Amazing the year has flown by so fast. We’ve been busier than ever. Hope to see you at the Farmer’s Market!
Author: jrhred J
Another week of lion’s mane
We’ve been so busy it is challenging to keep up with uploading videos.
This was the view inside on the 3rd. Thanks for everyone’s interest in our mushrooms! We hope to see you Saturday at the Farmer’s Market in Ukiah or locally another day.
Moving right along
There are going to be some happy people at the Ukiah Farmers Market tomorrow!
See you there!
A great beginning
We have begun refilling the lion’s mane chamber. Harvests have already been occurring with many more lion’s manes on their way! See you at the Farmers Market!
Last year, what appeared to be shiitakes were noticed to be naturalizing in the forest. This year, we paid closer attention and they are indeed shiitakes! They tasted great last night. Clones were attempted and will be tested on bags and on logs. Stay tuned for further developments of our new local shiitake strain.
A look at what is coming
Our new high pressure pump has been up and running trouble-free for a few days now.
Thanks to Eric Meyers for the idea!
See you at the Farmers Market!
NOT Hericium abietis
4 April 2019 UPDATE:
These are unmistakably Hericium erinaceus that were grown from a commercial liquid culture misidentified as Hericium abietis. There is no question about that identification; especially as they have begun putting on teeth and slicing one opened revealed a solid interior. At least now I know why I’ve been puzzling over their appearance looking so stubbornly underdeveloped!
For sake of comparison, the first image below is of a correctly identified Hericium abietis photographed at the Mount Pisgah Mushroom Festival at Eugene, Oregon.
The following show what was grown from a commercial culture that was purchased earlier this year. The amazing part is that these mushrooms grew so well on a mixture of douglas-fir, white pine and spruce!
That mushroom was delicious in dinner last night. Both the taste and the texture were excellent.
NOT Hericium abietis 3 April 2019
I am amazed at how big these are getting prior to putting on their adult teeth. Those bags are 9 inches (22.95 cm) wide.
The media is a supplemented blend of doug-fir, pine and spruce.
However, the ID of these is presently in question until I start seeing a lot more tooth and branch development.
23 March 2019
Rather than creating a new post, here is a closer look at a couple of what are NOT Hericium abietis on the 26th of March.
And a look at the NOT Hericium abietis on the 29th of March.
Spring is almost here!
A slideshow and talk was recently given to the Mendocino Coast Mushroom Club. It was a lot of fun that included meeting a bunch of really nice mushroom people!
I had hoped to load that slideshow to the website but encountered some technical difficulties. It was instead turned into a ~157mb PDF that can be accessed HERE. The only slide that did not import was the video above.
Lion’s manes are back!
The first harvest of a few lion’s manes occurred this week. Unsurprisingly they all sold at yesterday’s market. More are on the way for this Saturday’s Farmers Market and for next week.
Shiitakes are starting
Shiitakes have begun fruiting. The shiitake logs began recently and the spawn bags are going now.
We decided to take advantage of the hot weather for pressure washing the entire facility. We will be back at the Farmer’s Markets in early September.
18 July update
We experienced camera failure today but this proved to be another week with more than 23 pounds of lion’s manes harvested.
Lion’s mane in mid-July
Summer always takes effort to keep these cool weather mushrooms happy.
As soon as we get through our current round of bags, we will perform our annual summer cleaning cycle. That will occur in less than two weeks.
We plan to be offline as briefly as possible as the demand for these is presently running high.
See you at the Farmer’s Market
There were a lot of happy people in Ukiah on Saturday.
See you in Ft. Bragg today.
We had a harvest of more than 9 lbs on the 6th.
Another harvest of 7.6 lbs occurred last night.
And another harvest will occur late today. (It was more than 6 lbs.)
Another great week.
This week saw a total harvest of 21 pounds of lion’s manes and a much smaller amount of shiitakes. Our mushrooms have been selling out the past couple of weeks so we will keep expanding our production to fulfill the growing demand.
We hope to see you at the Ft. Bragg, Mendocino or Ukiah certified Farmers Market.
See you at the Farmer’s Market.
