Some may note my minor obsession with growing mushrooms this year. My plan was to hit the ground running with my Wine Cap mushroom that I planted last Oct.
My wine caps have yet to pop up, but I am still hopeful for a fruiting this year in a few weeks. They can take up to 18 months to fruit, so if they do not come up soon it will look like I will have to wait over winter.
The next idea was to get some Shitake logs started, but it was/is next to impossible to find fresh cut oak logs. Believe me I tried.
Don’t be surprised if you hear a chain saw going in the middle of the night in your yard to see mushroom obsessed vandals in a desperate attempt to score a log or two.
So with my wine caps in wait-and-see mode and no go on logs, I set my sights on Oyster mushrooms.
Oysters can be grown on a variety of substrates including pasteurized wheat straw, coffee grounds, newspaper and I even seen I class teaching mushrooms growing on old phone books.
And then there are Toilet Paper mushrooms.
Toilet Paper mushrooms are by far the easiest ways to get started with growing mushrooms.
I purchase some spore from Chris of Easy Grow Mushrooms, and ordered some special Toilet Paper mushroom growing bags that have a mess air vent on the top.Trader Joes had the best deal on Chlorine-free Toilet Paper.
The idea was to grown mushrooms for sale at my booth at The Westside Farmers Market.
They worked like a charm. I got mushroom on 3 weeks with most fruit around the same time.
Chris at Easy Grow said that Toilet Paper Oyster mushrooms tend to be on the same side because the small amount of substrate compared to a good size log, or several gallon bag of straw/coffee grounds.
He was right and I figured that I would not yield enough mushrooms off of my 18-20 rolls of toilet paper to have enough mushrooms for sale.
Each roll yields around 1-2 ounces of mushrooms per fruiting.
My mushrooms looked great and were ready to harvest, so on a lark I figured that I would bring a few to the market to show off.
The response was huge. People gravitated toward these alien looking things. The toilet paper after three weeks gets so morphed by the mushroom spore that it is hard to recognize. Form a distance, people thought it was a hunk of soft cheese.
They were amazed when I said it was toilet paper.
I ended up selling/trading them as mini-mushroom kits.
They make for a fun grow project for kids and would-be mushroom growing enthusiasts.
I will have more next week at the Westside Farmers Market.