Growing oyster mushrooms

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Jack commutes via ferry from San Francisco, which means he gets to regularly wander the terrific shops littered throughout the Ferry Building Marketplace. At the end of the week he’ll usually bring home some kind of goody to celebrate the start of the weekend.

Typically he stops at Acme Bread for a loaf of Pain de Mie (holy crap, so delicious!) that he’ll nosh on the way home; it’s his absolute favorite. Often he’ll bring home flowers (he’s a fantastic husband) or maybe some gelato from Ciao Bella (yum!) or maybe a sweet treat from Miette Cakes.

But last week he said, “Look babe, instead of flowers I brought you this!”

He presented me with a big plastic bag with a white log in it.

Huh? Um, how romantic.

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Upon further inspection it was a mini mushroom farm from Far West Fungi.

Whoa! How cool is that?

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Basically, it’s a big lump of condensed wood and organic matter covered by white powdery fungal stuff. At first it just looks like a big white log. You don’t see any mushrooms and I was a little dubious that this was going to work.

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But after just two days of misting you get this!

How alien! How creepy!

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How totally cool!

The only thing you have to do is mist the log several times a day in order to maintain some humidity in the plastic bag, it’s growing environment.

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You see how my mushrooms are long and skinny? That’s apparently due to too much humidity. (Heh. I must have been a little enthusiastic with the misting.)

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So, I’m opening the bag for a little more air and the glorious growth is continuing.

According to the instructions I should get 3 to 4 harvests of mushrooms off this little log and each harvest takes about 1 to 2 weeks to mature. They grow amazingly fast with lots of new activity daily. I love it!

What a terrific thing to grow with your kids—it’s something they can check on the kitchen counter every morning when they wake up. (Annemieke—I’m thinking of you!)  It’s easy, there’s zero mess, it’s low fuss and you can eat the proceeds. Perfect!

Or in my case, it’s an awesome hostess gift for foodie friends.

Who knew growing mushrooms could be so simple and fun? And oh, so romantic!

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3 responses »

  1. Great thing! I’ve never seen a mushroom thing like that here, but the mini garden reminds me of what I could do with the kids. Seeing the kind of shabby bag around it, I thought next time you could try to find yourself a huge glass container with a lid on it. Something like the giant glass cookie jar you have. And that’s something you can fill with soil to to grow mini veggies and herbs in inside the house too. Wow! new inspiration!!
    And smakelijk eten! Found a recipe for the fungi yet?

  2. Pingback: Growing Shiitake mushrooms « Loonyville

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