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

First fruit from homegrown mushroom spawn

Oyster mushroom totemI'm probably far more excited than this small cluster of mushroom merits.  But here's the thing --- this is our first ever batch of fruits from spawn we grew ourselves.

Top of mushroom log

This strain of mushrooms --- Pohu --- came to the farm in February of 2010 in the form of bought plug spawn.  We inoculated box elder logs and enjoyed our first fruits that fall, then more this spring.

In March of this year, we saved some stem butts from the oyster mushrooms and used them to create cardboard spawn.  Then, on April 13, we pushed the mycelium-filled cardboard into gashes in the sides of box elder log and covered the spawn up with melted beeswax.  (That link shows us inoculating the stump, but we repeated the process with logs.)  We buried the logs partway in the ground as mushroom totems and hoped the oyster mushrooms would do their thing.

Oyster mushroomsThe brilliant part of our plan was putting the mushroom totems where we pass every day walking Lucy.  I'd long stopped checking on the totems when the first fruits appeared, but my eye is trained to mushrooms, so I saw the moist clusters Tuesday morning even though I wasn't really looking.

This experiment is only a partial success because the two sister totems --- one with wild oyster mushroom spawn we collected in Asheville this spring and one with Blue Dolphin spawn --- haven't yet fruited, and neither have our two experimental stumps.  However, we inoculated the logs late this spring and I think I see a bit of mycelium on each one.  So maybe we'll see fruits from all three next year?

Learn the uses of basic homesteading tools in my 99 cent ebook.

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.

Your mushrooms are beautiful!
Comment by Angela Wed Nov 23 08:58:28 2011
I'm still learning how to pick mushrooms at their exact peak, and I got this batch just right.
Comment by anna Wed Nov 23 14:21:17 2011

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.