Notes from Windward: #70


Wine Cap Mushroom Harvest

Ruben admires a cluster of mushrooms


     A bed for wine cap mushrooms ( Stropharia or "Giant Garden Mushroom" ) was created in Nov 2009. Lindsay, Carina and I built the bed on a base of oak logs which were 3-4 inches in diameter and 3 feet long. The logs were covered with fresh oak chips. Alternating layers of straw and oak chips were added. The bed was inoculated with wine cap mushroom spawn and then topped with more layers of straw and wood chips.

the mushroom bed starts to produce

     The pile was well saturated by winter rains. Mycelium had spread throughout the bed by Spring. When the heat and dryness of Summer arrived we began watering the bed weekly. Now, with the cooler weather and first rains of late summer, we are harvesting the fruits of this rapidly growing mushroom.

a wine cap cluster

     Wine caps have been picked twice and enjoyed with our lunch. We look forward to more of the mushrooms popping through the straw this fall. As the bed grows and matures, Giant Garden Mushrooms will be available to harvest for many years.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 70