Growing Portobello Mushroom

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Portabello Mushrooms                                                                                              Photo by Renee Lindstrom

I have tried a couple of different experiments with Portabello Mushrooms.

First Experiment

The first time was with a growing kit that had been used twice before to fruit mushrooms.  This was complicated as it was new and cumbersome.  It has been a challenge.

Equipment:

  • 2 large food grade buckets with lids
  • Bale of straw
  • Lime

The process to prepare the straw:

  1. Put straw into a large container
  2. Fill with water
  3. Add lime
  4. Let soak for 16 hours plus hours

Preparing the buckets:

  1. Bottom – cut hole with drill for drainage
  2. Sides – cut holes around the sides as opening for mushrooms to grow through

When the straw was full soaked I filled the buckets by alternating with layers of straw and mycelium (from original growing kit).  Lids were added and bucket where put into a cool corner with ambient light.  The area around the buckets where  sprayed with water periodically using a mister.

This method was not successful.  A family of fruit flies moved in while the mycelium was growing.  I have placed the buckets off to the side and will investigate further.

This has worked for others successfully so I do not rule it out.  I do however find this method a bit challenging.

Second Experiment

The second experiment using Portabello Mushrooms began with loose ones from the grocer.  The caps where cut off and placed on tin foil (shiny side up) with gill side of the cap facing down.  This lets the spores fall onto the foil.  Once the spores settle onto the tin foil an imprint of the underside of the caps gills remained.  These imprints where cut out and then placed onto a substrate to experiment with.

Would it grow?

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Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

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Surprised by arrival of the Prince of all Mushrooms – agaricus augustus

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Recommended Reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

Growing Reishi Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Pixabay Pictures

Reishi Mushroom

Another name for Reishi mushrooms is Chicken of the Woods.  I love this name!  As mentioned in the post titled Living Foods from the Grocers:  Mushrooms, I mentioned that I had a kit for growing these mushrooms.  It dried out too soon before harvesting the mushrooms.  This began the research on how to grow them naturally, so began the research and the following two experiments:

  1.  On June 3rd, ’18,  I plugged the butt ends still attached to substrate into holes cut into tree trunk blocks.
  1.  On June 3rd, ’18, I buried the block of mycelium that was left from the growing kit in the garden.

When the landscapers began chipping the trees the neighbour had them cut down I asked for some wood chips.  I was left with a nice pile in the drive way.  I had no idea how handy this would be.  I had read on-line that a mushroom grower planted some of his grow kits in his garden under the broccoli patch.  When it came time to do something with my Reishi grow kit substrate I decided to plant it next to the butterbur where it would get shade from the sun.    I dug a large hole and lined it with wood chips, place the kit in and then filled it in with soil and covered with wood chips.  Now it is a waiting game to observe if this will grow or not!

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 Growing Shiitake Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Shiitake Mushrooms                                                                                           Photo by Renee Lindstrom

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.

This tin foil was carefully cut into the round circle shape of the gill imprint left on it by the Shiitake spore release.  This would be placed into a substrate to experiment with.  Would it grow?

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Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

 

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Recommended

Growing Shimeji White Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Renee Lindstrom

Shimji Mushrooms                                                                                             Photo by Renee Lindstrom

In the habit of looking at mushrooms in the different grocers I find myself in I came across these beautiful white mushrooms.  I couldn’t resist!  Taking them out of their package was interesting in itself.  At the base of the mushrooms on the bottom of the dark black plastic container was the growing medium for these fruiting mushrooms.  My first thought was that they came all the way from China and that there is a possibility that the growing medium was packed and shipped leaving the mushrooms to grow on their way.  It could be that by leaving them attached kept them fresh and interesting.  In comparison the Enoki mushrooms are usually in terrible shape from packaging and shipping.

I cut away the mycelium and added it to a substrate of coffee and cardboard.  The experiment has begun!

Follow experiment on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.


Recommended reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

Growing Oyster Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

oyster-mushroom

Buying some Oyster Mushrooms from the grocery as an experiment to find spores under their caps to grow new mushrooms wasn’t as successful as some of the other types of mushrooms bought for the same purpose.  The caps on Oyster Mushrooms are quite delicate and the ones on the shelf seemed to be torn and bruised.  Some of the stems had more fruiting growth on their butt ends than others so I cut these ends off to experiment with.  I put these ends into  a coffee and cardboard substrate.  I also used a few as plugs in a stump to see what would happen.  I had read an article some time ago that suggested these two ideas may work.  The experiment has begun!

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Living Foods from the Grocer 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard and coffee into the container

For the experiment above when reaching the top of the container the butt end was put in and the substrate layered around it until it could stand on its own.  Similar to transplanting a plant.  This isn’t guaranteed to grow from the butt end.  It is an experiment to observe whether it will or not!


For guaranteed results growing Oyster Mushrooms I recommend:

  • Growing Kits
  1. Blue Oyster – Pleurotus Ostraetus Columbinus – Home Growing Kit
    • Spawn in medium
  2. Fungaea Oyster Mushroom “Shroom Box”
    • Grow Fresh Gourmet Mushrooms At Home
  3. White Oyster Mushroom Mycelium Plug Spawn
    • 100 Count
  4. Black Oyster Mushroom Mycelium Liquid Culture – Pleurotus ostreatus
    • Needle included