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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.


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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