Down in the fungals of Java

11 10 2012

So this evening when I put the car away in the garage, I remembered to check on my mushroom projects, safely hidden in there where Mrs Elephant won’t find them and freak out about fungus in her house.

Oyster mushrooms in straw? Nothing obvious happening. 😦

Wine caps in wood chips? Ditto. 😦

OK… not to worry… they’re not actually scheduled to be obviously spreading their mycelium for around 4 weeks, and it’s been less than one.

Wha’?

I’m a bloke! Impatience is my middle name. Well, it would be if my parents weren’t too stingy to have given me one.

Oh well, hardly any point looking at the coffee grinds then… whoa! What’s THIS?!

Now, Scott the mushroom man had warned us that growing Oyster Mushrooms on coffee grinds was a bit hit and miss, and not guaranteed to work. He also explained that they were the most likely to get “infected” by other fungi or molds. He’d explained about potentially having to spoon off any blue/green mold than might get established, so it wouldn’t out-compete the Oyster mushrooms. Or slime, or generally anything that shouldn’t be there. My heart fell. This looked like a very serious bout of white furry mold, like you get on old jam left at the back of a cupboard.

Sighing, I took it out into the garden, ready to spoon great gobbets of it into the compost heap. But then I noticed it looked quite pretty really. Uniform and clean and not at all grubby (as OBVIOUSLY the bad stuff would look, right?! 🙂 )

OK – no, I really noticed that one of the original millet grains we’d used to inoculate the grinds with had somehow been trapped in the lip of the plastic bucket… and had exactly the same white fluff. THIS must be the mycelium! It was working!!

So – 5 days in, and I’m reasonably sure I have at least ONE of the mushroom projects under way.

Mushroom omelette anyone?

[OK, Edit: Buzzkill sheriji (who has much experience with moldy coffee filters, it seems 😉 ) tells me it really is just mold. Bugger!]