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Wine Cap Mushroom Growing Guide

Wine Cap Stropharia mushroom growing guide

SHORTCUTS: Ideal Environment, How to Plant, How to Water, Companion Planting, How to Propagate, How to Harvest, Parts Used, Preparations, Uses, Key Constituents, Key Actions, Research.

Information

Wine Cap Stropharia
Stropharia rugosoannulata
FAMILY STROPHARIACEAE
Stropharia mushrooms, also called “garden giant”, burgundy mushroom or king stropharia are beautiful and delicious mushrooms that you can grow in your garden and as a companion to vegetables. Wine Caps are easy to identify and can grow up to 20cm high and 30cm in diameter – huge!

Growing Environment

Ideal Environment 

You can grow wine cap stropharia mushrooms on a wood chip bed in a shady spot in your garden, under some trees or between ferns, corn or even behind a shed.  As far as mushrooms go the wine caps are more flexible in terms of their light requirements so they can tolerate semi shade when you are integrating it into the garden as opposed to an isolated bed.

How to Plant

How to Plant 

The easiest method is to purchase some stropharia mushroom spawn from a local supplier which you can use to inoculate your wood chip bed.  You will also need cardboard, wood chips (no older than 12 months) of mixed species and fresh straw (both soaked overnight and drained).  Clear an area and dig about 10cm deep, lay down overlapping cardboard and wet it, then layer wood chips, spawn, straw, with about 3 layers of wood chips.  On average 2kg of spawn will work for a bed of 2m x 1.5m.

Watering

How to Water

The stropharia mushroom bed should be watered thoroughly the day you make it and then once a week after that if there is no rain, especially during the warmer months / drier season.

Companion Plants

Companion Planting 

Wine cap stropharia mushrooms can be grown with vegetables, under trees and between trees or used to fill some lost space in the garden that is nice and shady.

Here are the Companion Plants by group: Herbs, Flowers, Trees, Vegetables, Berries, Fruit and Mushrooms

How to Propagate

How to Propagate 

Once you have established your stropharia mushroom bed it is easy to maintain by simply adding about 5cm of wood chips and/or  straw every season.  You can also create additional new beds by taking some of the chips from your bed and dividing it.  

Harvest

How to Harvest

Wine cap stropharia mushrooms will start fruiting anywhere between a few months and a year depending on your climate etc.  Harvest mushrooms by gently twisting and pulling them off (or cut them if you prefer).  They can be kept in a brown paper package for a few days in the fridge. 

Medicinal Plants Parts Used

Parts Used

Only the fruiting bodies of the stropharia mushrooms are eaten. Be sure to identify the mushrooms before harvesting! They have a reddish-brown cap that changes from dark to light as the mushroom matures, there is a “king crown” ring around the stem and the stem is fibrous and full of air pockets.

Medicinal Preparations

Preparations

Wine Cap stropharia mushrooms can simply be fried with a little butter and garlic, made into a sauce, great in stir fry, used in ristotto or pasta dishes, on sandwiches and burgers, in a stew, soup, pickled, a pate, in an omelette, ontop of mashed potatoes, on pizza etc.

Plant Uses

Uses

Stropharia mushrooms are best used as a regular addition to your diet, especially as a source of protein if you are vegetarian / vegan. 

Constituents

Key Constituents

Stropharia mushrooms are nutrient rich, high in protein, amino acids, and minerals.

Key Actions

Key Actions

Improved overall nutrition, increased vitamin D levels, improved immune function and improved digestion.

Research

Research

In the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology one study found stropharia to have the ability to attack the nematode Panagrellus redivivus, for more information read about nematophagous fungus. 


USEFUL LINKS: About the Growing Guides, The Medicine Garden, Companion Plants, Basic Preparations and Plant Constituents. Disclaimer. References.

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Shiitake Mushroom Growing Guide

Shiitake Mushroom Growing Guide

SHORTCUTS: Ideal Environment, How to Plant, How to Water, Companion Planting, How to Propagate, How to Harvest, Parts Used, Preparations, Uses, Key Constituents, Key Actions, Research.

Information

Lentinula edodes
FAMILY MARASMIACEAE
Shiitake mushrooms are edible and delicious. They can be used fresh or dried, are native to East Asia and are known to have been cultivated for at least 1000-2000 years. Today we know you can grow these wonderful mushrooms at home on an oak wood log.

