If you google fungiculture, you are most unlikely to be rewarded with this, the earthwoman guide to growing marvellous oyster mushrooms. You will more likely be bamboozled by hugely scientific case studies that involve sterilisation of straw bales, along with temperature and humidity controlled apparatus.
Having spent 3 years in advanced scientific endeavours, beavering away in a dark lab, meticulously recording my every move, I have to say I can no longer be fagged with real science. I prefer my experiments to be random and uncontrolled.
Besides, I also recently heard on Gardeners Question Time that oyster mushrooms were dead easy to grow and didn’t require precision cultivation techniques. I think the suggestion was that you could sprinkle spores on the compost heap and wait for the bounteous harvest to follow.
So with this in mind I created my own recipe and mixed up the non-sterilised concoction scavenged from the compost caddy and the wormery. I tossed it all in one of Lynn’s old t-shirts and now I’m hoping for the best.
I’ve popped one on the top shelf of the wormery, the other in the leaf mould bin and the final one in the edge of the big compost heap.
If you want to follow my tried and untested approach to oyster mushroom cultivation. Here’s the recipe and how-to video.
I’ve long been attracted to all things faddy and ever since I read about the Back to Eden project in last month’s permaculture magazine, I’ve been itching to turn the plot into a forest garden, layered with inches of paper, woodchip and manure.
Although I’m eager to dabble with the latest fad, I’m not overly keen on being outed as a crackpot so I decided to start yesterday by very gradually transforming the plot.
Just as well really, the tiny corner that I did start to cover, took one newspaper, a bag of manure, the grass clippings from both the front and back garden and the best part of a sack of bark.
If I don’t call in a dumper truck of municipal wood chip this little project will take me at least a decade to complete but at least no one will notice that I’m slightly deranged.
I’ve started over the bean trench but my next patch will be over the squash bed. A little too much to drink at a recent party resulted in the opening of the seed cabinet and ended in a”squash off” challenge being set. My squash bed now needs to be lush and moisture retentive to encourage the best curcubits I’ve grown for years.
I’m holding out particular hopes for the Spaghetti Squash. After many failed and bloody attempts with the spiraliser, I’ll be grateful for a squash that comes pre-noodled.
I’ll no doubt be cutting the lawn on a weekly basis now, and may even extend to the neighbours, in an effort to gather enough mulch to turn my patch into an oasis of biblical proportions.