The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Growing mushrooms on stumps

Mushrooms growing in a stumpDid you know that you can inoculate stumps with edible mushrooms soon after you cut the trees down?  Since the roots are buried in the moist soil, the stump will stay damp enough for the mycelium to run through the wood, then mushrooms will pop out of the cracks.  After a few years of creating mushrooms, the stump will have broken down into good compost, and the mushrooms might even spread into the soil of your garden and help your vegetables grow.

Sadly, I didn't know this five years ago when we cleared our garden area, so the mushrooms coming out of our stumps are of dubious edibility (though they are quite beautiful.)  I wish I'd been reading my blog when I started working on the farm!  (Although a time loop like that might do more harm than would be merited by a few extra mushrooms.)

We're excited to be sending a homemade chicken waterer kit to France --- country number 4!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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If you're talking about the mushrooms in the picture- they're Dryad Saddles. Scratch the bottom of them- if they smell like watermelon rind, you're golden! They have a nice dense fleshy texture which I love. Get them while they're young, as they get old they can be woody in the middle. Yum.
Comment by Lily Sun Apr 11 13:50:10 2010
If I'd known you were out there and able to identify, I would have posted this picture when the mushrooms were young, a week ago! Drat! :-) Have you eaten them? What did you think of the flavor?
Comment by anna Mon Apr 12 07:54:27 2010
While gathering a batch of morels in Illinois, I also picked two large stump shrooms just like these. I was wondering if they are edible and the best way to fix them. The top is a bit hard and woody but the underside is fleshy and smells fabulous. Any ideas??
Comment by Anonymous Mon Apr 16 13:35:34 2012
Anonymous --- I wouldn't take my advice for it --- be sure to check out a couple of different mushroom field guides (or show your mushrooms to an expert) for definitive identification. But if they are Dryad Saddles, they're edible when young but not the most tasty. Morels are definitely superior!
Comment by anna Mon Apr 16 16:20:38 2012

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