Thursday, November 22, 2007

Shitake box

hroom Madness. This time I really did it. I ordered four boxes of shitake mushrooms, ready to 'flush'. For some reason I imagined that these were somehow grown in the fashion of reconstituting dried ones, will keep forever until you add water. NOT. When the boxes arrived from Fungi Perfecti, they were stamped 'Live open within 30 days", oops. These will each produce every 2-4 weeks for 16 weeks for a total of 2-3 lbs. of mushrooms.

Baby block of Shitake

So I opened a box, and reading the directions, I found that I could skip to step five (no 5 day hibernation in the fridge) since mushrooms were already visibly growing on the surface. The instructions also said not to use chlorinated water, or distilled water. So what better to mist it with several times a day than our local Crystal Geyser spring water.

Shitake with Chopsticks

The instructions recommend using chopsticks to hold the plastic away from the growing mushrooms, and putting it in indirect light. I had the perfect corner in my kitchen nook area.

Shitake tent

So here we have it, the tented shitake garden. Now I just need to keep it moist by spritzing it with the Crystal Geyser Water, watching the plastic to be sure that it has moisture on it so I know the right moisture balance is in place. Stay tuned, and I'll be cooking from my mushroom garden in a couple weeks!

This post just begs to be entered into , hosted by Truffle of What's on my Plate.

According to Fungi Perfecti's catalog, where there is a nifty table of medicinal properties of various mushrooms, Shitake or lentinula edodes have the following "Targeted Therapeutic Effects":
  • anti-bacterial
  • anti-candida
  • anti-tumor
  • anti-viral
  • blood pressure
  • blood sugar
  • cholesterol reducer
  • immune system
  • kidney tonic
  • liver tonic
  • sexual potentiator
  • stress reducer
Wow! There's a lot under those caps! And by the way, the Founder and President of Fungi Perfecti, Paul Stamets, has been actively involved in the ecological clean up of the San Francisco Bay after the recent oil spill.

And last, but not least -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

AFTERNOTE: Paul Stamets will be speaking at the Oakland Museum on December 1st at 4 p.m. for the MSSF 38th Annual Mushroom Fair.


Peter M said...

Anna, this is so cool...cultivating your own mushrooms!

Bob said...

Wow. I didn't think anyone had created a method to grow mushrooms at home. How fun! Thanks for sharing.

Kalyn Denny said...

This is soooooo cool. The funniest thing is that my nephew was just telling me about this at Thanksgiving dinner, and then I check my e-mail and see that you're doing it! Can't wait to see how you like them and how you're using them.

cookiecrumb said...

I'm impressed! Such a girl-scouty thing to do.

Anna Haight said...

All: Yep, I was amazed to find out myself.. and after buying some fresh shitake at Whole Foods today, I think it is even more economical since the price per pound there was $14-16, and these I got at a discount for buying 4... and each should produce 2-3 lbs. And I was a girl scout; I guess it stays in the blood.

Laurie Constantino said...

Great post -- I love Fungi Perfecti! We did this a couple years ago, and it made me postively gleeful when we got to harvest the mushooms. Can't wait to see what you do with them!

Anonymous said...

I'm envious, shiitakes are my favorite mushroom and I could only get them dried here.

Anonymous said...

I purchased the same Shitakes from Fungi Perfecti. Although they started out growing sparsely but well, one got very big and I removed the plastic as directed. The plastic was off for two days, during which I misted as directed. All the remaining mushrooms died and I've failed to be able to bring them or any others to life. How are yours doing?


Anna Haight said...

Each of the four yielding a HUGE mushroom - just one. Except for the second one that yielded about 5 0r 6 afterwards. I needed to mist and pay attention more for one thing. I was surprised by the big mushroom effect however.