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Well, I harvested my first shiitake mushroom this morning. It looks great, and I’m happy about it, but with mixed feelings. I only got one mushroom!
When I bought the mushroom growing kit, the directions said to “place it upside down” when putting it in the tray/ humidity tent. I was mystified about that, as there is no arrow or text on the block that says “top”, “bottom”, or “this side up” would have been nice. It looks the same no matter how you look at it, and for the life of me, I could not recall if the person in the store turned it over when putting it in my bag, or if I had turned it over when taking it out of the bag.
I am suspicious that I should have turned the block over when I only saw the one sprout, but I had never grown mushrooms before, and though that others would sprout soon. Well that didn’t happen.
This one looks great though, and I will be keeping the block watered, and I think I will turn it over when I get home, for the next sprouting. It is supposed to have 4 harvests, so I’m hoping for more next time.
It is no easy task to turn the block over; there are 4 stakes you have to shove in it, to hold up the plastic bag for the humidity “tent”, and these have to be pulled out and re-inserted on the other side. Then I did not have an appropriate wire rack to set the block on to keep it out of the water that pools in the bottom from all the spraying (twice a day), so I put some scraps of wood left over from some projects I have been working on around the house, and they shift and fall down when I mess with the mushroom block.
Well, it’s not really all that hard to turn it over, I just have to do it.
I’m looking forward to a class on mushroom growing at home, later in May. Hopefully that will answer some questions I have and clarify what I’m doing wrong (or right, maybe?).
This was something I’d been thinking about for about a year. I found these nice starter kits at our local Farmers Market in Bellingham, so I finally took the plunge.
It’s been about 11 days since I started watering the thing, and for a couple days now there have been some kinda gross looking ‘shrooms growing on the block thing. I bought the kit for Shitake mushrooms; they are kind of expensive in the grocery store, so I thought it would be a kick to grow a bunch, basically for “free”. The kit cost $10.00, so if I don’t get $10 worth of mushrooms, my ‘shroom farm will be operating at a net loss, but I expect to get at least that much, hopefully!
There aren’t very many sprouts on this thing, I’ve only seen one on the visible sides and top, but I turned it over this morning (and then put it back the way it was), and did see 2 sprouts coming out of the bottom. Not very exciting so far, except that anything at all is kinda exciting at this point.
I quickly took some pics last night, but they didn’t come out very well, I think I should have turned off the flash, but I didn’t, so . . . there you go.
I’ve been having car troubles, again, with my 16 year old Ford Escort wagon, and had come back from the radiator shop, AGAIN, and well, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out how to turn off the damn flash.
My probem is, I figure out how to do something (I never seem to have anyone to ask who knows these things), fix it or “do it” once and then 6 months later can’t recall how I did it, so I have to start the learning process all over again. There must be some way to maintain a file of solutions to things like “how to turn the flash off on my camera”, but I haven’t figured it out yet, and it is looking like I never will.
However I agree with Bill Murry in Caddyshack, when he said “The Dahli Lama told me he didn’t have any money to give me, but he told me that when I die I will have total enlightenment, so I got that going for me.” I figure that about 6 minutes before I croak I will understand and remember everything I’ve been trying to figure out for my entire life. So I got that going for me.
I’ll update you on the mushroom growth. If all goes well, I’d like to grow many more of these delicious little morsels, in larger quantities. I’m taking a class in May on how to grow them at home. Maybe . . . for trade; for gifts?