“It’s raining mushrooms”

August was dry and hot. September began cool and wet. The sharp distinction between these weather types was a signal for many fungi to get on with producing the next generation: mushroom making. The shii-take logs were no exception.
My goal is to produce mushroom logs, not to produce mushrooms. Yet I make sure that the shii-take logs have produced sufficient mushrooms as a guarantee that a log does what it has to do. Usually that is after the first flush, but sometimes the log needs a little more time and stays in the log farm until it has proven itself. Soaking the logs during warm and dry weather is a good way of inducing the first flush under controlled conditions. Picking the mushrooms that result from this enforced fruiting is quite pleasant, one or two hours of gentle exercise in the forest whilst now and then proudly stealing a glimpse of the yield lying mundanley in the tray.
But…. nature does it’s own thing and this time around the heavy rainshowers activated the waiting mycelium in the logs. Not only the logs from previous years began to produce mushrooms but also the logs waiting for their first soaking. Not just one or two mushrooms per log but so many that some logs looked like that they had turned into hedgehogs. The picking pleasure turned into picking work and the couple of kilograms turned into about 60 kilograms, a massive harvest. It felt that it was raining mushrooms.

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