Mycology class planned at Ed’s Apples in Sultan
For the gourmand, mushrooms can be an expensive habit. Chanterelles in season can cost $40 per pound, and porcinis can run about $30 per pound. Others cost even more.
But edible mushrooms can be a great small-scale crop with the right techniques and a little patience.
Whether you have a tiny backyard or hundreds of acres, growing gourmet mushrooms can be a satisfying and tasty venture. In the Pacific Northwest, there are about a dozen species, including oyster, shiitake, and maiitake, that can be grown using many of our native tree species.
However, ensuring success with this type of backyard farming involves developing a good understanding of the process and knowledge of the techniques involved.
Saturday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Ed’s Apples, there will be a class at which you can learn about the different types of edible mushrooms that can be grown indoors and out in our area and how you can start your own ‘fungi farm.’
Ed’s Apples is at 13420 339th Ave. S.E. in Sultan, just off U.S. 2. The class is held in a heated barn.
Topics covered will include the different species that grow well in our climate and forests along with a discussion of several growing media such as log, stump, and sawdust culture. Demonstrations will include how to prepare and inoculate logs, as well as harvest and care procedures to encourage optimum production.
“You can use fairly small limbs with a diameter of 4-5 inches up to something that is maybe a foot in diameter, which would take longer to colonize and fruit, but would last a lot longer,” said Kate Halstead, a program coordinator with the WSU Snohomish County Extension Office. “It might fruit for three or four years.”
There will also be a demonstration on the low-tech processing and cultivation of oyster mushrooms using pasteurized wheat straw for indoor production. This cultivation method will appeal to those wanting to produce mushrooms in a very short timeframe with minimal equipment. All participants will take home a packet of shiitake plug spawn along with complete instructions to cultivate your own outdoor mushroom logs.
Instructor Jim Gouin is a staff mycologist and consultant with Fungi Perfecti, an Olympia-based company that specializes in supplying home and commercial mushroom growers with everything needed for success. Jim also has a forestry background and teaches forest fungi cultivation workshops throughout North America.
The cost is $70 per person, which includes the workshop, handouts, a catered lunch and 100 shiitake plugs to take home. Space is limited and your paid registration must be received by Feb. 27 to ensure your spot. Register online at mushrooms.brownpapertickets.com. You can also download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu and mail with your check. For registration information, contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the course, contact Andrew Corbin, email@example.com, (425) 357-6012.