Mushrooms are a superfood. Almost fat and calorie-free, they are packed full of vitamins and minerals (which is probably why many children think they’re poisons!) They are a very rich source of protein, so are a staple for vegetarians too.
If you love them and would like to eat them fresh it’s probably better to consider growing your own, unless you’re a complete expert, or related to Carluccio, than to risk picking them in the wild.
Growing mushrooms is not really complicated, but there are a number of different methods to choose from and a range of mushrooms to grow, so finding a really good supplier is really important.
There are a number of different options on offer, so we’ve done the leg work, and all you have to do is chose the varieties you fancy and where your going to grow them.
Probably the easiest method is to buy a pre-prepared kit in which a growing medium has already been impregnated with the desired mushroom spores. Add water, keep the bag or soil warm, and you’ll have mushrooms in two to three weeks.
Suttons have a good range, including a ready impregnated oyster mushroom straw kit or if you fancy something exotic try a Pearl oyster mushroom grow kit from specialist mushroom supplier.
Buying mushroom spores which look like packets of powder is another alternative. The idea is that you add them to your own growing medium, which can be anything from straw or soil to coffee grounds or kitchen rolls. Anything in fact, so you could get quite creative Spores are available from Amazon. Exact methods vary depending on which variety you grow, but for a quirky present try this mushroom book recycler kit from Gourmet Mushrooms which involves recycling and old paperback books. And if you just want the spore, try this UK site that ships worldwide!!
Growing Mushrooms on Logs
This is a good option for outdoors growing and a ‘close to natural’ look if that’s what you’re after. This takes longer to get results than some of the alternatives, but the mushrooms really taste nice
Ready to go shitake and oyster logs can be bought from Thompson & Morgan.
For a wider range of varieties, basically you to buy little dowels that are ready impregnated with spores. Then you’ll need to cut (or buy) a hardwood log or two in the trees dormant season (basically sometime between the leaves falling off and the new buds coming in the spring). After that you’ve got six weeks to drill some holes and impregnate the dowels, otherwise you run the risk of getting mixed up with natural fungi growing on the wood
Full instructions and impregnated dowels are available from specialist suppliers.
Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit–3 Pounds Log