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

Mushrooms in January

Chickens beside mushroom totems

Look at this --- mushrooms in the middle of January!  Not only is the totem that fruited in November pushing out new mushrooms, so is the totem that I inoculated with wild oyster mushroom spawn.

The oyster mushrooms in our yard aren't currently fruiting, which makes me wonder if the woods might be a slightly more sheltered microclimate.  I've read that even leafless limbs hold in a bit of warmth on cold winter nights, a bit like quick hoops do.  Of course, this area is also one of the sunniest parts of our farm, so that might be the real reason mushrooms are able to grow there in the dead of winter.

As a side note, the chickens are only interested because they thought they were going to get breakfast.  Otherwise, they leave oyster mushrooms alone, meaning that those of you with limited space can "stack" chickens and mushrooms to your heart's content.  Two harvests from one space --- gotta love permaculture.

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock healthy and happy winter and summer.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

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.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

This is so beautiful!
Comment by Maggie Thu Jan 12 15:39:23 2012
Thanks for saying that! I was actually a bit annoyed I couldn't get a better photo --- light makes all the difference, and it's been so gray lately....
Comment by anna Thu Jan 12 16:17:44 2012
Here it looks like twig season/narnia. It is snowing and no sun in sight. I remember you teaching me to like winter. Still, perhaps photos deserve the flattery of lighting.
Comment by Maggie Thu Jan 12 17:07:30 2012

No snow here yet, but I'm waiting!

I suspect really good photographers can take pictures in low light, but I haven't learned that knack yet.

Comment by anna Thu Jan 12 18:50:50 2012
Anna, thanks so much for continuing to provide updates on your various trials. I'm hoping to try totems this spring with oyster mushrooms on the Oregon Coast. I think I will just by-pass soaking logs at all given your experience.
Comment by Charity Fri Jan 13 13:13:29 2012
You're definitely damp enough out there that you should do great with totems. I've really enjoyed ours!
Comment by anna Fri Jan 13 15:06:06 2012

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.