Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Shrooming Fun

Jordan's class has spent most of the term doing a project on plants. She went to an agri-technology farm. We were supposed to grow plants, collect parts of it and she was to bring it to school to show it and talk about it. Her farm visit yielded some seedlings for us to plant. We had 3 over-zealous gardeners who over-watered the plants. We killed them.

I didn't really want to her to grow bean sprouts because that was boring but I didn't think she or rather we could manage to keep anything else alive. Then I chanced upon someone selling mushroom kits. I remember my mom bringing one home from Everbloom and us leaving it in the store room to grow. It didn't take many days, the results were quickly obvious and you could eat your spoils.

So that's what we did.

Initially, they didn't grow very quickly but I think they were dehydrated. I didn't comprehend how much water they needed and even my intrepid gardeners weren't spraying them enough through the day. What was really needed was a shower every couple of hours. I assume that simulates rain and I remember reading books where toadstools and mushrooms sprouted every where after a big downpour. Once they started growing, they didn't stop till I cut them off the saw dust block.

We ended up making pasta for the kids and tom yum soup for the adults with the oyster mushrooms it yielded.

We could have grown a second crop but Jordan and Muffin developed an outbreak of eczema. I am not sure if it was the spores from the mushrooms but I wasn't going to risk it. Anyway, we had fun with it and I think the time the first batch took to grow was just about right. The novelty of growing mushrooms in our bathroom (the darkest and dampest area in the house) had worn off by the time we harvested the lot.

My conclusions?
1. Mushrooms are a great alternative to green bean sprouts if we are looking to grow something.
2. The kids loved the routine of watering them. Evan would ask if 2 hours were up so that he could go spray them some more. Granted, he was sick and bored and spraying water was a great distraction.
3. I don't like growing things. Even though growing the mushrooms were a no-brainer , I didn't like having to worry about the when I had to next water them and whether they would be dehydrated by the time we got to them.
4. I think my rule in the house is going to extend from "No pets" to "No pets and plants". I love plants. I love how they cool and green the house up but I don't want to have to tend to them. 3 kids are enough to tend to. So no plants. And also, no animals. Same reason.

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