Oyster Mushrooms Ready to Harvest
After a complete wash with hunting for Michigan morels this year, I only found one small morel after days of searching, I decided that I was going to learn how to grow my own mushrooms this year.
The opportunity came up when I heard about a class being offered here in Ann Arbor by Matt Demmon. The class was hands on with the seven of us in attendance participating in both log growing and ground growing mushroom methods.
The real trick for me with growing mushrooms is to find the hardwood logs. You need to use logs that are as fresh as possible and that have bark. Oak seems to be a good all around log for log growing mushrooms like Oyster and Shiitake. The thing is, they do not sell fresh cut oak logs with bark at the hardware store.
One of the advantages of log growing mushrooms is that you can take it with you. Log can last for a few years, and travel well. I usually rent a community garden plot, which means that every year around October, I have to pack everything up, and restart again, but with a mushroom log, I can bring my garden with me.
The log method shown in the picture below is pretty straight forward, and I feel is a good place to start for beginners. By contrast, other forms of mushroom cultivation are very involved with many exacting variables, and laboratory conditions.
Here is a picture summary of the class. I will have updates in the spring to see how my mushroom log turned out.
- Oyster Mushrooms growing out of a log
White spot at end shows a well inoculated log
Oyster Mushrooms on a log not ready for harvest
Drilling the Logs
Hammering oyster spore inoculated wood dowels into the logs
Bag of Wooden Dowels
Here is a link to Fungi Perfecti about mushroom spore dowels
Mushroom Growing Party
The only step I did not take a picture of was the waxing. After drilling, then hamming a dowel into the log, it is coated with wax, in our case melted Beeswax.
Wine-cap Mushrooms grown in Wood chips on the ground
Bed of Wood chips with Wine-cup mushroom spores
Oyster Mushroom Log from class in a shady spot in my yard
Fine Hardwood Mulch Bed (wood chips are better, but we will see how this batch turns out)
Wine-cap mushrooms broken up on mulch (Newspaper underneath to prevent weeds)
Close up of Wine-Cap Mushroom (Go Spores Go!!!)