“SUPRISE” Week 39

Cold nights, warm days. Morning dew and blue sky at midday. Mushroom weather. After a week of trunching around the mountains of Norway with my student son, I travelled expectantly to the Edible Wood Farm in Gaanderen late last week to see how the mushroom logs were faring. The shii-take logs were looking good with lots of mushrooms and not much snail damage. Many logs had started fruiting without being soaked – a good sign that the mycelium was strong and active. Next to the shii-take logs I noticed a number of small clusters of white looking mushrooms on some other inoculated logs. Much to my delight these were two different sorts of oyster mushroom – Branching oyster mushroom (Pleurotus cornucopiae) and summer oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius). Both of these species prefer warm weather but the branching oyster mushroom is usually more active earlier in the season. I continued my journey through the maze of log stacks, checking for bird damage and controlling the moisture content when I suddenly stopped short in my tracks: blue oyster mushroom (Pleurotis ostreatus)! This cold loving mushroom must have started growing when the night temperature had dropped to almost zero degrees a week earlier ….  I had never seen or expected to see these three sorts of oyster mushrooms fruiting at the same time. Enthusiastically I continued on and discovered my first ever nameko (Pholiota nameko) mushrooms on an oak log and on a poplar log that had been inoculated last year. The inspection tour of the Edible Wood Farm ended with checking out the stropharia or garden giant (Stropharia rugosoannulata) plots and jumping with joy at seeing yet another flush of these amazing eye-catching mushrooms. Six different (inoculated) edible mushrooms species in one day – a record!

Photo: summer oyster mushroom on willow, blue oyster mushroom on birch, branched oyster mushroom on poplar

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