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Grow Mushrooms This Winter!

By Jessie Fetterling

Tags: mushrooms, growing mushrooms, mushroom logs, Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, seasonal food, winter,

Because it’s getting colder outside, it’s time to start finding ways to entertain yourself indoors. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still play with nature. If you like growing food, then a mushroom kit is right up your alley.

To make this project as carbon-free as possible, I started out by looking for mushroom kit companies closest to my Mother Earth News home base in Topeka, Kan. I also wanted the logs and mushrooms to be certified organic. Luckily, I found Lost Creek Mushroom Farms in Perkins, Okla. Not only are they close, but their mushroom logs and mushrooms are “grower certified” organic. Another bonus was that a portion of their sales go to their Mushrooms in Ghana project.

Last year the two owners, Doug and Sandra Williams, visited Ghana to teach farmers how to grow shiitake mushrooms. In Ghana, they were growing oyster mushrooms in sawdust bags, which were contaminated and not producing even a moderate level of mushrooms. In hopes to help the production in Ghana even more, they’re trying to raise money to bring one particular farmer, Bernard Bempah, to the United States. They will take him to various shiitake farms to learn more about mushroom farming, so he can return to Ghana and hopefully change mushroom production in the country.

This seemed like a good cause, so I called them up, and they helped me determine which kit would be best for my mushroom-eating needs. I decided to start simple and get a 10-inch log to grow shiitake mushrooms on. So we’ll see how it goes, and I’ll keep you updated on my experience. Please post a comment below if you have any mushroom-growing advice to share.

For further reading, check out Grow Your Own Mushrooms.

1/19/2009 8:29:27 PM

Kits are fine, but you definitely can simply start with wild mushrooms from your very own woods. Every issue of Fungi magazine has information on mushroom cultivation and cookery, plus lots more.

steve h.
12/18/2008 11:42:42 PM

On a whim I checked-out a DVD from our local library, called "Let's Grow Mushrooms". It actually had 2 discs worth of info--and the step-by-step explanations were great: everything was explained clearly and slowly in a way that, for the most part, doesn't assume any existing knowledge of mushroom growing techniques. The techniques and materials used are simple and affordable.

12/5/2008 7:55:29 PM

I have the same question as Frank Suber. In addition to that, how to grow in zone 6 (Connecticut); indoors and outdoors without a kit.

frank suber_1
12/5/2008 4:07:30 PM

The idea of growing mushrooms is a great idea! But,how about starting and nurturing them without the purchase of a kit? Does anyone have any ideas or expertise in this area? Thanks. FLS

barbara pleasant_3
11/11/2008 6:04:49 PM

I think a kit is a great way to get started with mushrooms, which are pretty strange creatures. I've had great luck with shiitake kits, fair luck with oyster kits, and poor luck with portobello kits. I learned enough from the shiitake and oyster kits to be able to grow them outside. Mycelium wants to run...