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Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

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Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  LittleGardener on 9/12/2012, 12:36 am

After reading here re mushrooms, maybe others can benefit from some of this awareness:
I attended a lecture last night, given by an expert on mushrooms., at a 4S meeting. ((Loved mushrooms since childhood when every autumn we picked them in forests. One year, I decided to skip pale having them identified), & ate the whole frying pan of shroom's, only to find out they were poisonous! Took me yrs. before bravely trying them again)). - Tho have remained uneducated as to what, how & why; I was excited to grow our own Portabellas & Shitake.
He started with a brief Lifeform-biology intro, so he could explain that the Spores (seeds), are released from the Mushroom (fruit) of the Mycelium (fungus) which is the actual organism, that is like us humans, in that it breathes (no photosynthesis).
He added "the only difference between Buttons, Criminis, White & Portabellas is how much time they spend in the medium growing, as they're in the same family." (geeze, assumed the PB's were like a gourmet-type) but nope. Also he said the 1st. PB's were discovered in France,
growing in sewage No on manure (ewww, gross) who wants to do that? Also he said that mushrooms are hogs for heavy metals which then end up in us; in fact they love gobbling up ocean oil spills, & make soil from it. Question: when you buy such soil, do you think about such No in your Veggies? - Then he said, unless you pick them yourself, or pay much money for an inoculated log, if you do the whole thing yourself, you need to Sterilize the process using your pressure cooker (we don't can). Sigh, lots of my enthusiasm, got up & left.. So I checked what medium Factories use for growing mushrooms we've enjoyed.
At Ostrom's, they state starting in (animal manure), wheat straw, DPW(?), Canola meal & Sugar Beet lime. All components are agricultural waste products, that would end up dumped or burned. Spent compost is sold to a soil company, as soil amendments." - so the question here is: since Canola, sugar beets & other such foods are now GMO'd, how do we avoid being genetically-modified?, even tho mushrooms are 80-95% water.
Maybe the best is searching for them in forests, & safely ID'ed by experienced mycologists, before then enjoying eating mushrooms.
What do you think?
And sure enough, such an Organization exists right in W.Wash.: http://www.psms.org/membership-benefits.php the Puget Sound Mycological Society has about 1000 members; with eight $30/year membership Benefits incldg. low cost classes each Fall, taught by Master Identifiers, Fall Wild Mushroom Show (over 200) in October (one of the largest exhibits of fresh wild specimens in the country), & Fields Trips Smile Spring and Autumn where members meet in selected campgrounds in the Cascades or the Olympic Peninsula. The 20-mile areas are chosen for likely edible mushroom activity & a Master Identifier is available to take the guess work out of your finds."
Looking forward to such a field trip Smile How many here successfully do gather?

And also how many here successfully grow your own mushrooms?

LittleGardener

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  plantoid on 9/12/2012, 5:07 am

Thanks for the interesting post LG.
I've often grown my own mushrooms in the past on bags of spent compost purchased direct from the gate at a mushroom farm.
I grew them in my cellar several square years worth at a time .

They often sold them off after the second flourish as it was not considered economically viable to have the spent bags hanging around on the racks for a poorer harvest.
Ostensibly the bags were supposed to be sterilized under commercial waste material regulations and officially the compost was only for use as a garden soil improver/fertilizer But the grower was one of those who always tried to cut corners / didn't have sound working systems & practices and penny pinch so he didn't bother . This came back to bite his butt big time .. he infected the whole area in mushroom blister which took hold in his sheds and bankrupted him .

Back in the early 1980's I was educating myself to become the manager of a mushroom farm and in my readings I read that you can give a kickstart to a dormant mushroom bed by using a clean watering can of salt water ( 2 dessert spoons of salt per gallon of water ) watered on from above .

So I went to the above mentioned grower and purchased 50 x30 pound bags at a time telling him they were for the garden . I made three rows of four bags in the cellar and salt watered them .

