A late autumn and winter fruiting mushroom, it is grown in a mulch/bed of mixed organic matter. The participants will need to source 1m3 of woodchip and 20l organic manure, although the choice of substrate can be varied depending on local circumstances.
This mushroom is grown in a similar way to the Wine Cap. An outdoor bed is made by layering the spawn with a substrate and the use of cardboard but in this case the substarte can be a mix of lignin and cellulose material with animal manure. Hardwood sawdust and/or woodchip is ideal mixed with around 10 – 20% manure. The woodchip should be fresh no more than a couple of weeks after being chipped. If the woodchip has been left for more than a few weeks and no more than 2 months, it can still be used but should be treated through cold water fermentation. This is a simple process of submerging the woodchip in water for at least 10 days.
A site is cleared of vegetation and any pernicious weeds removed. A sheet layer of cardboard is applied and thoroughly saturated with water. If the water is polling anywhere, make holes in the cardboard. The spawn is scattered over the carboard followed by a 2-3cm layer of substrate. You proceed in this fashion beginning with another layer of carboard biut this time not sheet layer but using ripped up pieces of card to allow for infiltration. After 3-4 layers a final mulch of straw is added on top.
The bed will last for 2 years until it needs to be replenished.
The bed will take upwards of 6 months until it will fruit depending on when the bed was made. The fruiting temperature range is between below 10c and will often fruit after the frist signs fo frost. This means fruiting usually occurs at the end of autumn but can continue into the winter.
The cropping is dependent on seasonal conditions. It is possibile for a 10msq bed to produce a total 10-20kg of mushrooms druing it’s fruiting season.
Stem butts are removed and can used for propagation. Although fine to eat fresh, when dried this mushroom provides an intense unami flaour when used as an ingredient for soups, stocks and stews.
Once established you can easily propagate more beds by making cardboard spawn from the stem butts of the fruit bodies, or simply taking the mycelliated substrate from and existing bed.