September 1, 2023

Growing Mushrooms

Whenever I go hiking at Skylands, my home in Maine, or in the woodlands of my Bedford, New York farm, I always enjoy discovering and identifying all the different types of wild mushrooms that may be growing along the way.

A mushroom is the fleshy spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus. Fungus thrives in moist areas and loves growing on decaying wood. While many may try to eradicate mushrooms from their lawns, they are an important part of the forest ecosystem. Because they live off of decaying plant matter, fungus breaks down and disposes of fallen tree branches, leaves, and even animals. It also digests rock particles and other organic matter in the soil, so new plants can grow. Earlier this year, I received mushroom growing kits from 2FUNGUYS - an Atlanta, Georgia company that sells mushroom growing spawn plugs, inoculated logs, and complete starter growing kits. The process of growing mushrooms is very interesting, and very different from growing other crops, so I decided to grow some here at the farm.

Enjoy these photos and remember, never eat any mushroom you cannot clearly identify.