June 3: mushroom cultivation

oyster mushrooms at Urban KultureLast weekend, we attended a mushroom cultivation workshop run by Urban Kulture in Whitegum Valley. We came away with a wealth of knowledge (and a very informative handout, with all the instructions on it), as well as loads of innoculated mushroom kits, ready to grow us some amazing medicinal and edible mushrooms. I really recommend the workshop – it was great fun, very informative, and we learned a lot.


making shiitake logsWe made up kits for king oyster (Pleurotus eryngii) and turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) on sawdust, reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) on shredded paper and pearl oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus, pearl strain) on shredded paper and coffee grounds, and white oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus, white strain) and elm oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius) on straw, using two different pasteurisation techniques. We also made a shiitake (Lentinula edodes) log each.


Urban Kulture produces spawn for a variety of other mushrooms too. We didn’t get the chance to play with or innoculate any during the workshop, but they also have strains of pink oyster (Pleurotus djamor), blue oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus), phoenix oyster (Pleurotus pulmonarius), golden oyster (Pleurotus citrinopileatus), pioppino or black poplar mushroom (Agrocybe aegerita), wine cap or king stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata), and pom pom or lions mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus).


I want to grow them all, of course, and others as well. The wine cap is especially interesting to me at the moment, because it is best grown in the ground, in a permanent mushroom patch, and it grows well in association with vegetables. Since I’m going to be putting in an asparagus patch, I might see if I can put some wine cap mushrooms in at the same time – they both like rich soil full of organic matter, and lots of woodchip mulch, so I think it should work.