Countertop Mushrooms

Last weekend on Saturday morning, the wife and I hit another local green market, located in Ft. Pierce. It’s broken into two sections, crafts and edibles. We blazed through the crafts, but took our time in the edibles section. The selection of both was fantastic, but the food section was what we were there to see. And oh my was it worth it!

Custom tea blends, fresh, home made goat cheese, raw milk for pet consumption, pickles, chutneys, sauces, fruits, veggies, chips, dips, crackers, chocolates…the list goes on and on. Plus there were vendors on site there to feed you, BBQ, muffins, omelets, and other things that made me realize we REALLY should have eaten before going there.

morels
Morels foraged by Tim and Heather

One of the booths was Oyster Island Mushrooms, offering locally grown gourmet and exotic fresh and dried mushrooms. And better still, everything you needed to grow your very own edible mushrooms at home. (No mind altering `shrooms here folks, sorry.)

Growing edible mushrooms at home has been on my bucket list for years. The wife and I have a friends, Tim and Heather, that live outside of Asheville, NC that hunt, trap, garden, fish, canning, hunt `sang…and go `shrooming. Every picture I see of their finds or efforts makes me jealous. And to top it all of, Tim is constantly posting his cooking on Facebook, so I have to see the end results as well. (That guy must work like a HORSE, cuz he’s rather trim, yet eats like a KING!)

From Tim:NY Strips, Ramps n taters, fried morels and poke salet.
From Tim:
NY Strips, Ramps n taters, fried morels and poke salet.

So when I saw the opportunity to grow my own, I was all over it. We purchased a pound of fresh, picked the day before, shitakes, and a “log” that was inoculated with shitake spawn. I call it a “log”, but believe it is a mixture of sawdust and other things to promote faster mushroom growth. We were told to soak it for 3-4 hours, until the logĀ  had absorbed water to weigh around 5 pounds total. The we were to place it in a cool, shaded place and mist it 2-4 times a day to prevent it from drying out.

By the time we got it home and before we even soaked it, we had little nubs of mushrooms starting to pop out! I soaked it for several hours, pulled it out, and placed it on a cookie cooling rack to allow plenty of air circulation. I misted it every 4-6 hours, as directed.

And I stuck a camera in front of it to track our first batch. It took a picture every 5 minutes for 50 hours, then compiled them all into a video. Here it is:

 

I started tasting them about 3 minutes after I stopped taking pictures…and found that mushrooms are like most any other food – fresh, home grown are FAR tastier than anything you can buy. As good as the shitakes were that we bought that day, the fresh ones we grew on our counter were even better. Significantly so, in fact.

Countertop shitake mushrooms
Countertop shitake mushrooms

What a marvelous end result to a checking off a Bucket List item. Eating the end results actually is the final stage to a bunch of my Bucket List things, but when the taste is THIS good, I’m very happy.

If you are local, hit the Ft. Pierce green market, or find them at 23shrooms.com. Tell them FloridaHillbilly sent you!

If you aren’t local, find someone local or order some online, and give this a try! This really is a no-brainer way to bring in a rather exotic taste and texture to your meals.

Peace,
db

Notes:
The green market, located in Ft. Pierce is every Saturday from 8AM to noon, rain or shine!

 

6 comments:

  1. I’ve been meaning to go to that Farmers Market. Pon and I attended a workshop at the Florida Earthskills Rendezvous last year on raising mushrooms using that log inoculation method, among others. We were lead to believe that it didn’t work all that well this far South because of the warm weather. Obviously – based on your post – that ain’t so. Looks like it’s time to add mushrooms to the edibles in the back yard.

    1. That’s the rub, it probably won’t work well…outside. In a controlled environment, like on a kitchen counter in a house with A/C, it can. And it needs to be watered several times a day. Its rather hands-on, but the benefits are fantastic if you like mushrooms. I just picked two of them this morning, sliced them up, sauteed them in butter, and made a frittata out of them and some of our free-range backyard eggs. Mighty fine…

      The log cost $20, not a far cry from what buying the same amount of mushrooms would be, since we are guaranteed to get at least 5 pounds of them, but probably significantly more. On Tuesday we started picking and eating a quart container of mushrooms every day or so, we have to be close to three pounds already, and there is no slacking in the growth. There is new buds and more growth every day.

      I’m liking this.

      1. db,
        Thank you for the wonderful review at the Farmers Market. My wife works Ft. Pierce on Saturday while I work the Green Market in West Palm Beach. The whole business has mushroomed in such a way that we expanded to meet the needs and wants of our patrons in the different areas. Besides what we grow we bring in many varieties of mushrooms (wild picked and those grown by others) along with Truffles during season. We can’t grow every variety but we can certainly help procure them from our contacts.
        In regards to the log technique I do want to say the log growing technique of plugging them here in central east Florida was the way I first grew them here. It will work and with the correct strain for this climate work well enough. However, you are restricted to the whims of Nature and the fact that logs will only produce a couple of times a year. Just my two cents…..

        By the way, great job on the time lapse video, I think it turned out very nicely……………If you would like more info on the techniques please feel free to contact me to chat…thanks again,
        Myco
        mike@23shrooms.com

  2. Ahhhhhh, shrooms! I love the pic of our exceptional dinner of steak, fried morels, ramps, taters and poke salet. Why? This was our dinner the night before Jaime was born! Plus, I munched on Cocoa Puffs after eating all of that! We had been out hiking and morel hunting that entire day and I was exhausted, but I had a blast. Morels are my favorite (so far) to hunt and eat.

    We found and tried quite a few mushrooms this past year…chanterelles (a few different kinds), Black Trumpets, Hen of the Woods, Oyster, Shaggy Mane…I may be forgetting a few.

    We do want to get into growing some of our own. But, in the meantime, we’ll have fun getting out in the woods and finding what grows locally around here. I thought I had found some Oyster shrooms on our hike Saturday, but upon closer investigation of the gills, they were not.

    We also got a mushroom cookbook for Christmas that is put together by a local mushroom club….very exciting to try some more creative recipes with our mushrooms!

    Happy to hear your shrooms were a success! You are right, too, food grown at home tastes way better than store bought :)

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