One day in our madness Alison & I decided to try and use up an excess of mushrooms by having a Sunday Mushroom day

Breakfast .. 9 inch mushroom each lightly pan fried in a bit of butter down side first then carefully turned over to brown the top and bring out the juices inbto the cup.

lunch

Mushroom soup , some thig like fresh siced mushrooms wrapped in thin cut smoked ham
Mushroom flavoured blamanche ( sp ? ) for pud.

Evening meal sauteed inbutter thin slices of mushroom finished off into some milk thickened and presented on squares of thin sliced toasted bread on
Plenty of home made elderberry wine as well through out the day .

the next day we both felt like death warmed up .. both of us came home early from work and we went to see the doctor the next day still feeling very rough indeed .

Apparently we had overdosed on mushrooms and got mushroom posioning.

We still have to smile at it all even though it was 23 years ago.

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  nycquilter on 9/12/2012, 7:28 am

Little Gardener, was the expert Paul Stamets? He lives in the PNW and is the experts' expert of mycology. I have attended one of his lectures in NYC. Anyway, his company, Fungi Perfecti, is an excellent source for all things mushroom. His books are amazingly detailed and informative.

Laurie

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  LittleGardener on 9/13/2012, 2:00 am

@nycquilter wrote:Little Gardener, was the expert Paul Stamets? He lives in the PNW and is the experts' expert of mycology. I have attended one of his lectures in NYC. Anyway, his company Fungi Perfecti, is an excellent source for all things mushroom. His books are amazingly detailed and informative.
Laurie
Hi Laurie,
No, a different guy, but didn't wanna post his name, as I left sad that I might not be able to do this. - Fortunately, I realize that when there's a will, there will be a Way Smile so yesterday I went to Paul Stamets site, plus a dozen others, & now I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I've been interested for many years, because of Shiitake's Medicinal values, & Portabella's taste. I need to find time, as I'm involved in no less *60* projects for real Smile


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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  littlejo on 9/13/2012, 7:53 am

Since I am very allergic to at least some mushrooms, I wouldn't even attempt to grow them. I can eat Morels with no adverse affects. We collected them in Kentucky on the side of a certain mountain, near the fil house. They were fried and everyone called them dry land fish.

The mushroom growers are supposed to sterilize before disposing of the growing medium, but most do not because of the cost.

A 'mushroom' grower down here was out in town bragging about his 'shrooms' were up and healthy. He was promptly arrested, for here, any way, 'shrooms' are a drug type plant, similar to mushrooms, that sometimes are found growing in with regular muushrooms.
Jo

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  GWN on 9/13/2012, 10:32 am

I am an avid mushroom hunter.
I have several varieties that I am comfortable picking and eating.
Chanterelles, catathalasma, matsutakis, hedgehogs, morels, lobsters, oysters
And I tried growing Shitakes on a stump in the past, likely did not do it right as they did not grow.
I always make sure that I leave lots of the "mushroom guts" all over my yard. But have moved a lot in recent years, so never really saw them reproduce.
Did find several morels in my strawberry patch last year though.

I have read that you can grow morels if you create an area for them with ashes etc and then sprinkle the spores in that area. ( I have done this and am waiting for next spring to see if they took)

THe one that some folks take is psillisibin SP.... it grew in Oregon in the wild... it is a hallucinogenic. Odd, it was illegal to pick, but I wonder how hard that would be to prosecute. We had them growing all over our property there. I was always careful not to touch them Smile


Last edited by camprn on 9/13/2012, 10:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edit wording)

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

Post  LittleGardener on 9/14/2012, 4:41 am

To littleJo & GWN,
See, it never occurred to me, 'til you mentioned "illegal shrooms". As I don't do drugs, drink alcohol, smoke, or anything else like that. No interest whatsoever in anything that compromises, harms, or destroys, life. So my discussion is strictly like I said about Shiitake, Portabella's, & Oyster mushrooms. - I learned about this on day 3 this week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=eC2kOzYN1bw , and part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXSgJQa0UUk&feature=relmfu - Hoping for opportunity to experiment. Has anyone tried this method?, and found success?

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Re: Mushrooms: what I learned in one day

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