Lion’s mane harvests are still on the light side (4 kg were harvested from the two trays shown fruiting in the previous video) but despite that they made some people in Mendocino happy last week (and a couple in Ukiah). A light offering of our mushrooms will be at Ft. Bragg today and more at Ukiah on Saturday; with lots more to come and another round of bags scheduled to be opened and added today. We will also be at Mendocino next week.
Another week of mushroom growth; shown on Tuesday afternoon..
AND, while the next shiitakes to be harvested from our spawn bag production are still some weeks in the future, the first few shiitakes are beginning on some of the ricks that were plugged last summer.
Spring in 2018
We are looking forward to the 2018 Farmer’s Market season!
This year we will be sharing mushrooms with The Forest People so we will be offering each other’s mushrooms; our lion’s manes and their oysters respectively. One or both of us hopes to see you in Mendocino, Ft. Bragg or Ukiah at the MCFarm certified farmers market.
A look at the Hericium fruiting chamber today is below. It appears that we will be back at a steady pace again within the next two weeks.
The garden is gearing up for Spring also.
We will soon have gobo (burdock root) and will be bringing some incredible ha gobo leaves to the next farmer’s market. This has become one of our favorite greens. It has a flavor similar to collards but with a luscious velvety mouth feel.
New life in 2018
After resolving a technical problem with our ISP, all of our web content and email occurring since the 26th of last July has vanished.
Some views of the Hericium fruiting chamber are below; taking us up to the point of a fungus gnat invasion in January. We shut down following that discovery (look for discolored or prematurely toothy fruiting bodies to see its beginning), decontaminated the entire facility, built another layer of entryway protection and are now in the process of refilling the chamber with bags again for 2018 Farmers Market.
New videos will be added soon showing our progress but for now here are some looks at our experience occurring between late July 2017 and January 2018.
Two weeks of growth: part 2 — 28 July 2017 IMG 2607
Two weeks of growth: part 3 — 28 July 2017 IMG 2620
Two weeks of growth: part 4 — 1 aug 2017 IMG 2622
Two weeks of growth: part 5 — 1 aug 2017 IMG 2642
Two weeks of growth: part 6 — 5 aug 2017 IMG 2661
Two weeks of growth: part 7 — 9 aug 2017 IMG 2676
Hericium erinaceus 2018 January 04 IMG 5042
Hericium erinaceus 13 Jan 2018 IMG 5335
Hericium erinaceus 19 Jan 2018 IMG 5793
Hericium erinaceus 25 january 2018 IMG 5959
26 July 2017
The Hericium fruiting chamber today.
This year’s spring rains added some challenges but we are now in the process of getting our production back up to speed.
We look forward to seeing you at the Boonville Farmer’s Market.
Another great year!
2017 promises to be an exiting year. We hope to see you at the Boonville Farmer’s Market.
As of February 25, 2017, we can now accept payments using credit cards or PayPal at the Farmer’s Market.
22 October 2016
The view inside the Hericium fruiting chamber as of yesterday.
We hope to see you at the Boonville Farmer’s Market!
Today was a great day for lion’s manes.
This was the view just before harvest:
I noticed some minor water drippage problems that I need to fine tune as I lost a couple of mushrooms to it. Check out the upper side of this beautiful lion’s mane. Notice that grey spot? This otherwise nice looking mushroom is unsaleable because of that.
Off the subject of lion’s manes for a moment, I was surprised to see this Pleurotus fruiting on a familiar Hericium tree.
This gorgeous lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) was not as much of a surprise since this is the sixth year for this spot but it did surprise me by being so early. Around now has been more typical to find it at a much earlier stage of growth. Hericium coralloides has also been abundant on this same fallen trunk during those same years but it won’t get going until after it gets cold.
We can’t sell wild Hericium erinaceus in California but we sure do enjoy eating them.
We made a small harvest for market in between these two sets of images but thought it would be of interest to see some paired images from 30 September and 1 October as they show how fast lion’s manes can grow.
Lion’s manes will be available again soon; beginning with next week’s Boonville Farmer’s Market.
We will also have a few shiitakes, assorted tomatoes and some amazing potatoes.
We look forward to seeing you there.
