My Experimentation with Mushrooms

No it is not how it sounds. My experiment that I began this weekend is with growing my own. I recently purchases some spore plugs from Fungi Perfecti, a company founded by renowned mycologist Paul Stamets. He has done amazing work on how mushrooms can save the world and it is some pretty profound stuff. I reviewed the catalog they have on their website and realized that with my uncertain time frame here in Belgium (hopefully shorter than longer until I move back) I would try the easy and quick to grow Oyster and Shitake mushrooms.

This will be a multi-part series as I document my adventure into mushroom growing. There are many ways to grow mushrooms and I will eventually experiment with others but for this one I decided to try spore plugs in logs. About a week and half ago I ordered 100 plugs of Oyster and 100 plugs of Shitake mushrooms that showed up packaged well and what I loved the most was the great white “fuzz” I saw. This “fuzz” was amazing mycelium growth.

To start off I went out to the local woods and found 2 freshly cut logs that would act as my base. I wanted ones that were not already decaying or had fungi growth to inhibit or mess with the new mushrooms (a critical stage of this will discussed later). I brought them back and set to work. While I would have loved to grow more I thought I would start small and only made 4 holes per mushroom type. I would hate to have them grow like crazy and they go to waste. So I drilled 4 holes per log and made sure they were within 4 inches of each other as directed.

Once I had my holes drilled to the proper depth I emptied out the extra saw dust and gently hammered the plugs into the holes with a rubber mallet. These plugs are spore inoculated dowels so they can take the light hammering to fit snuggly in the holes. Once they were all set flush with the log I melted beeswax and brushed them over the holes to seal and keep out invasive fungi and bugs. The critical step was to seal up the ends of the logs as well as any other exposed inner wood to do the same (this was recommended by Fungi Perfecti as I wouldn’t have thought of this myself).

After everything was sealed up I set them off under a shaded moist bush amongst lovely nettle and will now wait. I hope to bring the fun changes they go through and some of the tasty ways I add to my diet.