Mushroom growing

One of the foods that I really love is mushrooms. Just about all mushrooms, but especially the meaty, flavourful ones such as ceps or shiitake mushrooms.

Living in France for many years gave me an even deeper appreciation of them, with the wild mushroom season kicking off an almost religious fervour in the locals, and restaurants using them in everything whilst they were fresh and plentiful. The flavour and textures were unlike anything I’d tasted from shop bought mushrooms, and I was hooked.

We’ve been looking at growing mushrooms using spore-loaded plugs drilled into beech logs on the croft. We have the wood, the rain and the space.

Skye has a good climate for mushrooms – relatively mild and wet – and there used to be someone who grew mushrooms commercially there until recently, so we think that they would be successful.

It takes a few years for the mycelium to take, spread into the fibre of the logs and the underlying ground and fruit into mushrooms, but then it’s possible to crop for many years.

Mycelium, the thread-like network of spores that propagate mushrooms are fascinating.

Research has shown that the presence of mycelium is beneficial to spreading and keeping nutrients locked into soil, and the no-dig method relies on not disturbing this network for maximum soil fertility and crop health.

Trees also use a network like this to communicate and exchange food and healing chemicals to each other beneath the ground. It’s remarkable.

However, back to the edibles!

We can get spore-loaded plugs online for shiitake, oyster, chicken of the wood and enoki mushrooms, all of which are worth a try.

Will keep you posted (but with a trial period of two to three years before we would expect results and enough for a portion of mushrooms on toast, don’t hold your breath..!)

8 Replies to “Mushroom growing”

  1. What an amazing project and so interesting. I lovem mushroom and was foreging for them in Scotland in skye and am now doing the same here. Your blog was very interesting and informative and I found it fascinating to learn about the mycelium. I knew it grew underground as its like a big communcation network, but I have no idea that it spread into the fibres of the logs. Wow! I look forward to following your project. I am a lover of mushrooms to eat and to drink too. I even got a hot chocolate drink make out of shitaki, lions mane, cordyceps and it was so earthy and yummy. Skye is gorgeus.It is such a mild temperature. The Scottish people are beautiful. I have such good memories from my time there and would love to come back. Thanks for your article. I enjoyed reading it. How long have you lived there now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t live there yet, although we bought the croft there a year ago. We’re in the process of building a house there, on Sleat, not far from the place that you spent time in. I won’t name it, but I know where it is. I’m so sorry that you had a bad experience there. It sounds as if you are comfortable and content now, which is wonderful. We hope to have the house built this year and be in by the autumn. Skye has always been a special place for me, so I’m glad that you gave good memories of it too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah so you know exactly where I did the voluntary work then. I was hoping people would connect the dots. I know alot of people in Skye are aware of that place and what has been going on. Thank you. Aw it is okay. I had lots of good memories there too and the volunteers were great and made it for me really. It has not put me off travelling. I just put it down to experience and it was an amazing adventure from start to finish. I d not regreat any of it. Only not speakingo ut sooner about what happened for.
        You are my inspiration as i intend to build a tiny house log cabin but I am not sure whether to do it in Wales of Scotland so I am thinking on that one.

        Yes I am but I do miss the wild camping. I was so connected to the land and became so self sufficent. Plus they years dropped away from me haha. But I have acquired an amazing tent so I intend to do some wild camping here of a summer. I am in a beautiful place here too and very grateful. Yes it ia very special place. Its energy resonated with me. I felt so at home and I was so warmly welcomed by people there on my travels. I am sure you will have it built by then too. What an amazing experience and jouurney you must be having. I love your blogs. Keep them coming. They are very interesting. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry about the typos but my keyboard is jumping backwards so it makes spelling mistakes. And for some reason it is not correcting. It was doing the same on my blog today. I am sure it is just a glitch and will resolve itself

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very keen to hear how you come along. Shiitakes are my favorite mushroom by a country mile. We were going to ‘grow’ some last year but other projects took over and never got around to it. Never having grown mushrooms, is there a steep learning curve? Would love to hear more on the ‘planting process’ – we have a lot of old oak lying around. Does age of wood affect the growing of mushrooms?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will keep you posted on progress . I expect we’ll start in the autumn this year once we’re in and have sourced the logs. It’s a bit of an experiment for us too 😊

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