7/24/14 Aptaker: “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms at Home”

In recent years simple techniques have been developed which allow home hobbyists to cultivate and grow oyster mushrooms, shiitake and a variety of other delicious and healthful fungi with a minimum of equipment and materials.  Unlike the grocery store button mushroom, these edibles do not need specialized growing conditions.  Many can be grown on straw, wood chips, compost, as companion crops in vegetable gardens, or on storm killed or recently cut softwood or hardwood trees trunks and branches.  It’s even possible to grow some varieties on coffee grounds or waste paper.

This presentation will offer an overview of the types of fungi that home growers can cultivate, the ideal growth media (substrates) for each, and the techniques for inoculation and production.  Nutritional and medicinal properties of various kinds of fungi will be discussed, and sources for spawn and other supplies will be shared.

Rob Aptaker, our presenter has been cultivating a variety of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms since 1994.  An avid outdoorsman, he has been foraging and identifying wild edible fungi since the 1980’s.  This interest led Rob to explore small scale home mushroom farming.

In 1996 he traveled to Washington State to take a course in mushroom cultivation from famed fungiphile and cultivation innovator Paul Stamets whose company, Fungi Perfecti, is at the forefront of the field of gourmet and medicinal mushroom research and development.

In addition to growing shiitake, oyster, and wine cap mushrooms, Rob has begun experiments in cultivating the medicinal reishi mushroom. He also leads wild mushroom identification forays in the Fall.

He’ll be bringing fresh mushrooms for sale as well as oak logs inoculated with shiitake mushroom spawn and straw blocks inoculated with oyster mushroom spawn.

This re-skilling presentation is being featured at the July 2014  quarterly meeting of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of The Weston A. Price Foundation:

July 24, 2014 – Thursday – 7 pm at the United Steelworkers Hall
53 E. Lehigh St, Bethlehem (you enter the big parking lot from Center St
at the equivalent of 316 Center St using Google maps or Mapquest)
just north of the New Street/Fahy Bridge.

Local producers may bring grass-fed / organic / biodynamic products for sampling or sale – check out their tables before & after the presentation (doors open at 6:30pm) – and bring your coolers! <> Books & Videos will be available. Free Admission (donations invited – because they’re needed to keep these programs going). On-site parking.