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Mushrooms in a Permaculture Garden - a picture blog

 
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
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I’ve been observing, engaging with, and growing fungi in my permaculture garden for a number of years.
My interests have ranged from ‘I found a bracket’ to ‘all the mushrooms’ to ‘wow, rare species’ to ‘all I’m interested in is mushrooms I can eat’
Fell deep down the rabbit hole of attempting to identify macro fungi, building an entire culturing lab (now being used for soil experiments and other things that require sterile conditions), to a keen interest in hobo Mycology and growing with nature instead of against it.

Using this thread to post some observation and experiences, past and present. Hoping that it might add some value. Will try remember scientific names of mushrooms.
6519299C-56FD-440A-B8A8-7C4C5AE3082D.jpeg
Pink oyster grown in wattle chip bed on spil
Pink oyster grown in wattle chip bed on spil
 
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Very nice Leigh.  Do you have other pictures of the mushrooms growing in the garden?  If you do, I would love to see them.

Eric
 
Leigh Martin
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Hi Eric,

I have about 4000 pictures of mushrooms identified to species. Will start with some experiments and inoculations around the garden.
08956467-229E-4529-9007-6916D573BA0E.jpeg
Can’t quite remember what I was doing here. Hypsizigus ulmarius. White elm
Can’t quite remember what I was doing here. Hypsizigus ulmarius. White elm
BD935CF3-C2CD-44DC-9B90-386D5733ED78.jpeg
White elm on discarded fruiting blocks. Made that block from scratch
White elm on discarded fruiting blocks. Made that block from scratch
FFC25B7C-33E1-4D78-BC12-87CD40E0BBBD.jpeg
Termitomyces microcarpus - cultivated by termites
Termitomyces microcarpus - cultivated by termites
B86E7B35-4FBE-48DC-8E60-87BAF9B76B78.jpeg
Coprinellus micaceus. Nice with scrambled eggs or egg fried rice
Coprinellus micaceus. Nice with scrambled eggs or egg fried rice
D00E0492-44B5-492C-AEC6-D793619D1154.jpeg
I’m going to guess this is white elm on a block that I buried in the ground
I’m going to guess this is white elm on a block that I buried in the ground
 
Leigh Martin
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Some more experiments
CE1B4D62-1490-4B43-BDD7-39E40E4F8C24.jpeg
This was a new species for South Africa. Growing under rhubarb
This was a new species for South Africa. Growing under rhubarb
21FA4D8B-B0F3-4C9F-8792-DAA101EBDD08.jpeg
Ganoderma lucidum antler
Ganoderma lucidum antler
FD6BDCFD-B106-440C-B777-D3D3E53E0D11.jpeg
Went through a phase of doing this. It’s great to just bury this as an inoculated block in the ground
Went through a phase of doing this. It’s great to just bury this as an inoculated block in the ground
97B3DC59-A663-44EC-86D7-BD05FE6D43D1.jpeg
Chicken of the woods - laetiporus sulpherious
Chicken of the woods - laetiporus sulpherious
 
Leigh Martin
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Had a couple of pics on hand
CE90C593-AF37-4292-BAEC-8F06B70D7873.jpeg
Coprinus comatus - shaggy ink cap
Coprinus comatus - shaggy ink cap
ACC394B8-754C-46C6-8B18-989C8BEB5B42.jpeg
Grey oyster on a coppiced mulberry- took 2 years to fruit
Grey oyster on a coppiced mulberry- took 2 years to fruit
 
Leigh Martin
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Will go searching for the others, might take some time.

Here’s a nice pic of the fruiting pattern of coprinellus micaceus
AF415D2F-C19B-4F8D-947E-AEA80ED522B5.jpeg
[Thumbnail for AF415D2F-C19B-4F8D-947E-AEA80ED522B5.jpeg]
 
Eric Hanson
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Leigh you have quite the hand at growing mushrooms.  So far my experience has been limited to Wine Caps as I am highly interested in rapid decomposition of woodchips.  I am thinking about branching out into blue oysters for the same reasons.

Eric
 
Leigh Martin
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As far as I know, blue oysters are mostly a colour variant on pleurotus ostreatus, and not a separate species, when you get into genetics.

Oysters are super easy. Growers tend to call them the ‘weeds’ of mushrooms. I would suggest growing them in towers or on logs. I grew them in the ground one year and they were more bugs than mushroom, because they’re not protected by a veil.

I like the white elm as it’s part of the shimeji family and are a little firmer than the oysters. I grew shimeji in buckets once. Was a beautiful grow.

Wine caps are a strange one for me, cause most people grow them on wood, but in nature they’re only ever found on dung. Bovine or equine, depending on the species of stropharia.

So in the ground, stick with capped mushrooms. Growing vertically or off the ground, oysters are good - if you want to eat them. If you just want to break down wood chip, you might want to think about the wood loving psilocybes. They have very thick rhizomorphic hyphae, and there have been a number of papers written about their efficacy in building strong mycelial networks for soil regeneration.

Have you tried a patch of wood chips and not inoculated them and just observed what fungi came up?
 
Eric Hanson
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Hi Leigh,

I have had several piles of wood chips that just sat for some time but no significant degree of mushrooms appeared.  Just to be clear, the conditions were not ideal for most mushrooms--the piles were out in full daylight, they tended to dry out, etc.  I did get a very small number of mushrooms and I did dig around in the pile and found some fungal strands so some fungal activity was going on, but given the size of the pile, it would take a long time to fully colonize and produce mushrooms.

