He's building a top bar hive. Here are the top bars ready to go.
In the meantime, we decided to try our hand at shiitake mushrooms. The inoculation or spawning of mushrooms is fairly simple, cheap, and takes a minimal time commitment. Plus, we have a friend who has had great success with mushrooms who is coaching us along. It seems like the perfect project for us right now when life feels very full but we're eager for a new adventure (of sorts).
The spawn arrived in the mail and we kept them in the fridge until we were ready for them (just a couple days).
It helps that we love eating mushrooms, too, but rarely buy them because they are expensive. We're not used to buying a lot of produce, so we get sticker shock when we see those prices. Hats off to those of you who are able to stay within your food budgets without growing a lot of your food!
Now, please understand that we have not been successful with mushrooms YET. I'm just going to show you what we're doing and you can sit back and watch us and see if we succeed or flop. Then you can decide if you'd like to follow suit. I'll post our progress and label these posts so you can easily pull them up and see how we're doing. For now, I'm just going to give you a very simple explanation of the process and show you what we've done so far.
To start the process of growing shiitake mushrooms, you need to introduce the shiitake fungus to logs (where the mushrooms will grow and be harvested from). Spawn is the plant body of the fungus that is 'planted' in the logs. Introducing the two is called inoculation or spawning.
That's the most complicated part of it all right there, so if you can wrap your head around that, you're good to go.
The logs need to be recently cut from healthy, disease-free trees. You should not use deadfall or damaged trees. Your logs should be 3 to 4 feet long and 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Depending on where you live, there are certain times of year that are better than others for cutting, so find out what timing is best for your area if you want to give this a try as well.
We ordered 150 thimbles which we "planted" in 8 logs. The cost with shipping? Fifteen dollars ($15) even. Worth the risk? I think so:-).
How many mushrooms could we get? The instructions that came with our spawn say, "Depending on the diameter of the log, up to a dozen crops may be induced every 6-8 weeks during warm weather, over 3 or 4 years." A dozen crops? If it works that well for us (or even partially so), you bet I'll be experimenting with different ways to preserve them.
But what I can't wait for is to eat them- sauteed, in stir-frys, raw in salads, on pizza, grilled...however we please.
Let's just hope we have as much luck growing fungi as we do dandelions. Well. Maybe not quite that much luck. Pin It