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A forum for growing rare fruits, edibles and Permaculture with a focus on tropicals.

Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Paul-SF » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:45 pm

Paul-SF
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset 17, USDA 10a
I enjoy growing mushrooms and would like to present my latest endeavor, which was to naturalize a species called Stropharia rugosoannulata or more commonly, wine caps into my garden. I initially inoculated a bed of hardwood sawdust three years ago and left it alone. The bed was colonized and a few mushrooms came up, but my attention was elsewhere in the yard, so I left it alone. Last year as I was doing major contouring and mulching, I distributed the mushroom mycelium around the yard and top dressed with wood chips. I could see that the mushroom mycelium was getting established, but my chickens prevented any fruiting by their constant scratching. This year, after sowing kale and poppies with the winter rains, I banned the chickens from most of the yard. Consequently, the wine caps have fruited abundantly over the last two months with many days providing 1/2-1 pounds of mushrooms per day.

The pictures are from Sunday when I harvested two huge and one medium sized mushrooms. Yesterday and today, I harvested over 20 more. I highly recommend this species as it does not require sterile or pasturized media, just plant the spawn into a mixture of wood chips and soil. Further, it grows very aggressively. About half my yard is now colonized and I expect the whole yard will be colonized next year as I plant the bases of the harvested mushrooms in the bare spots.

I think mushrooms are a great addition to my little cloud forest as they increase my overall food productivity, breakdown the wood chips and release the nutrients, plus grow in the more shaded and moist areas where there is little competition by my plants.

A good source for mushroom spawn is Field & Forest Products.

While wine caps are very distinctive in appearance, a bit of caution is warranted. If you want to grow mushrooms, please learn the identity of the poisonous ones. Case in point, death caps do make an occasional appearance in my yard.
Wine Caps 007.jpg
Growing under a plum tree with my hand for scale.
Wine Caps 007.jpg (1.25 MiB) Viewed 2579 times

Wine Caps 006.jpg
A clump of 7 mushrooms growing at the base of a bolting Swiss chard. There are 10 more mushrooms developing within a foot of this one.
Wine Caps 006.jpg (1.34 MiB) Viewed 2579 times

Wine Caps 004.jpg
The harvested wine cap from under the plum tree.
Wine Caps 004.jpg (1.23 MiB) Viewed 2579 times

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Brian » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:14 pm

Brian
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:54 pm
Location: Concord, CA
Climate Zone: 9ish
I might need to try these.

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Jason (palo alto) » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:39 am

Jason (palo alto)
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 384
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:04 pm
Location: Redwood City, CA
Climate Zone: Z17, 9b
Those look great! How do they taste?

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Paul-SF » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:51 pm

Paul-SF
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset 17, USDA 10a
I find the wine caps are rather mild in flavor, but they are said to tasty "nutty." I cannot taste the nuttiness, but one friend gave an unsolicited opinion that they taste like sesame seeds.
Paul

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Brian » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:33 am

Brian
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:54 pm
Location: Concord, CA
Climate Zone: 9ish
How deep is the bed of wood chips (etc.)? Very interested in trying this.

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Paul-SF » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:21 pm

Paul-SF
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset 17, USDA 10a
Hi Brian,

Most of my beds have about 3-5 inches of wood chips, some of which are mixed into the dirt. I would recommend inoculating a small bed that has perhaps 6-12 inches of wood chips that can be kept moist and shaded. Once the mycelium has colonized the whole bed you could then use it to seed other beds. Since you live in Concord, focus your naturalization efforts to shaded and irrigated spots.

If you would like, next time you plan to come over to San Francisco, please contact me to arrange a visit and I will give you a bag of colonized wood chips to get you going.

If there is enough interest in the Cloudforest community, we can see about joining a friend of mine's annual tour of a mushroom farm in Watsonville around the end of October. The owners are incredible generous and will let us take their used shiitake and oyster mushroom blocks home. These still have plenty of life left in them and will fruit for another 3-6 months. I usually bring home a pickup truck load to share. This is the easiest introduction to mushroom cultivation and can be quite productive.

Paul

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby Brian » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:07 pm

Brian
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:54 pm
Location: Concord, CA
Climate Zone: 9ish
Thanks. It's going to take me a while to get things set up though. I have a backlog of stuff to do this summer.

Re: Naturalized wine cap mushrooms in the garden

Postby nullzero » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:16 am

nullzero
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:26 pm
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 21
Looks great, I would love to eventually have mushrooms colonizing next to the veggies.


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