2 March 2016
24 January 2016
We are clearly fast approaching the point of establishing the maximum production capacity of this fruiting chamber. The blobby mushrooms are all young Hericium americanum.
The CO2 level is still running a little high (650 ppm) but I’m hoping to have that dialed in within the next couple of days by adding a larger vent fan (replacing one of the existing ones – a 4″- with a 7-inch inline exhast fan).
RIght now it is where we want (between 450-500 ppm) only until the chamber gets more than half way full. Preventing the massive spore load from clogging the insect screening has also become a recurrent maintenance task as the accumulation of spores plays a major role in interferring with good air exchange. The air inside of the fruiting chamber is completely replaced with fresh air six times every hour.
See you at the Farmer’s Market this weekend
19 November 2015
It is actually the 4th of December and I had hoped to post this pair of youtube videos a few days ago so am editing an older post.
The first view was following a harvest and the beginning of another round of open bags. Some from the previous round are still going and on their second flush.
This was the view on 24 November.
There is another video at youtube that was taken in between those. The camera had become lost and does not reliably date media so the day it was taken is unclear but was likely on the 21st or 22nd of November.
Hericium erinaceus on 5 November 2015
Hericium erinaceus 24 October 2015
Cultivated: 167 grams (1/3rd lb.)
Hericium erinaceus 1 November 2015
Wild: 730 grams
We can’t sell wild mushrooms but we certainly do eat them! Part of this one was delicious last night cooked with chicken and vegetables.
And there was another Lion’s mane that was found today (2 November). Harvesting mushrooms such as this one can be potentially dangerous.
I did not manage to bring this one down as a single, 791 gram, piece.
There was another one above it that was easily 30+ feet higher on the tree (so it was safe from me).
A Chinese adage is good to keep in mind considering Hericium erinaceus eats trees:
“Fools and smoke like to climb high”
This is that same tree when I checked it a month ago (5 October)
Getting back into gear
Things are moving along well as we begin refilling the Hericium fruiting chamber.
These images are from 22 October 2015.
We just completed a nice harvest, removed those trays and replaced them with the spawn bags that are ready. We hope to see you at this weekend’s Farmer’s Market.
It will be the second to last certified Farmer’s Market of the season.
What is in our mushrooms?
What goes into our mushrooms is really simple.
We start with tan-oak (Lithocarpus densifolia) sawdust from the local business Frank’s Firewood.
Frank is in the business of producing and selling firewood but that process creates a lot of great sawdust which is perfect for our needs. Frank refuses to take in any trees that have been killed or treated with herbicides.
To that is added organic wheat bran and the highest-quality pure gypsum that is considered to be ‘organic’. We are not presently recognized as organic producers but do our best to include only pure ingredients.
When we make spawn, we use organic rye grain. If we order commercial grain spawn it comes from a certified organic producer.
The only other thing that we incorporate in the recipe for our mushroom growing media is the high-quality water from our protected well.
We are taking it one step farther and as of late February 2016 will be using only organic nonGMO dextrose which is derived from grapes and imported from Italy thanks to Naturalia Ingredients and Ciranda. There was so much difficulty locating organic dextrose that we have decided to offer small quantities at reasonable prices to other mushroom producers who are wanting to use entirely organic ingredients.
Lion’s mane are delicate and fragile mushrooms that can bruise easily (compare ours to those from other producers). To minimize handling, and any bruising or discoloration, we carefully pick each individual Lion’s manes using a bakery tissue and gently nestle them together loosely. Most mushrooms, such as shiitakes, don’t require that. Whenever possible all of our mushrooms are harvested directly into their resale packaging. Boxes such as the one below promptly go into refrigeration to ensure you of the longest possible shelflife.
The most important thing we put into the production of all of our mushrooms is a lot of love.
Simple is good.
5 October 2015
Our summer maintenance is complete and everything is just beginning to gear back up towards full production.
The conditions inside are as close to being perfect as I could want for keeping the lion’s manes happy.
Carbon dioxide level & temperature meter
The Lion’s manes are doing great. They even permitted a small harvest for last weekend’s Farmer’s Market.