I got into Wine Caps because I had a large pile of wood chips I wanted to decay as fast as possible using permaculture principles.  I posted here on Permies looking for suggestions and Wine Caps was the suggestion that came up.  This was in 2018 and I have been fully on board with the Wine Cap ever since, but again, my primary reason for growing mushrooms is actually the breakdown of wood chips into nice, fertile garden bedding with the actual mushroom being a secondary goal.  By now I have made quite a bit of mushroom compost bedding.  Blue oysters were specifically recommended to me as another species that is also a voracious consumer of woody material, much like the Wine Cap.

And there you have it, my story of how I got into growing mushrooms!

Eric
 
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Leigh Martin wrote:I’ve been observing, engaging with, and growing fungi in my permaculture garden for a number of years.
My interests have ranged from ‘I found a bracket’ to ‘all the mushrooms’ to ‘wow, rare species’ to ‘all I’m interested in is mushrooms I can eat’
Fell deep down the rabbit hole of attempting to identify macro fungi, building an entire culturing lab (now being used for soil experiments and other things that require sterile conditions), to a keen interest in hobo Mycology and growing with nature instead of against it.

Using this thread to post some observation and experiences, past and present. Hoping that it might add some value. Will try remember scientific names of mushrooms.



Those pink oysters look lovely! Did you have any issues growing them in chips? When I looked into oysters the ones I saw all suggested they needed to be grown on logs, rather than chips.  Good flavour?

I also have wine caps in wood chips, that were established this year. We use a lot of chips around the gardens on paths and between beds, so adding mushrooms as an added bonus crop was an easy thing to add. Currently they are setup in smaller beds, but I will be using that to innoculate chips that get used elsewhere.
 
Leigh Martin
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Eric Hanson wrote:
I have had several piles of wood chips that just sat for some time but no significant degree of mushrooms appeared.  Just to be clear, the conditions were not ideal for most mushrooms--the piles were out in full daylight, they tended to dry out, etc.  I did get a very small number of mushrooms and I did dig around in the pile and found some fungal strands so some fungal activity was going on, but given the size of the pile, it would take a long time to fully colonize and produce mushrooms.

I got into Wine Caps because I had a large pile of wood chips I wanted to decay as fast as possible using permaculture principles.  I posted here on Permies looking for suggestions and Wine Caps was the suggestion that came up.  This was in 2018 and I have been fully on board with the Wine Cap ever since, but again, my primary reason for growing mushrooms is actually the breakdown of wood chips into nice, fertile garden bedding with the actual mushroom being a secondary goal.  By now I have made quite a bit of mushroom compost bedding.  Blue oysters were specifically recommended to me as another species that is also a voracious consumer of woody material, much like the Wine Cap.



Ah okay!

I should also mention that I live almost completely in the shade, any part of my garden gets about 3 hours of sun, and is on south facing (cold in southern hemisphere) mountain slope.
Likely why I got into mushrooms, cause at some point I gave up on trying to grow food, due to the lack of sun.
Over a few years I got into fungi (started noticing them in the soil), then got into soil, then got into the soil food web (Elaine Ingham). Somehow all of these (and hugel raised beds) have assisted me to grow more food than I know what to do with.
This is not typical in my context. The weather here is hot and most people try to avoid the sun (outdoors) between 11am and 3pm, so I've developed quite a nice microclimate.

Best would be to see what others are growing in your area. Oysters (and white elm) are great, but like I mentioned, the bugs getting in is a bit of a problem.

Maybe consider chestnut, piopini (black poplar), shimeji (they will look nothing like the ones from the shop), nameko - if you want to harvest for food.

You'll have better luck with oysters in wire baskets filled with wood chip than on the ground. - search for oyster mushroom tower.
 
Leigh Martin
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Michael Cox wrote:
Those pink oysters look lovely! Did you have any issues growing them in chips? When I looked into oysters the ones I saw all suggested they needed to be grown on logs, rather than chips.  Good flavour?

I also have wine caps in wood chips, that were established this year. We use a lot of chips around the gardens on paths and between beds, so adding mushrooms as an added bonus crop was an easy thing to add. Currently they are setup in smaller beds, but I will be using that to innoculate chips that get used elsewhere.



Pink oysters have kind of a bacon flavour in my opinion, but could just be the way I prepared them.

Best to grow oysters in wire baskets or bags and place them under fruit trees. Took forever to get the bugs out, so I wouldn't suggest growing them on the floor, they will however grow and fruit relatively soon.

The pinks and golden oyster and Italian/phoenix oyster prefer warmer temps to the blue/ grey oysters.

It's very likely that you could also grow shiitake on the ground, because its a capped mushroom, but I think they prefer logs.
 
Eric Hanson
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Leigh,

I had not thought about the wire basket idea, but that is a good thought.  I can see how living in the shadow makes growing veggies impossible in any meaningful quantity.  As it is I have a lot of sunlight so I need to artificially make shade to get my mushrooms going.  Wine Caps work well as they actually like a little bit of sunlight.  My preferred companion plant is a patch of tomatoes.  The tomatoes provide shade and the root mass grows into the wood chips and mingles with the fungal strands of the wine caps.  They make a pretty good combination.

Eric
 
Leigh Martin
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Eric Hanson wrote:  I can see how living in the shadow makes growing veggies impossible in any meaningful quantity.  



Eric, my food growing game has increased drastically due to understanding nutrient cycling in soil.
You can check out my setup here, if you're interested.

https://permies.com/t/154864/Sky-Gardens-Chicken-Orchards
It's not usually this wet, were getting some rains coming in from a cyclone in Mozambique at the moment, but it does aid water levels in the soil. looking forward to an epic mushroom hunting season till about April.
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