Friends Jessica and Derrick introduced me to Field and Forest Products, a source of mushroom spawn. Always wanted to grow our own, so I selected the “Mushroom TeePee,” which is a kit for growing mushrooms on (get ready) toilet paper. (Unused, of course…) According to FFP, TP provides an excellent substrate for growing oyster mushrooms – and is especially easy for growing them indoors. Perfect for keeping two old hippies busy over the winter.
The kit arrived in less than a week, and as advertised, contained everything I’d need except the six rolls of TP the kit will innoculate.
For the TP substrate, I choose some from Seventh Generation, a local and extremely environmentally aware producer of household products. Clean, plain, chemical free.
From inoculation to harvest takes approximately 8 weeks, so I’ll be succession planting two rolls at a time for a steady supply once we get rolling. Following the directions, I soaked the TP rolls until good and wet, squeezed out the excess, tucked them into their baggy homes and packed the center tube with the spawn.
I used a quick-read cooking thermometer to find a space in the warmest room in the house between 65-75 degrees F, where they must be kept in the dark. (I put the bagged TP in a cardboard box.) After 3 weeks, we should see the mycelium, fluffy and white, growing on the TP. Another 1-3 weeks in the dark and the rolls will be ready to for us to “stimulate fruiting.” Mushroom omelets during Town Meeting week, in other words…
UPDATE 2/24: After six weeks in the dark @ 65-70 degrees F., the roll of TP is all but unrecognizable – enrobed in mycelium.
I put the TP in the fridge to “stimulate fruiting.” Pulled it out 48 hours later, and behold: a weird little glob on one edge, a clump of nascent oyster mushrooms.
Doesn’t look too tasty just yet but we are patient. Left one roll in the fridge, and started a new roll in the dark.
Update 2/27: Three days later, that blob looks like this… Looking very tasty. Must be patient.