You may have found, while foraging, a unique mushroom resembling a pine cone. This is often referred to as the “old man”.
Why, you may ask? Well because it resembles an old man in the woods.
But its original, scientific name, Strobilomyces floccopus, roughly translates to “woolly mushroom that looks like a pine cone.” (what a name right?)
This should assure you that this fungus is unique in its look: its colors are black and white and gray; it looks woolly and scaly; and its overall look is shaggy. Hence it is said to look like an old man living in the woods, with a wrinkly face and gray shaggy beard.
When cut open, its flesh is white but will turn pinkish red, and then slowly blacken within about 60 minutes.
Where Can You Find Them?
From July-October they fruit in eastern United States (and can also be found in Europe). They’re commonly found around low lying areas, near oak trees and under conifers, and they blend with dead leaves, making them difficult to spot.
How Do You Identify this Type of Mushroom?
They are edible
Cap: 1-6 inches.
Under the cap are spores that resemble tufts of hair.
Stem has a layer that almost looks like fur.
The inside of the mushroom is white, but quickly turns pink when exposed to air, and within and hour turns black.
*verify species prior to eating*
Best sauteed or in soups.
Known to have a mellow and earthy taste.
As with most mushrooms, theyre low calorie, high fiber, and generally quite healthy.
Actually, I wonder whether the word gardener suits a person engaged in mushroom growing, since mushrooms are fungi, and so can hardly be said to grow in a garden. In fact, mushrooms grow in a very different environment from plants and gardens, requiring a complete, or almost complete absence of light, an absence of light that would quickly kill most plants.However, if we use the word gardener in the sense of a person who cares for growing things, then I suppose the name fits. It's very easy to care for mushrooms, primarily because they are basically a wild organism that has been harnessed by men for food. Another nice thing about mushrooms is that they are fungi, not plants, and this means that they can be a far greater source of protein than plants can ever provide. Another good reason for growing mushrooms if you're a health conscious individual is the fact that if you grow the mushrooms yourself you can be sure that they were grown without all the excess additions of pesticide and fertilizers that are so common in most industrially grown foods these days.
When you try your hand at mushroom growing yourself you know that they are both organic and that they will benefit the health of your family. In this day and age when so much of our lives seem controlled by the mechanized and the artificial, home grown mushrooms can provide a wonderful source of health building protein for your family. Best of all, this wonderful food is easy, and indeed almost effortless to grow. There are starter kits available that make the whole process extremely simple without spoiling the organic aspect of things in any way. These starter kits are an excellent way to learn the basics of growing mushrooms, and I would certainly recommend them if you have never grown mushrooms before.
Mushroom kits are also a great idea for anyone who wants to grow mushrooms on a small scale without too much trouble. These kits come complete with everything you could possibly need to grow your own mushrooms, including the growing medium itself, and plenty of mushroom spores.
The procedure, if you have one of these kits, is easy and even elementary. All you need to do is to put the growth medium into a container, which is also sometimes provided. Even if the container is sometimes not provided, it should be easy enough for you to find a flat box that should do perfectly well. Once the mushrooms are planted in the box, they do require a certain amount of light watering, or rather spraying every day. This is all the care needed for most home mushroom growing.
Most people who go in for mushroom growing just go out and buy both the spores (or spawn) and the growth medium. They do this because this is the easiest way to grow mushrooms. But if you are thinking of growing mushrooms commercially, this can add massively to your costs. Or at least, it can add to your costs to an unacceptable extent. If this is the problem you're facing, this article will tell you how to cut down on those costs by making the growth medium yourself. It's not as hard as you think, and can go a long way towards making you a master of growing mushrooms.Of course, no matter of knowledge is going to help you unless you have space in which to grow your mushrooms, so that's something that you need to think about well in advance. If you're thinking about mushroom growing on a commercial scale, you need to wonder where you'll put all those happily-growing and healthy mushrooms. Because it's possible to grow enough mushrooms for the occasional mushroom dinner right in the house, but if you want to go commercial, well, you're going to need a greenhouse area at least.
If you have the area, the next thing you're going to have to think of are planting containers. Remember that mushrooms are not plants, and they don't need a deep container in which to grow. Instead think large and flat, containers that are more shallow pans than real pots. Most stores that specialize in gardening supplies should be able to accommodate you. Once you've got everything arranged, the best thing you could do would be to begin with one pan. And this is about the time you need to prepare your mushroom growth medium.
It's easy to put together - you need cow or horse manure and straw. Mix them well in a shallow tub with holes in the bottom so that water can run off. You need to mix straw well into this. Add gypsum to the mix as you go about the mixing process. Now cover it with a sack and store it for a while. After some time mix the pile again and cover it again. Repeat this several times. Finally, your mixture should be ready, and you can go ahead and empty it into your boxes.