Getting ready to fruit; two have small ones already
The outside temperatures cooling off at nighttime lately triggered a log to fruit. You can see why we’ve grown fonder of bag production as it leaves the mushrooms really clean by comparison.
We hope to see you at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market in Boonville.
Held Saturdays from 10AM-1230PM in the Boonville Hotel parking lot until the end of this month.
The hot temperatures lately seemed to suggest a perfect opportunity to clean the fruiting chamber and get ready for some nice Hericium weather again (outdoors and indoors).
That process all went great but for reasons we do not understand recovery is proceeding a little slowly. We had hoped to have the lion’s manes back in action for this week’s Farmer’s Market but it appears they won’t catch up with the interest until midweek next week.
Shiitakes are still ongoing and increasing in numbers.
Tomatoes in recent weeks:
Downloadable PDF version of this page
Cooking with the Lion’s Mane mushrooms (Hericium species)
There are many ways to cook the Lion’s mane (Hericium) mushrooms.
My favorite two:
1) Cut into 1/2 inch slices or if solid and very large the slices also get re-sliced into 1/2” wide strips. Some people prefer to tear them into pieces. Try both approaches to discover which you like best.
Wild harvested mushrooms, including Lion’s mane, will usually go into a dry fry pan at the beginning to ‘sweat out’ a lot of liquid (and flavor). which will then take a few minutes to reduce and be re-sorbed back into the mushroom (usually 6-8).
If the hericiums were cultivated, or if they were wild harvested during periods of non-rainy weather, they usually need a few tablespoons of water to be added at first (and occasionally more later) to prevent scorching.
If oil is used it should be only enough to prevent sticking. Too much results in frying the mushroom. Ideally just small bits of water should be used at this point.
The mushrooms should be started on a medium high heat and cooked for around 1-2 minutes with stirring — just to get them completely hot quickly, then the heat should then be reduced to medium low or low and they should be cooked covered for another 15 minutes with occasional stirring. Halfway into the cooking add a small amount of butter or a 2:1 mixture of olive oil and butter.
Wine or other optional liquid seasonings should be added only towards the end of the cooking process or they can be absorbed to the point of obscuring the delicate flavor of the lion’s mane.
2) Start out the same as above but add the butter and/or oil much sooner, as soon as liquids have been resorbed by the mushrooms. (be sure that all excess liquid has been resorbed before adding butter/oil) and cook over moderate heat until the edges and teeth begin to get golden-brown and crunchy. This will require a bit more oil than the first method plus very close monitoring towards the end, to avoid scorching.
All Hericium mushroom species freeze well once cooked. They can be prepared when available, packed into half-pint jars, and frozen for use at another time.
Easy Chicken with Lion’s Mane, peppers & potatoes
Thinly slice or dice a medium onion and a largish clove of garlic.
Lightly cook in a frying pan in oil. I greatly like a blend of Avocado oil and roasted garlic olive oil.
Add 1/2 dozen baby bell peppers cut into quarters.
When the color of the onions and the peppers begins to change, turn over and add 1-3/4# organic boneless chicken thighs, approximately 2 cups of (four medium sized)
potatoes or the equivalent in small potatoes, roughly same amount of Hericium as potatoes (cut into 1/2 inch sections; or if large the slices should be resliced into 1/2″ wide strips) approximately two cups once chopped. I like to add one or two slices of butter at that point as well.
Cover and cook on medium-low to medium heat until the chicken is done. Usually 15-20 minutes.
Salt and/or pepper to taste, if needed.
Hot peppers may be added with the bell peppers if heat is desired and the chicken may be omitted if a vegetarian dish is desired.
If the chicken is omitted more monitoring is required and a few tablespoons of water may be needed in order to prevent scorching of the vegetables.
Cooking with Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
Cook them in good oil such as butter, olive-oil:butter, avocado oil, etcetera until the slices are limp.
Shiitakes are versatile. They can be stir fried, baked plain or stuffed, marinated and grilled, added whole to the vegetables that get cooked along with a roast or in an earthen oven, added to soups, stews or meat dishes, or they can be cooked alone and enjoyed as dish. Precooked shiitakes can also then be combined with other foods such as omelettes, vegetables, soups and salads. It may be convenient to cook enough mushrooms for adding to 2 or 4 meals. Cooked shiitakes freeze acceptably.
