We recently had a delivery of mushrooms for our Meals on Wheels courtesy of Darren from Bevendean Community Garden. The garden is a beautiful green space in Lower Bevendean and the site includes a clay oven, community compost scheme, fruit and vegetable growing and a wildlife area.
Darren told us ”The main bulk of the mushrooms are Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) grown on oak logs in my garden and the smaller, pale mushrooms are Grey Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus). These have been grown on wheat straw logs which are made by pasteurising the straw and inoculating with millet grain that has been colonised with oyster mycelium.”
Our chef Marco transformed the mushrooms into an amazing shiitake and cheese pancake for our volunteers’ lunch – thank you to the community garden for such a tasty donation!
Some more information from Darren on how the mushrooms are grown:The Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) are grown on oak logs in my garden.The logs were inoculated about 7 years ago and are sadly coming to the end of their productive life.I’m hoping for another 1 or 2 flushes from them over the summer months which will hopefully produce enough mushrooms to be useful to the Bevy kitchen.I soak the logs for about 12 hours and shock them into producing fruit by striking them with a wooden mallet. This simulates occurrences such as a falling branch or a thunderstorm - both things that cause Shiitake to fruit in the wild.The smaller, pale Mushrooms are Grey Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus). These have been grown on wheat straw logs which are made by pasteurising the straw and inoculating with millet grain that has been colonised with oyster mycelium. Once the straw log is fully colonised it begins fruiting and stops once the food from the straw has been consumed. Fruiting occurs when the temperature and humidity are at the right balance. Each log will produce 2 - 3 crops. They were also grown in the garden.I encouraged them to fruit by misting the logs regularly when the weather was warmer. Unfortunately the temperature is very changeable at the moment and the fruiting stalled - that's why there are so few and they are so small.The cropping will increase as the weather warms up again. For now I am continuing to make a few straw logs each week ready for when the weather improves.