mushroom kits : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm thinking about getting one of those mushroom kits, the kind they sell in Gurney's and other seed catalogs.Mushrooms are $2.99 a lb here, we use a lot of them, and it's a hassle to go to the store to get them all the time. Have you tried them? Are they worth the price? They generally cost about $20 so they'd have to produce at least 7 lbs to be worth the cost. Is there any brand that does better than another? Can they be rejuvanted after the first harvest so that you can get another crop?

-- Rebekah (, December 04, 2000


My grandfather, on my mothers side of the family, grew them in a 10 in deep , 4ft x 10 ft bin in his cellar. He always propogated from his growing stock. I've been thinking about ordering from the place featured in Countryside issue before last.

-- Jay Blair (, December 04, 2000.

I tried that last year, and it ended up in the compost pile. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't work for you. Keep me posted if you get one, maybe I can figure out what I did wrong.

-- Cindy (, December 04, 2000.

I spent $5 a log for innoculated (shiitake) mushroom logs this fall. I bought 10. I have about 2 pounds dried mushrooms. My location, not enough shade, affected the outcome. I would recommend local purchase so the investment is least possible. I have learned and will know what to do come Spring. Glad I didn't spend over $20 for one fruiting.

-- Anne (, December 04, 2000.

We inoculated 30 logs 4' in length for abt $30,and some work.Like to drill? You do alot of it with the log method,but if you don't mind,it's not too bad.

However we had crop failure.Not likely the spawn though,we had a drought and were too busy watering the garden to get to the logs.

Normally you should get a flush or two for quite a few years,so don't pitch those logs!!! A friend had tossed his aside for the same drought reason,and just didn't get back to them and guess what,they fruited.Plus you can force flush them.

Mushroom spawn can be gotten from Mushroompeople,out of Tenessee or maybe N.C., in a variety of quantities for a better price.I think they are on the web, as well.They had a flyer they also send that had lots of help on growing them.

-- sharon wt (, December 04, 2000.

Are there any woods around your place? I've been out in my woodlot cutting wood for the last week and I have run across at least 20 downed logs that have mushrooms in profusion on them. Seems if you know how to identify mushrooms you could find some of these logs and bring them closer to the house where they would be convenient and you can provide them with as close an environment as what they were growing in.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 04, 2000.

I hunt Wild mushrooms and there are many varities. But you have to know how to recconize them. Eating the wrong one can kill you. Some will take you on a trip you won't believe. some will get you very very sick. The good one like morels, and Sulfur mushrooms are worth hunting for and taste great. But go out with someone that knows what they are doing and learn to idenify them. Also in most cases you can't move wild mushrooms to a new location. It just doesn't work.

-- Nick (, December 04, 2000.

My husband and I tryed one of those kits about 10 years ago. We got really nice mushrooms and it was fun but we sure didn't get anywhere near 7 pounds and we never did it again.

-- Diane (, December 04, 2000.

Sulfer mushrooms Nick? Yuck,phewy. You know I don't like them!

Oysters are good.boletes except for bitter boletes,chantrelles,and Honey mushroom,better known to tree people as shoestring root rot.Sound delicious? Shaggy manes were good.Need to go out with an experienced hunter.If in KY every year a mushroom forey is done at Natural Bridge State Park.

Can't eat any of them anymore, Allergic to molds.

-- sharon wt (, December 05, 2000.

I once bought one of those box o' mushroom specials sold in the catalogs. It was $39(?) for "months" of "harvests". I got 2 mushrooms then some little fruit fly things showed up and that was the end. Each mushroom weighed about 4 oz(portabella), that works out to only $78 a pound...

From what Ive read it looks like if youre going to bother then its better to do it with the logs and spawn plugs. Dont bother with the box.

-- William in Wi (, December 05, 2000.

As you can tell Sharon does not like sulfur mushrooms. They are really good. If you cook them in butter til crunchy they are equal to potatoe chips with a little dryer consistancy. Unusual flavor but very good. Try them and see for yourself. Also oyster mushrooms cooked in butter taste just like scallops.

-- Nick (, December 05, 2000.

Old saying: There are old mushroom hunters and here are bold mushroom hunters. However, they are no old, bold mushroom hunters.

The Mushroom People are at The Farm in Summertown, TN. Ask information there for The Farm and they will refer you to them.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, December 06, 2000.

How true Ken how true .That's why you find you an old one to show you the ropes.Better make sure you don't cross 'im either, or deadly toad stool could end up in your omlet!

Actually a couple I knew did get pretty sick,and they had been collecting for some time,Horse mushrooms,wild cousin of the commercial one.

Me,I like the stick to picking the distinctive ones.

-- sharon wt (, December 06, 2000.

Have you seen the mushroom kit that grows them on a roll of toilet paper? No kidding!!

-- kathy (, December 09, 2000.

See the September/October 2000 issue of Countryside, page 36. Article is: Grow shiitakes on a log (or on toilet paper under your bathroom sink). Countryside should still have this backissue.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, December 10, 2000.

Rebekah, forget the kits if you really want a supply of mushrooms to eat. Even if a kit produces well for you (far from a sure thing), you won't get a lot of mushrooms. If you want to grow your own, do a little research and then buy spawn from a source that specializes in such things. Several of my friends grow shiitakes, and it doesn't seem too difficult. I've not tried growing them because I get plenty - and great variety - by hunting the wild ones. Sure, you've got to be careful and know what you've got before eating it, but anyone who can tell a cabbage from a head of iceberg lettuce can learn many mushrooms. If you would like to start collecting the wild ones, I could give you more information to start you in the right direction. - Sam (past president of the W.Va. Mycological Assoc.)

-- Sam in W.Va. (, December 11, 2000.

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