Kit for growing edible mushrooms

How to grow edible mushrooms

Do it:

All year round

Takes just:

one hour

At its best:

All year round

Growing your own edible mushrooms is easy. To get started, order a growing kit, which contains lots of small wooden dowels impregnated with fungus. You just need to provide the logs, and with little effort or maintenance you should have your first crop in a few months.

You will need

Mushroom-growing kit, comprising dowels, wax and wax applicator

Fresh logs - preferably hardwood

Hammer

Drill with 8mm bit

Camping stove (if not near to a domestic cooker)

Pan for heating the wax

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Choose logs that are preferably 30cm or more in diameter and have been cut no more than six weeks ago. They must also have their bark intact, as this provides part of the habitat. Drill 32mm-deep holes into the logs - one for each dowel - spaced 15-20cm apart.

Lightly hammer the dowels into the drilled holes, ensuring they are in close contact with the surrounding wood so that the spores grow into the log. If the dowels wobble, they're not tight enough in the hole. Aim for about 30 dowels for every 30cm length of log.

Melt the wax in a pan, then use a foam brush or cotton dauber to apply the hot liquid to seal each dowel in place. Take care to completely cover the end of each dowel and create a tight seal that won't fall off - this prevents other fungi from entering.

Wrap your inoculated logs lightly in plastic and leave in a cool, shady place for 8 - 12 weeks. Remove the plastic, then stack the logs in damp shade. Mushrooms should appear in autumn and spring after 6 - 18 months, and on larger logs they can return for up to five years.

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