Sure thing mushrooms have emerged as a novel garden produce which any homeowners can now cultivate with ease. Recent observations over the past several years have seen more and more mushroom growers emerging as a strong component of the modern diversified agricultural economy.
Mushrooms have always been a popular table food with easy access to mass produced market products. Very few people have had any connection to the farm. Most often mushrooms were cultivated on farms in areas of Pennsylvania, where the Campbell Corporation was a large grower for its soup recipes. Other, smaller growers have come over the years, including a local company from Williamstown, MA, Delftree Mushroom Co. Delftree, began in a defunct textile mill on Union Street and became a very successful producer of Shiitake mushrooms.
More novelties of mushrooms have become available at local supermarkets. Growers have emerged throughout the Northeast, growing market mushrooms and supplying them to local restaurants. Along with this crop, many growers now supply materials, spores, tools, and great information to small growers and homeowners who are eager to expand their gardens to include the tasty fungi. The flavor and texture of the fresh mushrooms is incredible compared to market supplies of this delicacy.
For years, many people have foraged the New England Forests for wild mushrooms. This required a good knowledge of habitats and a keen sense of what varieties were safe to eat. Many varieties can easily be mistaken for table food, which can make a person very ill and, in come cases, can be lethal. Be careful if attempting such an endeavor. With this in mind, cultivated mushrooms offer a very safe and interesting experience in attaining these sought after delicacies.
Cultivation can be very simple and many suppliers offer prepackaged kits that can produce home-grown mushrooms, such as Shiitake and Portobello, in a basement or garage. Further methods of log or bed production using straw or sawdust can produce crops of Oyster (sever different varieties and colors). If so inclined, gardeners can inoculate a variety of logs, otherwise known as bolts, from oak, maple, or beech trees with cultivated spores. When left in cool, shady locations and with proper watering, these bolts will produce crops in 3-12 months and potentially produce for 2-3 years. Check out motownmushrooms.com to learn more!
We have jumped into this type of gardening and have had a good bit of success with Shiitake and Oyster, and we are expecting Chicken of the Woods this spring. The process is not too complicated or extensive. Most suppliers offer clear directions, which are easy to follow. So cut a few logs, drill some holes, inoculate with spores and seal with paraffin, and by fall you can be enjoying Shiitake mushrooms from your new fungus garden. Enjoy!
To get your own mushroom kit, check out the links below!