Butter, garlic & a little salt may compliment shiitakes own distinctive flavor.
Stems of shiitakes are most often fibrous and very tough. They should be removed before cooking.
Thicker stems can be very thinly sliced and fried until golden brown in butter or butter and oil for a crispy-to-chewy treat. Thinner, tougher stems can be dried and ground into a powder for later use as a thickening agent in soups, stews, stock reductions and many types of sauces. Or stems *can* be discarded.
Shiitake ‘bacon’ with sea-palm fronds
Slice shiitakes thin but not too thinly. A couple to several (2-4) mm is fine. Try to slice them evenly.
Place the slices into a bowl and add a minimum amount of your favorite cooking oil then gently stir extremely well. A variant of this is to spread the slices out on a cooking sheet and lightly mist with a light spray of oil before tossing to coat all surfaces. It is important to not use too much oil.
The goal is to get a bare minimum but thorough coating of oil on all of the mushrooms. A special touch can be created by adding a drop of liquid smoke to the oil and shaking very well before oiling the mushrooms.
Once this is done lightly season with sea salt and again mix thoroughly. Other seasonings can also be added but keeping it simple has great results.
Spread the shiitakes out into a single layer on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven, checking frequently, especially towards the end.
You want them to cook completely dry, turning brown with some golden parts. This takes a few minutes (15 or more minutes is common; the hotter the oven the faster it goes but monitor them carefully as rotating the pan may be required in some ovens. The last few minutes of this goes very fast so it requires a close eye to prevent burning.
Using care, transfer the baked mushrooms from the hot sheet into a bowl.
Let it cool and you now have a bowl of shiitake bacon.
Break some crunchy dried sea palm fronds into smaller pieces & toss with your shiitake bacon. Enjoy.
If you are an optimist this can be packed into a jar and placed into a refrigerator for storage. If you are a realist you will probably leave it available on the counter knowing it will be consumed very quickly.
Caution: this food item may be found to be compulsively addictive.
It is important to cook shiitakes thoroughly.
Approximately one in 50 or more people appear to have a sensitivity to uncooked or undercooked shiitakes. Most shiitakes consumed in the world are dried and then rehydrated; drying is not the same as cooking and a thorough cooking is still needed.
In those rare individuals who are allergic, consuming undercooked or raw shiitakes may result in a skin rash resembling poison oak but accompanied by characteristic scratch-like lines (“flagellate”). If there is an allergic reaction, the rash begins 24-72 hr following ingestion and can last for up to 14 days. It resolves spontaneously without any treatment but a doctor can shorten its duration.
Most people are not allergic. Thoroughly cooked shiitakes appear to be OK for everyone.
29 June 2015
Our shiitakes are finally getting going again!
This first small round of bags is showing some signs of heat stress but they are just the beginning. The new fruiting chamber should be able to keep the shiitakes cool enough to stay happy this summer. It just came online within the past few days.
25 June 2015
A peak inside of the Hericium fruiting chamber.
The day before market
Here is a look at a few of the mushrooms that will be going to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow (23 May 2015).
This week the Boonville Farmer’s Market is being held at its regular time from 10-1230 in the Boonville Hotel parking lot followed by a special event at the Madrones in Philo from 1-4.
Three Hericium species will be available this week and the shiitakes are getting closer to fruiting with every passing day.
Hericium americanum (Bear’s head) is winding down. This cycle has been a market-test to see how well people like it so the availability is still limited. If it does well at this weekend’s market I’ll start up another run of it and it will return to production in a few weeks.
Hericium coralloides (Coral tooth) will be there in very limited numbers for the lucky few people who can grab them first.
And the Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) will be there of course.
This was the view inside of the fruiting chamber today:
These bags are heading towards being ready for next week:
And I thought it might be time for another tour inside of the fruiting chamber:
A day before market
Just a look at a few of the mushrooms that are going to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow (16 May 2015).
Some Hericium americanum (compare these to a few days ago).
For a sense of scale, those bags are 9 inches wide.
This smallish one was really anxious to get some spores out.
