We can't seem to stop thinking about mushrooms this week. It's morel season in Ohio... the red buds are blooming, the May apples are growing. It's getting warm, yet the ground is damp... this means morels start popping up and it's time to go find them. We go out every other day looking for them, and regardless of whether we find them or not, it is a great excuse to spend some time with friends in the woods.
|My first mushroom find of the season... small, yet quite the prize.|
|Yes, it really is that small!|
This past winter we sold honey at the Clintonville Farmer's Market and had the pleasure of selling next to Swainway Urban Farm
, which produces these gorgeous Oyster mushrooms shown in the photo below. Oyster mushrooms are so intricate and beautiful! After talking with Jen about how they grow them, and also getting some advice from Margaret Wince of Somerset Herbs
, I decided to try my hand at growing our own mushrooms. Margaret recommended Field and Forest Mushrooms
out of Michigan to supply the tools needed to get started.
I bought enough supplies to innoculate 12 logs, which is about 750 plugs. I chose the plug method because it was recommended for beginners.
|Supplies: Mushroom Plug Spawn, 5/16" wood spade bit, aluminum tags for labeling|
|Here is a close up of the plug spawn.|
|We headed out to find the perfect tree along the stream. |
I'm glad I married someone with chain saw skills.
|Holes are drilled about 6" width, 2" apart in a diamond pattern.|
Yes, that's my toddler below, playing with a tape measure. Did you know that a tape measure can provide 45 minutes of contentment for a 17 month old? I am not exaggerating. I don't know why people buy so many toys for kids.
|Plus spawn is gently hammered in the holes.|
|Plugs are coated with a hot layer of melted beeswax. |
From here, I need to do more reading on how to water/store my logs. I know innoculation happens best between temps of 65-85 degrees, and the logs need at least 1" of water a week (by rainfall or a garden hose). These logs should produce mushrooms in about one year, and can continue to produce mushrooms for up to 8 years.
|You know the rule: Cut down a tree, plant another one!|
|The tulips are in bloom, and the kids love to cut bouquets.|
Friday night was really cold, so we decided to cut an abundance just in case they would get nipped by the extreme temperatures. Maizy took the job really seriously, and when I tried to get her to smile for the camera she said, "I can't Mom, I have to keep cutting these!!"
We've also been inspired by the song "Tea Party" by Frances England
. So we set up a little nook in the trees and had a tea party. The kids informed me that you had to have milkshakes and graham crackers at a tea party. I hope to add a little fabric tent canopy this summer, clear away some of the brush, and make this area a nice little get-a-way place for the kids to play.
We also began some renovations on the back of our house. We're adding a laundry room, a mud room, and "breakfast nook" in the kitchen. We currently don't fit around our kitchen table very well, so the extra space will help out. I can't wait to show you the before and after photos.
|But why is Uncle Perry digging in to the back of our house?|
Isaac has been busy this week, moving bees to pollinate apple orchards, bottling honey, making splits with new queens, and making honey deliveries. You'll see another blog post from him, coming soon. Have a wonderful weekend! It's our last Worthington Winter Market of the season.