Magic and Mushrooms are two words that shouldn’t be put near each other unless you want to be questioned with deep suspicion. A few years ago, if you told me that I was going to be a mushroom farmer, I would have looked at my ever-expanding to-do list and laughed. At the time, I was preoccupied with Tilapia, supersonic Red Claw crayfish, red-worms for composting, and a million other projects I put on the back-burner.
However, one Christmas I received a DIY mushroom growing kit and it brought all of my plans to a screeching halt. You could say it was love at first sight.
The box provided me with the briefest snippet of information, but that wouldn't be enough to satisfy my growing fascination. I has so many questions and ideas.The next day, me being research-oriented, I purchased Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation by Tradd Cotter. It’s a great read for growers just starting out or those considering.
My First Harvest
The type of mushroom in my kit were Tree Oysters. And if you’re new to the fungi kingdom this is a great place start. They’re relatively fast and easy to grow. They can even be propagated under the right conditions.
I learned quickly that patience is key. After a seemingly endless 10 days something finally started to form on the surface. By day 15 they were ready to be picked, and it was one of the most rewarding meals. I was hooked! I immediately started to do research on mushrooms, and what it takes to make it in the industry.
I discovered 20 fascinating species — each with their own unique flavor and difficulty level of growing. I also found the answer to one of Michigan's most asked questions. Morels are impossible to produce because they are a mycorrhizae fungus, which means they have a relationship with plants that is next to impossible to imitate indoor.
Looking back on it now, I can honestly say I did a horrible job growing my first mushrooms; however, I learned a great deal. Now you know the story of how my life changed forever.