Is mushroom growing as easy as it's made out to be? The answer is yes. This is because mushrooms are actually fairly simple organisms that require a very specific set of environmental conditions in which to grow. If they don't have this set of conditions, they don't grow. On the other hand, the good news is that if they do have that set of conditions, they grow almost without any maintenance at all. Another bit of good news is that these conditions are easy to provide. All you really need to grow mushrooms is dark and humidity.You can provide dark by simply having an enclosed space, and humidity can be provided for by spraying the growing medium in which the mushrooms are planted with a water spray twice a day. Mushrooms are very productive, and you'll have a new harvest of mushrooms starting to grow even as you take out the grown ones. And they're very nutritious, and well worth the little effort it takes to grow them. If you're growing them just to provide the occasional mushroom meal for your family, you needn't bother to take too much trouble or effort over them.
Simply walk into your local gardening store and buy a complete mushroom kit. They are also available online, at even more competitive prices, and if you buy these kits online they'll be delivered right to your doorstep. These kits really make mushroom growing easy, because they contain just about everything that a person needs to get started. They usually come in a closed container that can be put up just about anywhere in the house that has the right temperature range. The container itself provides the mushrooms with dark, so you don't have to worry about that aspect of things.
The container will also contain mushroom spawn and a growth medium, and all that you actually have to do with this system is to spray the growth medium regularly - surely not much of a task. You see how, with a mushroom kit, your mushrooms are virtually guaranteed. If you feel up to the task at some later time, you can try growing mushrooms on a larger scale, perhaps in a shed in the garden or in an outhouse. But if you're just starting up and want to get the hang of the very basics of mushroom growing, then one of these starter kits is really your best bet.
That's an interesting question indeed, and you may well be stumped by it even if you happen to be an excellent gardener. Even if you've had your own well-kept lawns and garden for years, you may still find mushroom growing difficult, because the simple fact of the matter is that mushroom growing is a whole new ball game.But why is this so? It's because mushrooms are not really plants, but fungi, and this changes all the rules. You can't use mud to grow them in, for one thing. The usual fertilizers and pesticides won't work - not that you'll want to use them if you're set on growing organic mushrooms for consumption. Anyway, the point that I want to make is that there are a lot of new things to learn, and the sooner you can get started learning them, the better you'll ultimately be at either providing your family with a regular mushroom diet, or at growing them commercially for sale.
Now, the first parameter when you're growing anything (not just mushrooms), is space. If you're just growing enough for the occasional mushroom meal for your family, then you could even grow mushrooms indoors, inside your house. But if you want to grow them on a larger scale, you're going to have to have a garden shed, at the very least. A greenhouse or a small barn would be even better. One nice thing about growing mushrooms is that you can use your space very efficiently. Simply fill the available space with shelving, with the shelves about a foot apart, and with space for you to move around (or in-between) the shelves, of course. After this it's a simple matter of acquiring a great many flat trays (each about three to four inches deep) and placing them on the shelves.
You may wonder how it's possible to grow mushrooms this way, and I'll remind you that these fungi don't need the presence of light in which to grow, and so can be grown in this way most efficiently. Then you need to buy some commercial mushroom growing medium, or you can make your own (it's not difficult) and fill the trays with it. Plant the mushroom 'seed' - the correct term to use here is spores or spawn, and not seed - and you'll have your mushrooms growing in no time at all. While this is a very cost effective approach, there are ways to make mushroom growing even more cost-effective by harvesting spores, but that's a subject for a separate article.
Everyone knows that mushroom growing needs a dark, moist area. But many people don't realize that one can actually arrange an area that is sufficiently moist and dark in one's own greenhouse. The fact that people don't realize that they can potentially grow mushrooms right in their own greenhouse means that they often don't use this optimal place, even when they have it at their disposal.It's true that a greenhouse may not seem like an optimal location in which to go about your mushroom growing at first sight. But this is a fallacy. A green house can easily be adapted to the task of growing mushrooms and doing so can involve something as simple as covering the greenhouse with a canopy of plastic. So long as you screen out the light your mushrooms should do perfectly well. Another thing that you're going to have to see to if you want to grow mushrooms in your greenhouse is ensuring that temperatures remain stable. Mushrooms don't like too much of a variation in temperature and so this is something that you must try to avoid. If you can keep the temperature above around fifty degrees F and below sixty degrees F or so, your mushrooms should do just fine.