The tray on top is regular Hericium erinaceus lion’s manes that will start putting on fruit in the next few days. The row below that are the Hericium americanum that are being harvested this week.
These bags are merrily incubating and will be ready to open for fruiting in another week.
I love Hericiums!
I’m not just saying that as a figure of speech. I really love the experience of eating, smelling, touching, seeing or just being near any of the Hericiums.
The new fruiting chamber is working very well. Fine tuning the misting is still ongoing but the lion’s mane mushrooms all really love it in there.
These images show a few of what was fruiting today. For some reason I failed to take photographs of the last two lots which were harvested and delivered within just the last few days.
Bags that were opened but which are showing no fruit in these images were either just harvested on Thursday and Friday or else just entered the rotation and will begin fruiting within this week.
Lots of learning is still ongoing. For example I’ve found that if I make cuts in the bags that are too large, a little bit of the sawdust and/or grain media ends up on the back of the mushroom. Not a big deal but it is also avoidable. If I make them too small, the fruit can spontaneously fall off as it gets big. If I do it just right, they almost want to drop into my hand with a very clean separation.
Alternating cycles of intense heavy fog with periods that drop to 85% relative humidity has also been appreciated by them. I’ve also increased the total chamber venting time by 8 minutes per hour due to the CO2 level increasing as the chamber started becoming more filled with bags. Exhaust fans vent the air six times every hour.
I’ve read that lion’s manes don’t like light during colonization. I’ve even grown them that way. They do fine starting in total darkness (and also do fine with ZERO supplementation) but grow much slower and take longer before their first fruiting. They seem to appreciate loght and they grow a lot better with it. As soon as they are on sawdust, the incubating bags here currently experience a 10/14 day/night cycle. I’m still learning so this ratio may change. Light also noticeably contributes positively to mycelial growth. Light does add some problems for the same reason it has value though due to the risk of the LED cables behind the trays stimulating growth through the filter patch leading to fruit forming and becoming trapped behind the bags. The precautions against light also have value for decreasing the incidence of microfruiting of Hericium on agar and grain.
The Hericium americanum are starting to really develop. I’m not sure if I am going to wait until the teeth develop or not. One that I picked and added to dinner as a test was great.
This Hericium coralloides was delicious.
Lots of Hericium erinaceus have been fruiting
And “Shanti”, a really nice multilobed Hericium erinaceus variant, is also growing very well.
Cultivated Hericium erinaceus
Comments about our cultivated Lion’s mane mushrooms
Why do we only sell cultivated Hericium?
Why not add some *wild* harvested Hericium?
It is certainly possible to harvest the Hericium species and many other mushrooms from the wild. Both of us have been avid foragers of wild mushrooms for some years now, to be part of our own diet, and we consume a rather substantial quantity of wild Hericium species every year, but we sell only cultivated mushrooms.
There are many benefits of mushroom cultivation.
A few of those include:
1) a predictable supply that is not based on lucky weather, seasonally limited fruiting periods, and the timing of visitation all coinciding productively,
2) the ability to harvest only the highest-quality mushrooms at their peak,
3) knowing that they are free from molds,
4) the ability to prevent excessive moisture content (a frequent challenge with wild lion’s mane especially when large),
5) the production of fungal bodies that are clean (rather than containing forest debris, and many tiny beetles , fungus gnats, their larvae, and mites, often inside of the mushroom’s tissues, as is quite common with wild-collected lion’s mane),
6) much greater personal safety during harvesting; compared to climbing or otherwise recovering fruiting bodies from a rotting tree (& it completely avoids the uniquely unpleasant but harmless experience of “catching” a large falling lion’s mane with one’s forehead),
7) there is the added benefit of control over the ingredients of the media; ensuring the least possible risk of any type of heavy metal accumulation.
That last point is an important concern about which many people appear to be aware.
We commonly associate heavy metals with industrial pollution and can forget that potentially toxic elements such as lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel and arsenic are not uncommonly natural and normal minor components of rocks and soil. Many of the edible mushroom species appear to have the ability to accumulate one or more of these metals IF they are present and bioavailable in their surroundings.
