I’ve got a fungi in my kitchen. It’s up on a shelf in a decorative container, and if I water it, in a couple of weeks it will make lovely mushrooms for me to eat.
Even if you don’t have an outdoor garden space, you can grow mushroom logs indoors. If you do happen to have a shady corner in the yard, you can grow an abundance of mushrooms outdoors as well!
Indoor Mushroom Logs
Indoor mushroom logs are as simple to grow as sprouts; many indoor logs are simply a sawdust base infused with mushroom spawn. The mushrooms live in and feed off the sawdust.
You’ll store the logs in a cool, dim place and keep them moist; they will produce mushrooms abundantly. A warm shed or an unused garage is ideal for mushroom cultivation.
My current mushroom log is of the fancier variety – it’s called a Mushboo, and it consists of used coffee grounds infused with the spawn from edible mushrooms. I place a small cup in the top, water it daily, and cut a hole in the area where the mushrooms will emerge. After a couple of weeks, little buttons poke out of the mushroom log, then emerge into full and delicious mushrooms. Each log creates anywhere from a handful to a colander full of delicious mushrooms – enough for a dinner or two.
Indoor mushroom logs should live in a place that’s cool and not overly dry – it should also be away from areas where you sleep, since the mushrooms do emit spores.
Outdoor Mushroom Logs
Of course, if you’re really into mushrooms, it’s best to grow them in their natural environment. Mushrooms naturally decompose old logs in the forest. When you choose an outdoor mushroom log, you’re simply encouraging an edible type of mushroom to do the same thing as the wild ones – to gradually break down a log.
One of the best choices for a mushroom log is a batch of old hardwood, typically from 4 to 6 inches in diameter. The logs are generally 3 to 4 feet in length. This makes them substantial, but easy to move.
To turn an old log into a mushroom factory, you can buy mushroom spawn and drill out plugs that are 1 to 1 1/4 inches wide. Insert the mushroom spawn, and cap it with sawdust or cheese wax. It’s best to do this up to 4 weeks before the last frost date. If you do it in the summer, water your logs if they are too dry. Mushrooms thrive on moisture.
Outdoor mushroom logs are more prolific than indoor logs, in part because they are larger. They will produce 1-2 pounds of mushrooms every year, starting 6 months to a year after you’ve inoculated the logs.
Keep reading to learn where to grow your mushrooms!