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Gigi’s Mushroom Cultivation Diary

Growing mushrooms at home is easier than you realize. Nutrition-wise, they are a source of fibre, minerals, B vitamins, and certain varieties also provide protein. When you grow them in the sun, mushrooms will also produce vitamin D. But the best reason to grow mushrooms is the taste!

Growing your own gives you the opportunity to experience varieties that you rarely find, even in specialty stores. (I highly recommend beginners start out with a mushroom kit or two to streamline the process and give you the confidence to go deeper.)

I am Gisela (Gigi) and this is my mushroom cultivation diary. I am based in Ontario, Canada, and I choose the mushrooms I grow based largely on the seasons here, though I also grow some varieties indoors. I am a fairly advanced grower at this point, so don’t get overwhelmed. I will do a post specific for beginners with more detailed recommendations than “buy a kit”.

I took a break from growing mushrooms this winter, but this means that I have the perfect situation to document my mushroom cultivation habits and share the journey with others.

Last year, I had 19 different types of mushrooms in various stages and on various media. I have mycelium, the delightful entity that produces the fruiting bodies we call mushrooms, on logs, sawdust in buckets, in the soil, and in containers with companion plants. (Circumstances being what they are, I am primarily a container gardener.)

Among the types of mushrooms:

  • several kinds of oyster mushrooms, including king oysters,
  • wine caps (stropharia rugosa-annulota),
  • shiitake,
  • maitake,
  • chicken of the woods,
  • lion’s mane,
  • blewits,
  • fried chicken mushrooms,
  • milky mushrooms,
  • black morels,
  • chestnut mushrooms,

and others I am clearly forgetting.

Some of them failed to fruit and a couple of them I am going to try again (blewits), but others (e.g. milky mushrooms) I am probably going to just move on from.

The photo at the top of the post is of baby winecaps in a container with black currants, and the mushrooms in my hand (either to the right or below, depending on your device) are pink oyster mushrooms.

The types of mushrooms are as fascinating as they are varied, and I highly recommend getting a simple mushroom kit to experience the joy of watching them up close.

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