.
About two weeks ago I bought my first mushroom kit and this is the result after 2 1/2 weeks. Those are yellow oyster mushrooms, one of my favorites, I love mushrooms, how about you? It won't be long now before I can start harvesting them. If all goes well I will be able to get 3 to 5 harvests from 1 box. Not bad, eh? You just harvest the mushrooms and then wait for a new crop to pop up.
In the garden more flowers are starting to appear. This is my pretty Hamamelis that is currently flowering its socks off.
And everywhere in the garden little green noses are poking through the soil. It won't be long now before crocus, winter aconites and snowdrops will be laughing their little flowery heads off, bless them.
And in my living room these tulips are doing an excellent job of cheering the place up. January days can be so dull and grey so yours truly needed a bit of colour like a shot in the arm.
Tulips are very good in providing much needed colour on dull, drab days and so is Maine Coon Dolly Daisy with her snow white and firy red garb and a disposition that is frighfully cheery-uppy.

copyright 2011 Y.E.W. Heuzen


Ewa said...

Great idea Yolanda! I think I will follow this year :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What fun to try growing your own mushrooms. The cats seem to agree with this set-up. It will be interesting to see/hear about your results. I do like mushrooms but I have never tried to grow them.

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

Congratulations on your mushroom kit harvests, it's so gratifying to grow them in the kitchen. :)

Glo said...

It looks like you have mushroom growing well underway ~ good for you for continuing to learn more about how things grow...and then being able to eat them is a plus! The cats look very cozy nestled up to the mushrooms, which no doubt will be purrfect ;)

NewShoot said...

My grandmother tried this one year and was so disappointed when nothing grew. So we bought mushrooms secretly and 'planted' them in the box one night for her!

em said...

you are way ahead of us, temperature-wise. i am a few weeks away from hammamelus blooms, though i forced some in the house. good luck with the mushrooms!

healingmagichands said...

We grew mushrooms a few years ago, and decided that it was a lot less trouble to buy them. And considering how many mushrooms we got, it was cheaper too. But it was still fun to harvest "our own" mushrooms.

Funny how cats can show you where the coziest places in the house are! Miss Dolly Daisy is lovely.

Matron said...

I have grown mushrooms in a box like that a few times. I usually only get one crop, absolutely fantastic and they taste brilliant. The instructions usually say you can keep picking and growing for months, but I find they just wither away and stop growing after the first picking. It would be interesting to see how yours do.

Gail said...

They make it easy for us to grow almost anything these days! xogail

stadtgarten said...

What a good idea to grow your own mushrooms! I think they must be tasting excellent!
But every time I visit your blog I am thinking about your lovely kitchen garden, which I so adore!

And such a lot of green can already be seen in your garden - it must be a milder climate where you live.

Groetjes, Monika

flightplot said...

A lovely post and wonderful photos as always! Flighty xx

*Ulrike* said...

I was just telling someone the other day how I would love to grow my own mushrooms, and you do this post. I have also seen through another blogger, where you put the mushrooms in pre-drilled holes in a log and leave them outside. Might try that one too. Anyway, very interesting post!