Introduction: Low Tech Mushroom Log
So how do you grow mushrooms? If you read anything about it it sounds so complicated. I'm going to show you how to grow mushrooms with pretty much nothing more then a piece of cardboard and a fresh branch or log. You won't need any specialised equipment and I am going to try not use any technical words and make it as easy as possible.
The things you will need;
Some oyster mushrooms from your local farmer's market
A cardboard box
A fresh branch or log.
Some Hydrogen peroxide 3%
Hand saw or Chainsaw
Step 1: Buy Some Oyster Mushrooms From the Farmer Market
The first and most important step it to buy a cluster of oyster mushrooms. They need to have the base of the stems still on them. The farmers sometime cut them off but check them out and ask the grower if you have to.Then when you get them home cut the bases off like in the picture and keep them to one side.
Step 2: Prepare Your Cardboard
Now cut up your cardboard into bits that will fit into your zip-lock bags. Rip the cardboard to expose the perforated middle. Mushrooms love this perforated cardboard but will grow on any brown cardboard. Soak the cardboard in 500ml water mixed with 3ml hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes.Then give it a squeeze out.
Step 3: Cut the Mushrooms
When your cardboard is ready, cut up the bases of the mushrooms. Lay them out on the cardboard. Like so.
Step 4: Roll Them Up
Now just roll them up and put them in the zip lock bag. Label and date. Put them somewhere out of the light. I put my on top of the kitchen cupboard. Check them in a week or two.
Step 5: They're Ready to Go
So these guys have been in the bag for 2 weeks, they have heaps of nice white growth and are ready to go.
Step 6: Cut You Log
The next thing you need to do is find a fresh log for them to grow on. Fresh as possible no longer then 1 month old. I then cut up the log with my chainsaw into biscuits. If you don't have a chainsaw you can use a hand saw.
I am using a local wattle that I cut down about 1 week ago.
Step 7: Layer Between Timber Biscuts
Now take the cardboard from the zip-lock bags and unroll them. Layer them between each biscuit. I only make them 3 high. You can go as high as you want but I find critters knock them over sometimes. Water every week for the first few weeks. Now leave them in a shady position and wait for the biscuits to become colonised...this may take a few months.
Step 8: Ready to Eat
The weather cooled down and we had some rain and bam! Mushrooms!
These ones took about 4 months to fruit on a local tree called Pencil cedar.
They are ready to cut off and eat. I use a knife and sometime I wash them if they need it.
The most important thing here is that you put the logs somewhere you go regularly. You can miss them easily, if you don't visit the often. The size of the log and type of timber will determine how long before it fruits and how many times it fruits. Bigger logs take longer to fruit but will fruit more times. I have had logs that fruit 3 times a year for 2 years.
You just have to experiment with you local timber and local mushrooms from the farmer's market!