Mushroom Raised Beds – The King Stropharia!

Every kingdom needs a king, and the mushroom kingdom is no exception. There may be some disputed claims to this particle throne, but the King Stropharia mushroom has some good credentials.

This mushroom tastes like potatoes cooked in a light wine marinade; the stringy stem is reminiscent of steamed asparagus. King Stropharia have a protein content ranging from 2o-24%.

Trad Cotter, Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation

They grow easily and prolifically and sometimes pretty huge, they taste great and have a cool name. So, when mushrooms take over the world, this one has my allegiance.

How To Make a Mushroom Raised Bed:

You will need:

  1. Some cardboard
  2. A shady to semi-shady location (I don’t mean Salford here)
  3. Some freshly cut woodchips
  4. Mushroom Spawn for your mushroom of choice (I used Asheville Fungi’s King Stropharia 5lb Bag)
  5. Wire mesh
  6. Water

I decided to create my mushroom bed around my hazelnut tree, in the hope that the hazelnut will provide some good mushroom shade as it grows.

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The first step is to lay out your cardboard. This will suppress any grass or weeds and provide a moist base for your mushroom spawn to spread.

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This layer needs a good soaking. Once nice and wet you lightly sprinkle your spawn onto the cardboard. This is like planting the mushroom seed.

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Next I used some logs to form a border. These maple logs just happen to have been recently inoculated using Red Reishi Mushroom plugs: bonus medicinal mushrooms!

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Next fill in with wood chips. I’m using Tulip Poplar because that’s what the local Arborist had when I asked. King Stropharia are pretty easy going, but hardwood chips would yield more mushrooms for longer.

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My beds are pretty shallow. If you have a deeper border you could do a second layer of wetted cardboard, mushroom spawn and wood chips. You want about 6″ depth.

You can also add a layer of chicken wire just an inch or so below the top of the wood chips – this would stop any scratching animals from digging up your precious mycelium.

Why Didn’t I Do The Chicken Wire Layer?

  1. because my chickens are in high security lock-down after Trouble (after two-years of being chicken-killing-sober) went of a killing spree while I was at work.
  2. because I only had 30 minutes to do everything before dad-duties brought me back to Emily.

It’s super important to water the chips really well – you don’t want them drying out. This should be a daily watering in the first week and then tapering off after that. I’m going to put a layer of straw on top to preserve moisture and give additional shade.

6-8 months until tasty mushrooms, so it’s definitely worth planning ahead if this is your apocalypse protein plan.

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