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Living the Mushroom Dream

 
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My husband and I have loved exploring the outdoors for some time. Mushrooms, lichen, and mosses ( oh my!) have always been the sorts of things that catch my eye and my interest. I can't remember at what point, but it eventually happened that we realized, "Hey! We wanna be those mushroom people!" Haha! We have an acre and a half of land, a lot of it wooded already (woohoo!) We definitely want to create something magical and sustainable. We are in year two of living in this place, and already it seems to be acquiring charm.

Last year for Father's Day I bought my husband Paul Stamets's book Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and a set of Lion's Mane spore plugs. We have some logs inoculated, and this year my husband also bought Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Shiitake plugs and inoculated more logs. We are very excited to see where this journey takes us. We live in a small town where there isn't anyone doing anything like this that I know of. My hope is that (beyond the obvious enjoyment of growing and eating them ourselves) we will be able to create a niche market for ourselves in our area.
 
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Ashley- Good for you! We had 3 acres of mostly wooded (red oak,maple blackcherry) land that we turned into an oasis ( sold it moved to Montana and are doing it all over again!) First off you and your husband are exactly who we wrote the book for! In it we have detailed how to cultivate, wild gather, cook,and how to set up a small niche business, there are templates in the book you could use just customize them to your farm, company LLC. We even explain where and what you have to look for so you don't get in trouble with regulations too! My only word of caution is don't dive head long into- Lion's Mane can be very finicky we did them primarily indoors. Oyster and Wine caps are great starter mushrooms. With wine caps we used them as companions inour garden to enrich the soil. Once established you have a ready source, Oysters turn around fast. Shiitake can take from 6 months to 2 years depending on strain, climate etc. Lion's mane isn't a aggressive so your inoculation has be tighter, and partially burying them brings the issues of existing fungus in your woods attacking your logs too!

We cover so much of what you want to do, and you can learn from our mistakes-and yes I add humor throughout the book you can get a signed copy at www.mycelialmayhem.com Best of luck!
 
Ashley Handy
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Oh wow! I knew none of that- haha! Thank you! Yeah, the Lion's Mane purchase was mostly because it was the first one I came across that seemed like we could grow it on what we already have available. And it sounded neat- haha! We weren't thinking of making money starting out. It was just a fun endeavor. But who doesn't want to make their living off of what is fun and what makes them happy?
 
david sewak
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I hear you! That's why I'm a fly fishing guide/mushroom farmer I actually spell out the spacing for different varieties and what worked and what doesn't. I'm sure Fungi Perfecti gave you an instruction sheet and is probably very similar. Lion's Mane is fragile, so if you do get a fruiting watch it, once it starts turning color on top you'll want to pick it. Also keep and eye out for beetles, slugs, flies and they love eating it, laying eggs, etc. Kristin and I burned out doing our 40, 50, 60 hours weeks in the environmental/conservation field with 3 kids, so when we went all out organic, mushroom, native plants we had an idea, but we learned a lot and share that knowledge gained!
 
Ashley Handy
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Awesome!! So glad to have you in this forum!
 
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