Edible mushrooms grown in ordinary garden mulch. Photo: Etienne Durand
E-mail message: I’m a big fan of your blog and read it daily. I wanted to share with you a really great gardening experience from last summer.
Following the advice in your blog, I used mulch for my vegetable garden and flower beds for all the usual reasons: keep weeds down, maintain even soil moisture, keep plants cooler in summer, fertilize the plants, etc. Except I went one better.
I inoculated the mulch (fresh straw and wood chips resulting from tree pruning) with the mycelium of wine cap strophia, also called king strophia (Stropharia rugosoannulata), that I bought on the site Homegrown Mushrooms.
I had impressive harvests of excellent mushrooms all summer long, including plenty to dry and store for winter, while still being able to harvest a very large number of vegetables from my garden.
I’ve sent you some pictures.
Answer: That’s a wonderful idea: two birds with one stone!
Homegrown Mushrooms is a Canadian company and offers their product in that country. American readers could obtain wine cap strophia spawn from Field & Forest Products. In the United Kingdom, try Mushroombox, and in Australia, Forest Fungi.
There are many other companies worldwide offering wine cap strophia (king strophia) spawn and other mushroom spawn as well. Maybe even your local garden center carries it!
Mushrooms grow on the compost. The compost is produced at specialized companies. From the moment the raw materials are mixed, up to the delivery of the compost to the mushroom farms. The process takes four to six weeks, depends depending on the raw materials and the system used at the Compost yard. When the compost has been delivered at the mushroom farm, it still takes 16 to 20 days before a start can be made with mushroom harvesting. There is a lot of company who are proving good quality log and spawn, Agrinoon(Fujian) Is one of them.
Wild mushrooms are very popular here. Those who hunt them have secret collection sites, like fishing holes. Alder logs are also popular among those who grow their own. I don’t know what is so special about such logs.