Cultivation permits the grower to know, within reason, exactly what is contained in their growing media and minimize that risk. In the EU, maximum permissible levels of heavy metals have been established for both wild and cultivated mushroom species that are sold to the public. The USA lacks regulation in this particular area.
How mushroom cultivation works (a more detailed pictorial will be added here in the future):
All media (whether liquid culture, agar, grain or sawdust) is first cooked in a pressure cooker in an attempt to kill any potential contaminant prior to the inoculation. The inoculation work is performed in front of a hepafiltered flowhood that temporarily creates a clean, almost sterile, working space as the resulting filtered air-flow is free from microbes and mold spores.
Cultures of the edible mushroom species are far more often produced by cloning than from spores. The reason is simple; spores produce a broad range of individuals with different performances and yields. A commercial mushroom producer needs to select for only the most vigorous and productive of those in order to be a successful farmer. Once a good performing clone has been identified and proven by growing it out through the entire fruiting process, future propagation focuses on inoculations using that same clone line. Most, perhaps all, professional cultivators keep an eye out for unusually nice fruiting bodies that might provide a lineage of good production for them.
Clones are created by taking a small piece of tissue from inside of a living mushroom and transferring it to a sterile culture medium of some sort.
Commercial sources exist for Hericium erinaceus, and up to three other species (H. americanum, H. clathroides & H. coralloides). They are variously available as mycelial cultures on agar, in petri dishes or slants, and in liquid culture, as well as grain spawn, sawdust spawn intended for plugging logs, hardwood dowels colonized with mycelium, and sometimes even precolonized on sawdust cakes ready-to-fruit.
The growth of cultures that are intended for production are often begun on either agar in a petri dish or in water in a jar that has a filter disk for a lid — either one containing a low concentration of a source of sugar such as dextrose or light malt extract.
This can then be repeated once the colonization has taken place and small portions of the mycelium can be used to inoculate additional plates of agar or liquid culture or at some point either can be transferred onto grain.
Each jar of colonized grain can potentially then be used to inoculate more jars of grain. The endpoint for those jars of grain is that they are eventually used to inoculate a number of bags of sawdust that have been supplemented with wheat bran and a mixture of gypsum and oyster shell.
After the bags are inoculated, they get to luxuriate in the cool, moist, protected environment of their fruiting chamber (an insulated shipping container with filtered air and good pre-conditioned ventilation). As soon as the bags are colonized, small cuts are made in a couple of spots to permit the fruit to form on the outside of the bag.
The fruit tends to naturally occur most often on a vertical surface, or even under a negative incline, rather than on top of a horizontal surface. This particular run pictured below is evaluating the yield from a top fruiting arrangement.
A short tour of the Hericium fruiting chamber:
Our favorite time to harvest is when the teeth have just started. The texture is nice, the taste is mildly almost sweet and the shelf-life is longer.
It is not yet clear exactly what tomatoes we will be offering this year but an update will be added as soon as possible.
These are a few images of last year’s tomatoes (summer 2014).
AKA “Vietnamese Cilantro”
Polygonum odoratum Lour. — renamed Persicaria odorata (Lour.) Soják
Fresh leaves and young stems are used fresh.
Many common names can be encountered online:
Cambodian: Chi krasang tomhom, Chi pong tea koun
Chinese [Cantonese]: 越南香菜 (Yuht nàahm hēung choi), also 喇沙葉 (Lāak sāa yihp) [Singapore Cantonese])
Chinese [Mandarin]: 越南香菜 (Yuè nán xiāng cài), 喇沙葉 (Lā shā yè)
Czech: Kokořík vonný
Danish: Vietnamesisk Koriander
English: Asian mint, Cambodian mint, Hot mint, Kesum, Laksa plant, Perennial coriander, Smartweed, Vietnamese coriander, Vietnamese cilantro, Vietnamese mint (this last common name is shared with Kinh Gioi: Elsholtzia ciliata)
French: Coriandre du Vietnam, Persicaire du Vietnam, Renouée odorante
German: Vietnamesischer Koriander, Wohlriechender Knöterich
Hmong: Luam laws
Hungarian: Vietnámi menta
Khmer: Chi krassang tomhom, Xang-hum
Lao: Phak phew/Phak phaew/Phak pheo
Malay: Dawn laksa/Daun laksa, Dawn kesum/Daun kesom [Singapore]
Manipuri [Meitei-Lon]: Phakpai/Phak-Pai
Russian: Купена лекарственная (Kupiena lekarstvennaya), Горец ароматный (Gomets aromatny)
Singapore: Daun kesom, Laksa herb, Laksa leaves, Laksa plant, Laksa yip
Spanish: Culatro de Vietnam, Culatro
Thai: จันทร์โฉม (Chan chom), หอมจันทน์ (Hom chan) [Ayutthaya], ผักไผ่ (Phak phai/Pak pai/Phak pai), พริกม้า (Phrik ma) [Northeastern Thailand], Pa pao
Vietnamese: Rau Râm
Burdock root comes from the Greater Burdock or Arctium lappa.
