I am in New Zealand on the North Island where very little grain is grown, and straw is usually sold by pre-order before harvest. But I do have my local tree guy dump truck-loads of wood chip in my pasture.
This includes some fruittrees, but mainly ornamentals, including a lot of New Zealand natives - and often a mix of trees in the one dump. New Zealand natives are usually a soft-leaf evergreen, as we are in a climate where is is light winter frosts, but not enough to kill the grass, as most land is so close to the coast. I think they are often also a hardwood.
I have read bits about what type of wood will grow oyster mushrooms and so far have gleaned the following bits of information:
YES - hardwoods, oak, deciduous
NO - fruit trees, pines/conifers
What I am wanting to know is the theory behind it. Or to make it more simple - if a mushroom grows on the wood, is it OK? E.G, do they not grow on pinewood, or if you grew it on pine would will it give a bad taste to the mushrooms?
Basically, can I go out to each pile that does not smell of pine/conifer resin and steam a trial batch, and if spawn grows on it, then I know I have a winner pile, and I save it for growing mushrooms?
It does not affect the taste or anything if you have conifers/etc woodchip mixed in with boardleaf/etc.
The problem is that regular oyster mushroom have a hard time colonizing the conifers, and it is highly lively that some other fungi will take it over and thus a waste of your time and such.
But all is not lost there is a species of Oyster Mushroom that will "eat" conifers, Phoenix Oyster Mushroom My recommendation is to spread both boardleaf "eating" species of Oyster Mushroom and conifer eating species of Oyster Mushroom
That way you will have a nice harvest from all of your woodchips.
I have observed, collected and eaten oyster mushrooms on old pine materials from Western Springs, Auckland. Only a couple years back. I'm sorry I can't talk about the taste as they went into stews with many ingredients. Didn't appear to be any issue. I've taken woodear from the same pines too. The correct species can be found wild, but when and where remains a little enigmatic. As a lot of the pines got beat up in storms this past year, next Autumn should be a good time to find some conifer feeding types in the pines/park above the Zoo. In your area if a stand or two of pines took a beating in your area last winter, check em out next Autumn.
I've only found 2 local suppliers of spawn online. Ouch is one way to put it. I want shiitake I have just had a large sweetgum with heart rot removed. I'll do a few logs and then replicate some spawn myself, the suppliers are just too expensive for a decent amount.