Sunday, October 19, 2008

Investment in Mushroom Futures is Paying Off

Last fall and winter we purchased some mushroom dowel spawn from Fungi Perfecti and inoculated some sweetgum logs. Sweetgum trees are the first hardwood species to colonize abandoned fields or nowadays, abandoned building lots. They are plentiful, considered to be weed trees, not useful for firewood because the grain is very twisted making the logs hard to split. They also happen to be very appetizing to fungi, especially shitake (Lentinula edodes) and lions mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushroom fungi.
About a week ago we got about 2 " of rain, the first rain in a month. It was perfectly timed for mushroom stimulation along with cooler fall temperatures.
It took about 10 days for the mushrooms to appear. It was tremendously exciting to go out to the stack of logs and see those beautiful things sprouting out. Some of them were huge compared to any other shitakes i've seen. We harvested 1.5 pounds of shitakes and just 2 lions manes.
This was the first time we had eaten lions manes. What a treat that was. We sauteed them in butter with some garlic. They had the texture and flavor of lobster. Deeelllissshhhusss!
Here's a tip about shitakes we learned from Paul Stamets. Placing them in the sun, gill sides up for about 6 hours will greatly increase their vitamin D content making them even more nutritious.
Invest in mushrooms- safer than banks.


Country Girl said...

Great post. I am always looking to learn more about mushrooms. We have millions of mushrooms on our land but I have yet to try (or dare) and identify them. I am curious if it is easier to learn to identify or be safe and plant your own.

Robbyn said...

OK, now I'm so jealous (in a good way!) :) We'll get to mushrooms eventually, but I'm such a chicken about attempting to identif and forage for them in the wild. Congratulations on your success...and hey, mushroom is a lobster that's not off limits on my kosher food list, yay!!

Melinda said...

I had no idea mushrooms had much nutritional value. What other vitamins do they contain? Those are beautiful mushrooms, btw!