Once grown as a common and popular vegetable in the European Middle Ages, burdock has inexplicably fallen out of popularity in modern times. It is still quite well-loved and eaten throughout Asia.
Brazil: bardana, garduna.
China: ngau pong, niúbàng (牛蒡 ), niu bang zi.
Croatia: čaj od čička, lopuh, lapušina, veliki čičak, veliki ripanj
Czech republic: lopuch větsí.
English-speaking countries: burdock, edible burdock, greater burdock, great burdock, great bur, common burdock, aireve, airup, bachelor’s-buttons (more often applied to Centaurea cyanus), bardane root, bazzies (?), beggar’s button, billy-buttons, bourholm (obsolete), burr seed, clive, clit-bur, great clotbur, clot, clod, cockle-bar, cockle-bur (more often applied to the Xanthium species), cockle-button, cockly-bur, crocklety-bur, cockly, cuckoldy-bur, cuckold-dock, cucklemoors, cuckold-dock, cuckoo-button, eddick (?), edible goberon, flapper-bags, Fox’s clote, happy major, harebur, hardock (also appearing incorrectly as harlock), herrif, hoar-dock, hurr-burr, lappa root, lappa, love leaves, personata, philanthropium. stick-button, sticky buttons, thistle (more often applied to other plants), thorny bur, turkey-bur (name applied to other plants) .
Estonia: suur takjas.
France: glouteron (Codex), artichaut, bardane, bardane comestible, bardane commune, bardane géante, bardane majeure, bardane officinale, bouillon noir, catherinettes, chou d’âne, copeau, croquia, craquia, crakia, grachias, grande bardane, graquias, grateau, gratteau, gratteron, grippe, herbe aux pouilleux, herbe aux seigneurs, herbe aux teigneux, herbe du teigneux, oreille de géant, napolier, pignet, piquant, rapace, rhubarbe du diable, rhubarbe sauvage, rosesbardane, tabac du yâb, toques.
Germany: große klette, dollenkrautwurzel, kleberwurzel, klettendistelwurzel, klettenwurzel, kletten-wurzel, klissenwurzel, rossklettenwurzel.
Italy: bardana, lappa bardana, bardana maggiore.
Japan: gobō (牛蒡 or ゴボウ or ごぼ).
Latin: Bardanae Radix, Radix Arctii, Radix Lappae, Radix Personatae.
Portugal: bardana, orelha-de-gigante
Russia: lapuch, lopuszniek, repiejnik.
Korea: u-eong (우엉)
Serbia: čičak, korijen čička (dried)
The slender roots can reach 4 feet, and resemble a carrot in shape. Harvesting is typically done when they reach around two feet long. The roots are brown with white flesh that rapidly darkens with exposure to air. That oxidation can also stain fingers so latex gloves might be desired.
Preparation is commonly done using a bowl of acidified water to place pieces into as they get cut. This will help keep them light colored.
Burdock roots can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a mild, earthy flavor that is highly prized for rich soups and stews. The root of burdock is very commonly julienned or sliced thinly.
The immature peeled flower stalks and the young leaves can also be eaten fresh or cooked. Cultivars have been developed specifically for their leaves. The roots are also enjoyed pickled.
Burdock seeds were the inspiration for the invention of Velcro by George de Mestral in the 1940s.