Doin' Some 'Shrooms...

Hi everybody,
Well, I guess that I have got the edible gardening enthusiasm going now - trying to do as many different plants as possible.
So I am researching mushrooms. NOT those "magic" ones, ornecessarily anything "gourmet." Just regular mushrooms for eating (e.g. the basic white type available at supermarkets.)
My small outdoor space is already filled with veggies, so I am looking for indoor arraingements for the mushrooms (don't they like the dark?)
A Google search comes up with:
1. A bunch of stuff re: mind-altering (poisonous) varieties.
2. Stuff about growing on logs outdoors.
3. Some very technical stuff requiring sterile environments, petri dishes, etc.
4. Promotions for commercial "kits" supposedly containing the necessary ingredients.
So,
Is anybody here doing this? Is it possible to just start with some supermarket mushrooms, and get the spores out of that?
Or are the spores generally available from seed suppliers?
I have seem some random mushrooms growing wild, but I am cautious for safety reasons.
Do I need to do a whole complex proceedure with sterile petri dishes, etc, etc, to start up?
Suppliers are an issue, since I live in New Zealand, so there would likely be big shipping charges and restrictions for stuff from out of the country.
Thanks in advance!
-v
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On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 21:18:01 -0800, Down Under On The Bucket Farm

<snip>
Search on
mushroom culture mushroom cultivation
to see some options. These sites:
http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsaf/elibrary/archive/hort/organic/990015.htm http://www.mykoweb.com/articles/cultivation.html
has some basic info.
I have had several 'kits' that produced (small) crops inside a cardboard box. Sustained mushroom cultivation is pretty fiddly. Not like planting a seed/spore and waiting for them to grow.
Good luck.
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Check out http://www.fungi.com/ . They are in the US but the site shows you what to look for to grow your own.
Bill
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(snip)
(snip)
I've used the boxed kits that are available here in Aus and have found them to be quite good. I grow them in the sauna (unused as who has time to fart around having saunas). I also did a goggle search and it seems that kits are also available in NZ: http://www.trademe.co.nz/listings-feature/0010-0036-/auction-6650397.htm
I also have mushrooms growing in huge 'fairy ring' shapes in 2 of my lawns ('rough paddock' mutters my sister) and they are reliable producers in any month with an 'r' in it if I keep up the water.
Dunno about anything else but this site (from NZ) may be of help about the more esoteric stuff. http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~mushspor /
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try this site:
alt.nature.mushrooms
lots of knowledgeable folks there.
mixter

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Why don't you buy a mushroom kit and gain some experience from it? This will give you a better idea of what is involved.

It is possible to harvest spores from supermarket mushrooms. Just place one of the fully open ones in a brown paper bag in the vegetable section of your fridge, and a few days later the bag underneath the gills will have a layer of dark dust. There you have millions of spores. What you are going to do with them is another matter. :-)

Caution is very sensible. But once you know what to look for, it is easy. Only harvest the clones: smooth white dome top, pink gills, regulation size and shape, growing beside a clump of rotting cow dung. Well, that's the Aussie ones, yours may be different.
Get someone to show you, and after a few days of showery weather you can go out into the field and harvest to your heart's content. The beauty of the wild ones is that they have unrivalled flavour, nothing like your bland supermarket ones. If in doubt, leave that mushroom be and move on to the next one.
Make sure you store harvested mushrooms in paper bags, not plastic, or they will go mouldy very quickly.
--
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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