MSSF Cultivation Blog

Far West Fungi Farm Field Trip

Posted on 20 October 2010 by klitchfield

A transfer hood for transfering small batches of mushroom spawn

If you joined us on the Far West Fungi Field Trip and brought back some of the mushroom blocks to use in your garden here’s some info on how to treat them:

Soak them in water in a tub or barrel with a weighted board on top to keep them submerged for 12-24 hours (not much longer at one time as they may drown) and then put them bottom side down on a bed of chippy wood chips 6-12″ deep and 3×3 or 4×4′ or longer in length if you have more blocks. The blocks should be placed side by side butted up against each other and they will often grow back together sideways especially if they are all of one kind like shiitakes or oysters, if you can tell them apart. Cover with 6-12″ of fluffy straw, excelsior, or draped burlap to provide a humidity layer for the mushrooms to fruit into.

They can grow through the bottom of the block and pick up more nutrients from the chips to keep fruiting all during the rainy season. The chips should be chippy wood chips of ground logs and branches as opposed to leafy/twiggy stuff that gets moldy easily. You can also put down a layer of wetted unwaxed cardboard on top of the chips and sometimes that makes it easier for the mushrooms to leap out of the bottom of the blocks onto the cardboard and grow through it into the chips.

Your success may vary depending upon how fresh the blocks are and the type of mushroom and how regular the rains are in the season as extra watering maybe needed. Check through the straw once a week or so for fruiting mushrooms and keep the straw fluffed so it doesn’t get compacted.

Let me know on your progress at