Did you know cultivated mushrooms are grown differently than other produce? Most are apart of a group of fungi called, saprobes, which feed off of and lie within decaying organic materials such as wood and straw, not soil. Coming this summer, customers of the farmers market will have the chance to purchase mushrooms grown from a unique blend of such materials thanks to Oyster and King!
Our mushrooms are grown on our unique substrate combination of wood chips and other organic materials and are delivered locally daily to guarantee freshness and quality.
David Xiao of Oyster King says to grow mushrooms, carbon is derived from wood or straw, but accessible nitrogen is usually added in the form of bran, composted animal manure, or other means.
It is an labour intensive process in strictly controlled environment that is
by default organic, and sustainable operations operate much like a factory rather than a farm.
Mushroom growth is dependent on a maintenance of a narrow range of C/N ratio (for fertile compost), pH, temperature, and humidity.
David says oyster mushrooms grow at an ideal temperature of 10-24°C, making the spring and fall seasons the ideal time of year to grow.
Wild mushrooms have unique requirements for fruiting, and fruit throughout various times of the year. Morels pop in the late spring and summer, and chanterelles, lobsters and others come with the early rains of the fall wherever it is moist.
Fun fact: Did you know fungi were among the first organisms to colonize land beside plants? There is speculation that they had an early symbiosis with plants and this aided them in doing so.
Now you know!