springtwist

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mushroom babies! July 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — springtwist @ 4:02 pm

first of all, infant mushrooms look like this

Mushroom's_roots_(mycélium)

my takeout-sushi-container-cardboard-lasagna-mushroom-nursery was full of white fuzz. its not mold. if you stick your nose close to at smell it, it smells exactly like a damp, cool forest. thats how i know. though seeing the nursery on the counter has spooked a couple of people.

at the grocery store i had this idea that maybe we could make our own peanut butter, which would be one of those ‘im a great parent i do cooking activities with my kids in the kitchen’ sort of things. . so i bought a giant bag of peanuts. then, while i was spending a million years shelling them all, i realized how it would have made much more sense to buy already shelled peanuts. i looked at ratio of peanuts to shell. theres not a lot of peanuts, really.

then it hit me – maybe mushrooms can grow on peanut shells? mushrooms grow on anything, including cardboard boxes and toilet rolls and newspaper and dried out corncobs. well that made my million years spent shelling peanuts seem much better! and it makes me look like i had this brilliant plan all of long. of course i did.

IMG_3230 IMG_3231

so my baby mushrooms have moved out of sushi take out container nursery and into the outside. we have a whole bunch of these plastic rolling grocery baskets down the  side of our house that have been there since the last people. they are perfect for mushrooms. lots of people grow mushrooms in their basements in laundry baskets. the mushrooms push through the small holes in the plastic, and you cna keep adding stuff on top as they eat down all the substrate.

i made a sopping wet cardboard-and-peanut-shell-lasagna this time, with pieces of the mycelium cardboard mixed in on each layer. i put it on the deck because its supposed to be in diffused sunlight, like a forest. and if i put it down the side of the house, as was my original plan, im sure the neighbors would have had a fit, as they are prone to doing so recently. in the winter i need to move the whole thing down to the basement so it doesn’t die of frost, and i’m sure that will incur some sort of wrath as well. there may or may not be any homegrown mushrooms this season. we will have to see how it goes. mycelium are very slow to start, but get faster and faster as the whole growing cycle progresses.

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