Now, another thing that you need to know about mushrooms is that if you want them to grow reasonably well, or indeed even to grow at all, you can't begin by planting them in mud. This is because fungi, which is what mushrooms are, don't grow in soil. Their organism is essentially made up of quite different materials from those of plants, and this means that mushrooms will refuse to grow unless planted in a medium that is rich in nitrogen. Such a medium is called a growth medium, and it can either be produced yourself with some effort, or can be bought in a store. If you intend to create the growth medium yourself, bear in mind that this can take some effort and is hardly worthwhile unless you intend growing a fairly large quantity of edible mushrooms.
On the other hand, for those in the initial stages of mushroom growing or those without much experience I would recommend a readymade growth medium. This will be more than adequate to your needs until you gain more experience, or alternatively, wish to expand productivity. At that stage, you can always begin producing your own growth medium to reduce the costs of your mushroom growing.
The key to successful mushroom growing is really the environment that you maintain, and the nutrient mix that you use. Mushrooms are not organisms that adapt well to a variable environment, so if you want to grow mushrooms, you're going to have to ensure that the environment that you grow them in remains stable.The first aspect that you need to concentrate upon is light. While mushrooms can survive a small quantity of light, what they really love is darkness, so you're going to have to maintain a dark environment if you want your mushrooms to grow. On a small scale, this sort of darkness can be maintained just about anywhere. You could even grow mushrooms in a closed box mounted on a wall, right in your own home.
However, large scale growing had best not be done inside the house; this is because the nutrient mix used for mushrooms is so rich that it can encourage the growth of all sorts of pathogens. Growing mushrooms on a large scale inside the house could flood your house with these pathogens, and lead to infections and respiratory diseases. However, it's perfectly save to grow mushrooms inside the house on a very small scale.
If you have space in your garden shed, and if it doesn't suffer from draughts, it can do just fine for growing mushrooms. If you have a greenhouse available, you could use it for your mushroom growing, so long as you take the trouble to build a darkened enclosure for the mushrooms, or screen the glass panes of the greenhouse in some way. And of course, if you have a barn, that would be perfect.
Wherever you grow them, remember that your mushrooms need stable temperatures, and maintaining those temperatures can be absolutely crucial. If the temperature range were to rise or fall more than five degrees above or below fifty five degrees Fahrenheit for any length of time, you can be sure that your mushrooms will die.
For the same reason, draughts are absolutely fatal to mushrooms, because they usually include a drastic rise or fall in temperature, and this is what kills off mushrooms. The good news is, however, that if you manage to maintain the environment, and let's face it, it isn't that hard to do, mushroom growing can be pretty effortless. So long as you get the environment right, you can be assured that your mushrooms will give you little or no trouble.
Most things these days have been made exceedingly simple and mushroom growing is not an exception. There are mushroom growing kits that will have you growing mushrooms within an hour after the kit arise. However, relying upon somebody else's expertise (and that is what you do when you buy a kit), can only get you so far. When you buy a kit, and rely upon someone else's expertise, you also obviously have to pay for that expertise, and this can send your costs up to unacceptable levels.The simple fact is that if you want to grow mushrooms on anything but the smallest scale, you're going to have to learn the details of mushroom growing yourself. It's the only way to cut costs. If you pay for a kit every time, you may end up paying as much for your mushrooms as you would pay in a store anyway. Of course, the mushrooms that you grow in your kit are more organic, so if your aim in growing mushrooms is merely to assure yourself of a supply of organic mushrooms, obtained at the least possible trouble, then a kit may indeed be the best choice.
But if cost matters to you, as it matters to most of us, then learning to do at least some of the tasks involved in mushroom growing is in your best interests. Let's not go for complete independence right away, but instead learn of some ways to cut costs that will still keep the task of mushroom growing fairly simple.
One of the first things you need to do is to stop relying upon kits that provide you with everything. Culture a little independence in yourself. Start by choosing an area of your property that you think will be good for growing mushrooms. A greenhouse, properly modified for darkness, can be excellent, but a garden shed can do just as well, albeit on a smaller scale. Now visit your local gardening store and pick up some flat boxes. These will do very well for planting trays. You can buy mushroom growing medium at this stage. After all, these are only your first steps towards complete independence.
Another thing you can think of buying are the mushroom spores themselves. These are called spawn when they're processed, and they're pretty freely available. If you put these three components together, you can have a medium sized mushroom growing setup operational in a very short time, and at a fraction of the cost of buying complete kits.
Hey how're you? Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. My name is Emmanuel. I hail from State College, PA. I grew up always enjoying the outdoors, it's so peaceful isn't it? Even though I wasn't good at growing at first, I stuck with it, I honestly just wanted the satisfaction of creating something. In 2012 I joined the NAVY, and for years I got away from my passion, and really didn't like my job anyway. So, after a while I decided to jump back into it, and thus was born, "Growers Unite". In here I'll cover all the fundamentals, tips, tricks and my own trials and tribulations, lets get started.