Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chocolate Mushroom Update

When to harvest your oyster babies? 
When the cap flattens out then pick them by gently twisting the clusters of mushrooms until they break free when the largest mushroom in the cluster looks like the one in the middle pick below.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Chocolate Oyster Mushroom Care

So you got yourself a cute little chocolate oyster patch and would like to know how to take care of her, ehh?

First find her a good home. Ideally this would a cool place somewhere cooler than 20c but warmer than freezing. A shady place outside is perfect depending on the time of the year. Inside will work if you don't have anywhere suitable outside. But please not directly in front of a hot window.

Indirect sunlight is great, mushrooms will produce vitamin D2 from natural light. In the shade they will receive more than enough light necessary for this to happen.

As for watering your new gourmet mushroom patch... don't. If you don't cut too many holes in the plastic bag she came in, you will not have to add any more water. People often think mushies love water, but they are just like us, living under water is not very good. Too much water will lead to rot and contamination of your patch.

The only thing you need to do is carefully cut small x's anywhere pins(baby mushies) are forming. if you don't the little guys wont be able to get any fresh air and you can  probably guess what will happen.

a nice cluster forming, make the hole just big enough for her to get some fresh air.

baby struggling for air 

yeah fresh air,in a few days i will be big enough to eat :)

pics are mixed up a bit, these are the guys in the bottom pic happy to be free

another nice cluster forming

lots of babies begging to be set free

i will post updated pics over the next few days as this babies grow.

How many pounds of gourmet mushrooms will i get from one mushroom patch?
Varies, but anywhere from 100% - 200%. 
i.e. a 5 pound chocolate oyster mushroom patch will produce anywhere form 5-10 lbs of fresh mushrooms in total over 3-4 flushes (waves of new babies).

Any shiitakes ready yet?
Nope, but should have some ready by august 2015

Why cut small holes/why not remove all the plastic?
Moisture content is extremely important. If you remove too much plastic, too much water will evaporate causing the mycellium to die wherever it gets to dry. When you rehydrate the dried out  patch by adding new water you will introduce new contamination resulting in not so healthy molds. Think of bread sitting on your kitchen counter, leave it the bag so it retians moisture, and soon you have some yummy forest green mold (Trichoderma) growing. Yummy. 
If the bread was covered with oyster mycelium even if opened no other fungi could land on it take hold as long the oyster mycelium stays healthy and moist. However if allowed to dry out the mycelium will die/get weakened enough allowing competing fungi/molds to take over.
By cutting small holes we minimize water loss 

Super handsome soap guy will be selling at

Spring's here! Come treasure hunt as your friends & neighbours clean out to make room around the house, plus shop your favourite awesome local vendors all under one roof... the historic East Van Wise Hall! 

1882 Adanac St. (@Victoria)
Commercial Drive

10:00pm - 4:00pm
$2 admission
All ages welcome

* cool vintage clothing & collectables * household goods * vinyl records * rarities & memorabilia * posters, paper goods & art * small furniture * handcrafted & vintage jewelry * succulents & plants * natural locally-made body care * quality handmade items * local small businesses * your friends & neighbours selling! *

Just under 40 local vendors selected for goods we ourselves would want to buy or see at the market, whether vintage, new, used, or handmade!

Notch Coffee is back taking over the concession and satisfying all your coffee needs with hot pour overs and bottles of tasty cold brew!

Plus Local Omnivore delicious food truck will be serving up melt in your mouth burgers & more (including veggie options) outside all day!

Built in 1926, the historic Wise Hall has felt like home to the Eastside Flea since March 2013, with vendors and visitors attending from near & far! 

See you at the Flea!

peter & brian