Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mycorrhyzal



This recent tweet by @permiedotnet connected to a link for a mushroom workshop that looks amazing: http://www.livingmandala.com/Living_Mandala/Course_Workshops_and_Events.html Too bad I don't live in California! The concept of bioremediation is fascinating, and mushrooms in general are an essential part of breaking down woody pulp. It's really fun thinking about how fungi is structured versus the usual seed-sprout-plant-fruit process. Plus I love learning about all of the different varieties- I feel like some kid from the 1950s who woke up one day and realized that pasta doesn't have to mean just spaghetti or macaroni! The world of mushrooms is definitely exotic and strange. I feel like a little forest sprite just looking at pictures!

So I've been contemplating getting a mushroom kit. Inoculating a log with spores would be an incredible experiment, but I don't really have the time or the space. I guess I'll have to settle with a pre-made indoor kit for now. At least the compost left over when the mushrooms have stopped fruiting is really great for plants! And perhaps I can learn how to keep the kit continuously producing... Maybe I can dump the compost in my parent's backyard and something will come up in the future.

I'm not even sure if I've ever had a really "fresh" mushroom. Considering that they are so fragile and perishable, I bet it's a completely different taste experience. And they add such a great "meaty" texture to everything from stir-fry to pasta to omelets, and are full of fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals.

I just can't decide what kind to get! I found a kit with half portobellos and half white button mushrooms, which are my favorite. The mushrooms are classic, have a great thick texture and clean taste, compared to other mushrooms that might be "earthier" tasting or have a more complicated texture. Oyster mushrooms are great as well. (And you can even grow some on old coffee grounds! Check out the insane variety of kits at Fungi Perfecti: http://www.fungi.com/kits/indoor.html So many to choose from!! And sadly, the button mushroom/portobello kit I saw was about twice the cost of the oyster and shitaake kits. And the reishi mushrooms are so beautiful, and can be ground up into a tea! I may wait until I am more experienced to get those, but it's a fun thought.

Anyone have any mushroom favorites? Tips or fun facts?

1 comment:

Nick Biddle said...

www.sporeworks.com

I can fill you in on the process, but if you want to grow fresh mushrooms you can get most of the supplies you need there.

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