Grow Mushrooms This Winter!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-shiitake-mushrooms.aspx

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.