I’m Plotzing!

by Daisy on 09/16/2014

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I can barely contain myself.

Something I’ve been waiting for years to happen has happened.

In fact, it’s something that helped bring about the formation of this blog six years ago.

Deanna and I had been friends for ten years at that point, but somehow we never fully realized we shared a certain passion for the same sorts of things; growing things ourselves, making things from scratch, the sort of things this blog is about. Our friendship had centered around school and family and our respective generalized nuttinesses, but one day, one phone conversation, we realized we both wanted to . . . grow mushrooms. And keep chickens, too. And so on.

From that conversation this blog was born. Before I knew it, we had a registered domain name, a whole lot of unwritten posts, and even a book in our future.

BUT. Until this week, neither one of us had grown a single mushroom on purpose.

Now, my dear friend Deanna and my dear blog readers, I am tickled way beyond reasonable proportion to announce:

I have grown mushrooms.

And lo, they are adorable.

Witness:

IMG_5290Look at that little baby one at the foot of the mama one! These are Bellwether Shiitake mushrooms from spawn I got from Field & Forest Products. They are the cutest little things I’ve ever seen, on par with baby chicks and baby goats.

IMG_5305To make it even more exciting, I’d sort of halfway given up on mushrooms, having tried to grow them a couple of times before without any payoff. And while I knew having mushrooms would be cool, I hadn’t realized how absolutely photogenic they are.

Their rich brown caps decorated with white remind me of artisan bread fresh out of the oven encrusted with a crackled layer of dusting flour.

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I am still waiting and watching to see if the logs I inoculated with oyster mushrooms are going to fruit, but for now, I’m enjoying watching these little cuties get bigger and bigger every day. I’ve put them in what amounts to a cage to keep marauding squirrel paws off of them. If critters still somehow manage to get my mushrooms I will not be responsible for my actions.

MILD MANNERED GARDENER KILLS SQUIRREL WITH BARE HANDS

IMG_5297If you’ve ever wavered about how thrilling growing mushrooms could be, waver no more. Try it. Like most things that require patience, it’s worth the wait.

IMG_5298–Daisy



{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda September 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Yay! I too, have a mushroom log out back but it is my first attempt and it is only about a month old, so no fruit yet, of course. Congrats on your success!

Daisy September 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Amanda–Oh I hope yours does well! It is so exciting!

Linda Thomson September 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

I never thought about growing mushrooms but I should! I love mushrooms. And you are right, they certainly are photogenic. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

Daisy September 17, 2014 at 10:31 am

Linda Thomson–Do it! You’ll love it.

Sallie September 18, 2014 at 6:15 am

BRAVA!!! BRAVA!! They are cute. May I say cute as buttons?

Christine September 18, 2014 at 7:44 am

Congrats! I love the “loaf of bread” description.

Bonnie North September 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

Hi Daisy,

Your mushrooms are beautiful – I am experiencing mushroom envy! Keep the pictures coming. Even if I don’t have my own growing right now, I can imagine sautéing them in butter and garlic, or stir-frying them with ginger, sesame seeds and sesame oil, and broccoli. Yum!

Eunice September 18, 2014 at 10:51 am

I have to say it they ARE cute! Wow, I thought it was really hard to grow mushrooms. You make it look so easy. Please post many more pictures I love them.

Cinnamon Vogue September 18, 2014 at 11:17 am

They certainly look beautiful. Great photos I must say. You certainly are as good with the Camera as you are with growing stuff.

Can you eat these or are they experimental? I just had mushrooms grow out of my flower pot. They were huge. Strange. I think they came with the fertilizer. There is no other way to explain it. But I don’t think I can eat them.

Toni Teague September 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Wonderful News…….. Our Herb Society had a guy speak to us at one meeting about picking wild mushrooms. My husbands Grandmother was full blooded Cherokee Indian and used to pick wild mushrooms in the hills of KY years ago. I have always been chicken. They say the ones that grow in your yard are edible. However until someone confirms yes this species is edible I will not touch them. Oh how I wish I had edible mushrooms growing on my property. They are one of my favorite delicacies. Good Growing Girl Friend.

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Sallie–You may. And somehow I know you mean that literally as well as punnily 😉

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Christine–I have bread on the brain most of the time!

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Bonnie North–Thank you–I want to cook that now!

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Eunice–They can be tricky, but once they fruit you forget all the trouble they were. More pics coming, I’m sure!

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

CV–Thank you, I’m blushing. The mushrooms take all the credit, though. They are edible shiitake mushrooms, and they are delicious. I think you are wise not eating the flower pot ones. Wild mushroom identification is hard for me.

Daisy September 18, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Toni Teague–Yes, I think it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Grow your own, though, and you will always know what those are. It’s worth it, try it!

Pam Allgood September 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm

This is really related to an earlier ost this summer about your toxic oil spill. I heard from a woman that is an herb grower that sunflowers are said to pull toxins out of the soil. She said that if you grew sunflowers where you had poisoned soil that they would help to repair the soil. Don’t know how true this is but would be glad to give you her email if you want more info.
Enjoy reading your posts.

Bonnie North September 22, 2014 at 8:41 am

Hi Pam,

You’re right that sunflowers can phyto-remediate some soils, as they pull certain heavy metals (particularly lead) out of the soil and fix them in their tissues. This takes many sunflowers, and perhaps several growing seasons to complete the process, and they may not pull all the contaminants out, depending upon what is in the soil. However, given the right circumstances and time interval, they can be very helpful.

The only caveat is that sunflowers store the contaminants in their tissues, so all parts of the plant must be considered hazardous waste if they are knowingly grown in contaminated soils, and must be disposed of as such, in a hazardous waste facility. That means they cannot be composted, or sent to a regular landfill, and the seeds cannot be eaten by humans or wildlife.

Oyster mushrooms and other mushrooms can photo-remediate soils relatively rapidly, and if the contaminants are strictly hydrocarbon based, oyster mushrooms completely metabolize them, and could be eaten and/or disposed of normally (although I doubt I’d want to eat them, frankly). If the contaminants include heavy metals, oyster and other mushrooms can still phyto-remediate them, but those mushrooms also store the metals and will need the same cautions of disposal/eating that photo-remediating plants require.

It’s a fascinating but complicated process, and must be undertaken with people who have expertise in the subject.

Daisy September 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Pam Allgood–Interesting. I read Bonnie North’s response to your comment and I want to thank you for bringing up the topic. This is a slow process and I hope to be able to report on a clean up–if and when it happens.

Daisy September 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Bonnie North–Thanks for the information about this. I’m still fighting to get my yard remediated. I hope I can take advantage of mycoremediation, will have to wait and see. I’ll keep updating when I have new info.

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