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

Mushroom harvest

Oyster mushroom growing on mushroom totems

Mushroom raftWith the addition of oyster mushroom to our myciary (yes, I made that word up), fungi have become one of our earliest spring "vegetables."  Our mushroom totems are fruiting heavily, proving the utility of the method at least during our wet spring weather.  Notice the cracked cap shiitake --- a gourmet delicacy.

Meanwhile, a heavy rain turned our mushroom raft into an actual raft, or at least an island.  Perhaps you can see why I swear by raised beds and mounds in our waterlogged soil?  Even though the mushroom logs I used to create this raft are ones that didn't fruit last year, I suspect if there's any life in them they'll produce mushrooms after this dunking.

Young Dryad Saddle mushrooms

Over on the wild side, Dryad Saddles are poking out of one of the stumps in our front garden.  I remember planning to try to eat them if I found a younger specimen, but Mushrooms Demystified has this to say about the species --- "[Polyporus] edible when thoroughly cooked, but is thoroughly mediocre."  With such faint praise, I think I might leave the Dryad Saddles for the wildlife.

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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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Wow, do I envy you! Those mushrooms look wonderful. When are you going to come up and help me with growing mushrooms?!
Comment by Sheila Fri Mar 25 23:20:56 2011
You should definitely start some oyster mushroom logs! Actually, you should have a workshop there --- buy some spawn and just have folks come out and inoculate some logs. You'll need to do it before the leaves come out for best results.
Comment by anna Sat Mar 26 16:32:58 2011
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