For years we have been using and selling a very basic straw and manure compost mixture. Here at MycoHaus we have recently stumbled across a new blend of compost that we have found far out preforms any others used in the past. We have noticed very vigorous and rapid mycelium growth. After thoroughly testing this new blend we created, we have completely done away with our old straw and manure compost. So I thought I would share how it was that we came upon this new recipe.
Last spring a friend of mine who is in the landscaping business dropped off a few bags of hardwood mulch left over from a job. I was told they were trying out a new kind of mulch and favored using it because of its rich black color. It was being used to line flower beds and rose gardens. after laying out a bit in my own garden I noticed a few things. First, this was not like your typical mulch. When I think of mulch I picture huge wood chips that are are used to line large trees or playground equipment. This was very finely shredded and composted mulch. It broke apart easily in my hands and I really liked the way it smelled. I also noticed there was a lot of mycelium rooting its way through out the bag and a few weeks later I had all kinds of tiny mushrooms in my garden. I thought to myself…if mushrooms are growing so well in this naturally, I wonder how well it would work for farming oysters?
So I enquired with my friend who originally supplied me with the mulch and asked if I could get some more. It worked so well I wanted to experiment with it and see how well I could grow oysters with it. He informed me that this particular brand of mulch is manufactured at a de-barking facility in central Ohio where they strip off the bark from hardwood trees such as oaks and maples that will be made into furniture. The bark is then “triple shredded”, blended with fully composted manure and let age. The manure is what gave it such a rich black color. And it is because of the added manure and how finely the wood is broken up that creates extraordinary mushroom growth.
Almost all mushrooms grow on decaying wood and forest debris. Many species thrive best in manure based compost. Oysters and shiitakes love hardwood logs like oak, so why not make a compost that contains shredded and decaying hardwood. I thought to myself, wow, no wonder there were mushrooms growing all throughout this stuff, and I set out to create the perfect mushroom compost blend.
Since the mulch already contained hardwood and manure I simply added some peat and vermiculite to hold in more moisture and help with aeration. tweaked the mixture with the correct amount of water for the perfect moisture content and buffered the PH with some calcium carbonate. I packaged the compost in 10 pound mycobags, sterilized them and began my testing. I was completely amazed to see how quickly the bags colonized. We grew several species of oysters and shiitakes right here in our facility, and tested them side by side with our old compost recipe. The first thing we noticed is how fast the new bags colonized. We got multiple flushes of mushrooms from the 10 LB compost cakes. This stuff has worked out so well that that we had our landscaper friends drop off a few dump truck loads of it. And it is the only kind of bulk compost we are using from here on out.
We will be selling 5 and 10 pound bags of the very same compost and we encourage you to try it for yourself. You will not be disappointed!! We would love to tell you more about our great products, so please feel free to message us with any questions or comments you may have. We look forward to hearing form you.
These are pictures of wild oysters growing out of a bag of the hardwood mulch. No added moisture, vermiculite or sterilization. The oysters just grew out of the holes in the bags naturally! We did not plant them there.