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How to grow mushrooms by layering materials

Growing mushrooms

Some are pink. Some are brown. Some taste like bacon while others, like the wine cap mushrooms, taste like asparagus. At 2 Angels Mushroom Farm in Harrison, they plant 14 different kinds of mushrooms, including the wine caps. Angel Miller, a co-owner of the farm said the wine cap is simple to grow and gave us a quick tutorial.

"This is a native species to our area. It's really simple to add to landscaping because it loves to grow in hardwood mulch which many people already have under their shrubs or landscape areas," said Miller.

"Take the live ground mushroom mycelium. Grab a big handful of it. Don't be scared, it won't hurt you," said Miller.

At 2 Angels Mushroom Farm, they do not plant spores. Instead, they use mycelium, which is tissue culture of the mushroom body.

"We have the bare ground right here so we are ready to start. Take that spawn and crumble it up in your hands. We are just going to sprinkle it so you have it all over the ground," said Miller.

"We are going to kind of make a mushroom lasagna. We are going to put layers on here," said Miller. The next layer is wood chips.

"You can get wood chip mulch from garden centers or you can make your own by using hardwood, like hardwood trees and limbs," said Miller.

Miller said make sure it's hardwood. Wine cap mushrooms don't do well with the acidity of pine mulch. Then, add another layer of spawn, but two handfuls this time to make a thicker layer. After that, add a layer of straw.

"One of the characteristics of this mushroom is that it likes to have a variety of food sources. We are going to give it a little straw," said Miller.

We continue with the lasagna by adding more wood-chips on top of the straw, then another big layer of spawn, and another thick layer of wood-chips. Finally, top the pile off with straw.

"This is just to help keep the moisture in on the last layer," said Miller. Many people are allergic to straw, but Miller said there are options. She recommended cardboard-- just wet it down and tear it into pieces.

Once the "mushroom lasagna" is complete, water the pile deeply and everyday for a week. After one week, scale back the watering to every other day.

"Don't forget your mushrooms you don't want them to dry up and die," said Miller. Mushrooms love moisture and Miller said it's nearly impossible to over-water them. She recommended picking a shady spot to plant, but they do need a bit of light to produce Vitamin D.

"This one can tolerate a little bit more sun then most, so anywhere from deep shade to dapple shade will be great," said Miller. This type of mushroom is a perennial. Miller said just add more wood-chips to the pile at the end of the season to act as insulation and additional food, and they will grow back every Spring and Fall.


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