Monday, May 14, 2018

Mushroom farming and foraging.

Spring is a great time for foraging fresh mushrooms! Our favorites to find are the morels, but we've slowly been learning to safely identify and forage other types as well. 

We found a couple dozen morels in the woods behind our house. It wasn't a spectacular harvest, but i'm not complaining. We enjoyed them breaded & fried and also sauteed with butter & garlic. They are one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify. 

 Last spring we plugged a bunch of logs with mushroom spores, and have been patiently waiting for them to fruit. It usually takes about a year, but we were getting a few here and there this past fall so we were hoping for a good harvest this spring.  We got a large water trough to help soak the logs to make sure they were staying damp enough.  Within just a few days of soaking these elm oysters began fruiting!

One of my first harvest pictures of the season. Homegrown spinach, lettuce, asparagus and oyster mushroom. i also foraged morels, chickweed, lambs quarter and purslane.

We have another oyster log beginning to fruit.  It has several clusters like this on it. 

 We also have a gorgeous shiitake coming in one of the logs. So far these have just been one at a time, i'd really love to see them take off and really fruit. The shiitakes are really yummy.

We spend so much time looking at our cultivated mushroom logs that we tend to forget about the wild ones that often fruit on the stumps of the trees that we cut about 7 years. Yesterday i was walking through the goat field and saw this giant flush of oysters in the woods on the other side of the fence. They were growing from a Tulip Poplar stump.

So far it's looking like a great mushroom season! We are in the process of plugging more logs and hope to continue cultivating fresh mushrooms for years to come.


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