Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Fungus Between Us

You never know when the urge to grow mushrooms will hit.

Seriously, I have never thought about it - until today.

Today, I got a mailing from The American Gardener.  The mailing consists of a mailer full of postcards.  The postcards invite you to order a catalog or to buy various products.

I've gotten this mailing the last several years, and I read the postcards for entertainment.  There is rarely something that interests me enough to order- well, there was the Earth Box, but that's a story for another post.  If something does interest me, I go to the website and check it out  Why spend postage or ask a merchant to send a catalog unless I know I am truly interested?

Usually, there are one or two solicitations for mushroom growing kits.  In the past, I've ignored these. But this year was different.

When I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, mushrooms were button mushrooms.  Now, there are tens of varieties sold at markets: shitake, blue oyster, pom pom, royal trumpet, king oyster, portabello, beech.  We don't buy many of these varieties - some of them are quite pricey.  But they do intrigue me.

Long ago, I had morel mushrooms - picked wild by an aunt who lived in Iowa, when I visited during morel season - and I have never forgotten the experience.

One of the catalog companies in today's mailer was offering morel mushroom kits.  These were outdoor kits but most of the others were indoor kits.

"All you have to do is water them!" It has to be more complicated than that.

But experiences are good for the senior brain.  And, while we used to have a supermarket here that offered morels during late April and early May, they haven't offered them in a couple of years.

So now we are wondering if we should spend the money on a morel kit, or maybe one of the other kits.  I did some reading online, and it may take a few years to get a morel bed established.  So, maybe one of the other kits might be better.

Have you ever grown mushrooms?  I'd love to hear your experiences.


  1. I like the Back to the Roots mushroom-growing kits which have used coffee grounds as the 'dirt' - have given them as gifts and am finally getting one for myself.

    Available at their store, and at, amazon, etc.

    I'm looking forward to trying this myself!

    1. Thank you for the links, Katy. Glad to have the recommendation. If I don't do it this year - it may be something for the future.

  2. I like this post as I get to learn about the different types of mushrooms. I have not grown mushrooms before but I would love to do that some time in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    1. If I decide to buy one of those kits, I will definitely blog about it. Maybe it will be a future hobby for both of us. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Hey, Alana, I like the morels...shitake, and worse yet the chanterelles ($28/lb at the LA farmer's markets!) Why not go for it? You may be in for a treat. Also, I recommend you put up your name and a photo on this blog site so folks know who they're talkin' to!

    1. I will think about it, Carol. As to your other comment, thank you for giving me an idea for a blog post tonight. Not having my name or photo on my blog is deliberate. More later!

  4. I had no idea there were kits for growing mushrooms! That's very cool. When I was a kid, my granddad would take me mushrooming and we'd come home with a huge bucket of morels. I don't trust my skills to go mushrooming alone, as an adult. I don't know if they would grown down here in the desert part of Idaho like they did in the mountainous part up north. It might be more dry for them, even with a kit. Still, I'm bookmarking it for when we finally own a home.

    I'm completely addicted to perusing and daydreaming.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. I would never dare go mushrooming on my own. I don't even know if I would trust myself to find morels, and they are supposed to be a mushroom anyone can identify. There is a website that has an extensive morel FAQ - - this may help you figure out if they can be found in your area of Idaho.

  6. Go for it! And if it works, maybe I will give it a try.


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