I’ve been re-reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma lately and found myself again fascinated by the chapter on mushrooms. Not really plants, and not really animals, mushrooms are technically fungi – which is a category most of us don’t use on a regular basis!

Last spring, Dan took logs and drilled holes in them, carefully filling each with shitake or oyster mushroom spores. He then placed them up against the barn, in a microclimate that is damp and cool. With the rainy days and warmer nights we’ve been having, mushrooms have begun to pop up all over them,.
We’ll also be attempting to grow mushrooms in woodchips underneath the apple trees, as well as in straw inside the hoophouses this spring.
A pretty shitake that recently flushed (the term for when a mushroom fruits).
Have you ever grown mushrooms?
What is your favorite way to cook with mushrooms?
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About Brie Aronson

Brie Aronson came to Polyface from southern California. During college, she was diagnosed with food allergies and had to begin asking about the source of every single thing she put in her mouth. This led to an interest in all things food and she sought out a way to learn how it can be produced ethically and sustainably. Her desire is to help people shift their focus from counting calories, being intimidated by their kitchens, and being disconnected from the land to one that experiences the life-giving enjoyment of food. Having completed the internship in summer 2010, she now assists with the buying clubs and sales building, leads school tours of the farm, and will be the summer 2012 farm cook.

9 Responses to Mushrooms

  1. ooglebloops says:

    Have thought about it – love shiitake mushrooms. Where do you get the spores?

  2. Darby Jones says:

    I've always wanted to grow my own mushrooms, or do some intensive reading on how to forage for mushrooms in the wild, but haven't had the time to do so yet.

    My favorite way of cooking mushrooms is to either throw them in a pan with tons of butter, garlic & herbs, or immerse them in my curry chicken soup and let them soak up all the yummy juices.

    Is a spore simply the "head" of a mushroom, and then you immerse it into a log or into a pile of hay, and let nature take its course?

  3. Crafty Farmer says:

    I would LOVE to grow mushrooms, but I have no idea how to! 🙂 Mushrooms are perfect anyway they are cooked! YUM!

  4. Jackie says:

    Morel mushrooms grow wild in this area. As a matter of fact, I will be foraging for them shortly. I soak them in salt water, rinse them well, coat them with some seasoned flour and saute them in butter. . .outstanding!
    I would love to grow them also but have no idea where to obtain the spores????

  5. Q says:

    My husband is the big mushroom fan in our house. He absolutely loves this simple but elegant recipe from River Cottage:
    Just delicious! And any leftover sauce is tasty topping for chips or meatloaf.

  6. Cathy says:

    We live in coastal Oregon. Wild Chantarelles are abundant. In fact last fall my industirous 18 yr old got a week long mushroom picking permit and filled my entire porch with them. Most he sold to a mushroom buyer but the substandard ones we either dried or sauteed with garlic and wine and vacuum packed and froze. The dried ones are good in soups, stews, and pasta sauces. The sauteed ones we mostly use on pizza.
    We also bought a shitake spore kit last year…so far nothin :(.

  7. ina goddard says:

    picture of hen in the woods

  8. ina goddard says:

    mushrooms growing here and i want confirmation as they are hen in the woods
    are they edible?

  9. leomichal says:

    Really found the post interesting.Many cooks prefer to cook there home based mushrooms. Growing conditions for moushrooms can be easily created indoors. With a few basic materials , you can get mushrooms in a few weeks.