Growing Environment

Ideal Environment 

You can grow Shiitake mushrooms in a grow bag (saw dust usually) or on oak logs.  If treated correctly and placed in the right environment, it is said that logs can last for up to 5 years and fruit 3 times a year.  It takes a year or so before they start fruiting, but it is worth the wait if you have a shady spot in your garden.  The ideal temperature for them is somewhere around 8 to 23 degrees Celsius.

Cut the logs during the winter and inoculate them  in the spring.  Remember the bark should be in tact. Make sure the logs are stored in a shady spot (no direct sunlight), under some trees or between ferns, even under some garden sheet covering or behind a shed.  You can place several logs on-top of each other to create a structure that will not take up too much space and you can place them partially in the soil so that there is enough moisture.

How to Plant

How to Plant 

Purchase pre-made dowels (wooden plugs) from an online shop that already has the mycelium (the white stuff) growing on it, or buy you own plugs, spores etc. and make your own.  Drill a hole about as big as the dowel and insert the dowel, hammer it down till it is level with the surface and seal with a little bit of heated wax.  Repeat this for each hole, make about 12 to 18 per log, depending on the size, at least every 30 cm.

Watering

How to Water

The logs should never dry out completely, but it they are on top of the ground or some are, then it should be fine.  During the winter you can cover it with some leaves, a cover or even snow is fine.  During the harvest time you can shock the logs every 8 weeks to encourage fruiting (water and bump them against the ground), and you can keep the logs moist if you live in a drier area (if no rain, hose the logs down once every other week).

Companion Plants

Companion Planting 

Oak logs with shiitake mushrooms growing on them make an excellent feature in a garden.  Place them under trees, between trees or fill some lost space in the garden that is nice and shady.  In general mushrooms make fantastic companion plants, usually oyster or white mushrooms are the best.  Mushrooms that grow on the roots of plants help them take up additional nutrients. 

Here are the Companion Plants by group: Herbs, Flowers, Trees, Vegetables, Berries, Fruit and Mushrooms

How to Propagate

How to Propagate 

Shiitake mushrooms can be grown from spores (buying or collecting) or by cloning the mushrooms, by simply taking bits and placing it on the substrate.  Remember that you should work as clean as possible to avoid contamination, sterilise what you can.  After a couple of weeks you will start seeing the mycelium (white network growth).

Harvest

How to Harvest

Usually in Autumn in South Africa, but I have seen them at other times (around 18-20 degrees Celcius is good).  To encourage fruiting you can wet the logs and give it a good bump against the ground (shocking it), once every 8 weeks only.  Harvest mushrooms when they are open, well rounded with open gills underneath.  Pick them by gently twisting base or cutting them off, take care not to harm the mycelium.

Medicinal Plants Parts Used

Parts Used

Only the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms are eaten.  They can be used fresh or dried and is always cooked.

Medicinal Preparations

Preparations

In general you can use the mushrooms as you would brown mushrooms, for example they make an excellent sauce that can go with fish, chicken, pork, lamb or beef.  

You can use them in stir fry, soup, pickle them, make pate, add it to stews, sauces, in an omelette, thai soup or curry, with pasta, inside potato gratin,  risotto and allot of vegetarian dishes.

Plant Uses

Uses

Shiitake mushrooms are best used as an addition to your diet. Shiitake is used medicinally for diseases involving depressed immune function (including AIDS), cancer, environmental allergies, fungal infection, frequent flu and colds, bronchial inflammation, heart disease, hyperlipidemia (including high blood cholesterol), hypertension, infectious disease, diabetes, hepatitis and regulating urinary inconsistancies (14).

Constituents

Key Constituents

Shiitake mushrooms is known as a medicinal mushroom due to its long history of medicinal use, mostly in Asia. Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Pantothenic Acid, Copper and Selenium (9).

Key Actions

Key Actions

Possibly anti-bacterial, immune system boosting, and anti-viral.

In general mushrooms are very healthy to eat because of their Vitamin D content. You can also let them sundry for a day or so, apparently this adds extra vitamin D that stays in the mushrooms for at least 6 months according to a few sources.

Research

Research

There are some studies that show mushrooms, and specifically Shiitake mushrooms can boost the body’s immune system. Shiitake mushrooms are researched for their anticancer properties (14).


USEFUL LINKS: About the Growing Guides, The Medicine Garden, Companion Plants, Basic Preparations and Plant Constituents. Disclaimer. References.