The Shiitake Mushroom Patch™
Indoor Mushroom Patches™
Fungi Perfecti's Indoor Mushroom Patches consist of pure mushroom mycelium growing on a sterilized medium, or substrate. The substrate used will vary, depending on the mushroom being grown; for example, the Shiitake Mushroom Patch grows on a mixture of enriched hardwood sawdust and wood chips, while the Pearl Oyster Mushroom Patch™ grows in a bag of pasteurized wheat straw. All of Fungi Perfecti's indoor and outdoor Mushroom Patches are Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The Nameko Mushroom Patch™
Care and Feeding of your Mushroom Patch
Our indoor Mushroom Patches couldn't be easier to care for; all you do is place the humidity tent we provide over the Patch and water it according to the instructions (in some cases, an overnight soak in cold water might be needed to encourage the Patch to fruit). Be sure to use water that is neither chlorinated nor distilled: chlorinated water can kill the mushroom mycelium, and distilled or heavily filtered water lacks vital nutrients that your mushrooms need to grow. Spring, rain or well water work best, although boiled tap water will also work well.
The Shaggy Mane Mushroom Patch™
Outdoor Mushroom Patches™
Our outdoor Mushroom Patches need to be mixed into a bed of material such as soil, ash or hardwood chips (the type of material will depend on the mushroom being cultivated, and is not provided) and allowed to grow out and colonize the bed. Inoculations should take place between March and October in the Northern latitudes, year 'round in the Southern latitudes. As the Mushroom Caretaker, your job is to carefully select the location of your mushroom bed, then monitor the condition of your Patch and water it according to the instructions (Outdoor Mushroom Patches can be watered with chlorinated water because there is much more material both in and around the bed to which the chlorine can bond, thus greatly reducing its effect on the mycelium). After the bed is fully colonized with mushroom mycelium (typically 9–12 months), mushrooms will begin to form. With appropriate care, mushrooms should continue to appear for several years thereafter.
The Pearl Oyster Mushroom Patch™
How Many Mushrooms Will I Get?
The amount of mushrooms you will get will vary from species to species, and to some extent, from Patch to Patch. For example, the Shiitake Mushroom Patch will produce 2-3 pounds of mushrooms over a 12-16 week period, in crops or flushes that will spring forth in approximately two week intervals. Our outdoor Mushroom Patches can take up to two years to begin fruiting, and will continue to fruit for two or more seasons thereafter. Due to the many and various contributing factors found in Nature, we cannot accurately predict the amount of mushrooms an outdoor Mushroom Patch will produce.
The Garden Giant Mushroom Patch™
What do I do When my
Mushroom Patch Stops Producing?
All of our indoor Mushroom Patches are "disposable", eventually running out of the nutrients needed to produce mushrooms. At that point, there is no practical way to re-infuse the Patch with more nutrients. However, many of them can be broken up and subsequently launched outdoors, in compost piles, bales of straw, or on hardwood chips or logs. For more information on this subject, please consult our online article "Maximizing Your 'Mycelial Mileage”. Our outdoor Mushroom Patches can often be expanded by taking colonized material from the original bed and transferring it to new beds, preferably adjacent to the old one. With planning and a little luck, vast beds of meandering mycelium can be established in your yard or garden.
Stropharia fruiting at the base of corn stalks
“I live in central Quebec in the bottom of a valley, where there is lots of water and conifer trees. I have a large raised-bed garden on sandy soil where I’ve been growing vegetables using vegan-organic methods. Five years ago a wonderful friend of mine had bought me a copy of Paul Stamets’ Mycelium Running, and I knew I had to try growing mushrooms someday. This year, with my partner egging me on I finally got up the nerve to inoculate some Wine Cap mushrooms (Stropharia rugoso-annulata) into the garden.
“I ordered 1 gallon of Stropharia sawdust spawn from Fungi Perfecti and got it within a week. On May 8th I dug a shallow basin in one of the raised beds. I wet the hardwood shavings and spread them an inch thick in the basin, broke up the mycelium and scattered it on top, and covered it with more wet shavings and then a layer of cardboard. By May 21, when I peeked under the cardboard the wood shavings had fused together into a mat of white, musty-smelling mycelium. I took 4/5 of that away to inoculate pathways in the garden. I spread the remaining mycelium through a trench in the middle of the raised bed, put more wet wood chips down and put the cardboard back on.
Stropharia under a canopy of corn
"After that we had some wet, cold weather, and then several heat waves. I forgot to water the mushroom patches during the hot weather and thought I had killed them - I would peek under the cardboard and fish through the dried-out wood chips to find some strands of mycelium, but nothing like the first strong mat. Feeling defeated, I tried to water them more but gave them up as a 'learning experience' - clearly they would have needed more shade, I couldn't plant them in full sun in the garden like that, maybe I should have waited until the corn was taller to shade the bed before I inoculated them ...
“Imagine my delight yesterday, August 4th, three months after ‘planting’ my mushrooms, to find them fruiting abundantly along the length of the corn bed! I rushed to the other site where I had inoculated the pathways, and found that 1 out of 4 was also fruiting - the one that was shaded by tall plants. Harvesting the nicest specimens gave me 1 pound 9 ounces of mushrooms."
Some of the harvest
"As for the important question - how do they taste? I looked up recipes on the internet and according to "Wildman" Steve Brill, Stropharia mushrooms are best sautéed in very little oil, but lots of lemon juice and wine. I didn't have wine, but splashed them with red wine vinegar, put the lid on and let them get very juicy with some onions chopped in there. When they first started cooking, they gave off a faint asparagus smell, and once fully cooked, they were very soft, with an earthy, 'mushroomy' flavour. I found them pretty agreeable, but wouldn't do the red wine vinegar a second time. I would like to find out how they taste on their own, so I think the next thing will be to grill them."
“I have to say there’s something wild and mystical about all this. I find mushrooms enchanting, and I’m proud that I managed to get the wine caps to fruit. My next project: inoculating some conifer stumps with Chicken of the Woods!”