“Dont judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson [Read more…] about My Two-Ingredient Seed Raising Mix (It’s the BEST!)
“Dear Customer Service: First of all, you should know that I’m typing this with my middle finger.” ~ Anon
“It takes a lot of skill to be able to grow food sustainably. Its an art form. We need to raise agriculture up to another different level like they do in Europe where farmers are on the same level as engineers and doctors… because the food that we eat is the most important thing in our lives.” Antonio Roman-Alcala, Farmer/Activist Alemany Farm, San Francisco, CA
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Atwood
“Falling in love is like eating mushrooms. You never know if it is the real thing until it is too late.” ~ Bill Balance
I once bought a fantastic oyster mushroom kit from the Mystery Mushroom Man (I didn’t ask his name) at the Kalamumda markets. It was a small strawbale infused with spores that lived in my suitably warm and humid laundry. The mushrooms looked exotically alien. Their unusual growing habit always prompted a “WTF is that thing in your laundry?”from unsuspecting guests on their way to use the loo. It was a bargain. For $20.00 it sprouted a few kilos of mushrooms until it was eventually exhausted and the bale went into the compost. All (edible, non poisonious) mushrooms are delicious tossed through a work with some oil and garlic, finished with a little butter.
Piled high on some grilled toast, topped with a sprinkling of goat’s cheese, and served with a glass of sparkling wine, the noble mushroom makes the perfect Sunday lazy brunch. Sadly, I have had less luck with the button mushroom kits that are sold at the hardware store in cardboard boxes.
But with our recent rains, we have had lots of toadstools and mushrooms springing up in the veggie patch. So I have felt a flush of confidence and am willing to give the boxed variety another go. See, twice I have tried, and twice, the contents were composted without a whiff of tasty fungus. Perhaps, I let them dry out. Perhaps, their environment was not consistently warm enough. Maybe, they found my fondness for 80’s stadium rock anthems while gardening mortally offensive. Who knows? But, I am going to give boxed mushrooms one last try.
This time, I have a trick up my sleeve. I have a styrofoam box (we call them “esky’s” here in Oz) that was previously used to keep my delivered groceries cold. I am going to punch some ventilation holes in the lid and put my prepared mushroom box in there. It is going in the most protected spot in the greenhouse, next to the hot water system. Hopefully, it will keep my mushies feeling consistently humid, warm, sound proofed and loved. If this doesn’t work, I may just have to decide that fungus needs more love than I am prepared to give and just go back to planting sweet potatoes.
Any tips for success? Have you had any luck with mushroom kits? Please let me know. As usual, I’ll keep you posted.
“Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.” ~ William Cowper
When my sister and I were kids, our entire play life was mostly about searching for, finding and creating the perfect cubby house.
The most memorable was an old chicken pen behind a house where we lived in Bridgetown. Our cubby was generously furnished with the unwanted household off-casts from the nice old couple next door. We decked ourselves out in an outrageous smothering of old costume jewellery and felt like queens in a castle.
Now, almost 30 years on, I am back to creating the perfect cubby house. Though from now on, I will refer to it by its most appropriate adult pseudonym, “Greenhouse”.
My $70 greenhouse from The Reject Shop failed to see out it’s first year and started to fall apart almost instantly after purchase but was finally finished off by our last good gusty storm.
But now, by ways that will remain known only to me, I have managed to convince my husband to build me a proper
cubby greenhouse. And I have just the place for it.
You will probably have a space similar to it at your house. It is tucked down the back corner of the block and has an awkward aspect. But it is perfect for me. It already has a fence and gate to section it off from prying little hands. It is partly paved, with plenty of space for the potting bench, a potting sink, some shelving and plenty of storage. It even has an outdoor electricity plug.
I have already cleared the weeds since this photo was taken. The next step will be to clear the mulch from the beds, put down weed mat and lots of pebbles on top for good drainage while cutting down weeds. It will be getting a roof structure too for added protection. The transformation is going to take a few weeks, so watch this space. I can’t wait to move in!