Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Our housemate ordered a Shiitake mushroom kit from the internets. Actually, this is the replacement kit, as the first one didn't work. This seems to be a common experience, from what I can tell...Anyway, it comes as a big compacted blog of sawdust covered in white mycelium and brown...something. After a complicated process of refrigeration and soaking in rainwater, you keep the mushroom "log" misted several times daily, and wait. Our first flush of mushrooms yielded about 6 shiitakes. Mushrooms grow incredibly quickly, and they are fascinating to watch. Our second flush, pictured here in progress, looks as though it will be quite a bit bigger. We're new to growing mushrooms, and we're not sure it's cost effective ($40 for app. 4 flushes per kit) but it's really fun, and they make a great centerpiece. We want to learn more about keeping the mushrooms alive after they've eaten all the sawdust food. Fungi are particular, so although we'll probably try to innoculate another growing medium after this one is spent, it may not work. Mushroom experts?
Oh, and our housemate just ordered an oyster mushroom kit that supposedly grows on coffee grounds. He was planning to bring home the grounds from the restaurant he works at, only to find that a coworker had already labeled the trash bag of grounds with her name. Gotta love it. We'll keep you updated on that one!