To Amuse and Delight

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Making Mushrooms

This has been a week for mushrooms. I was feeling a bit lousy with a cold on Easter morning. Puffy head, runny nose, I sat in church trying to ignore it. My daughter knew just the perfect moment to pull this out of her bag. "Your Easter present", she said and she handed me this adorable crocheted mushroom. Yay! That cheered me on to listen to the Easter message and feed a bunch of people afterwards. It continues to work it's magic whenever I see it. When my daughter was little she was always giving me cute things that she made. Something made out of clay with too many eyes, a scribble drawing that said "I mad thi3 for you" (translation: I made this for you.). But, lately when she writes me a note or makes me something it is worth more to me than all those sweet little scraps from when she was younger. She is 13 now and she knows me more as an equal human being than the "mom" person I was to her when she was small. When the girls were very little sometimes the days were hectic and I longed for them to end so we could all just get some sleep. Now, the days are never long enough to do all the things we want to do. If you have little ones and feel sad thinking about them growing up remember they are still the same people, only much much more interesting. 
A friend forwarded me an email about a homeschool class about growing mushrooms, "Thought this was right up your alley", she said. She was so right. Even though I was on the tail end of my stinky cold we went. We "planted" shitake mushrooms. The first step was to go into the woods where we each got to pick our own host logs. They had a lot of downed trees due to hurricane Sandy, the Red Oak logs were pre-cut for us in manageable sizes. We carried them back and drilled holes into them where the shitake spawn was to be put. Here's my gal doing the drilling.
Next was the inoculation process. Shooting the spawn (which is mixed with sawdust) into the holes.
Next , melted wax is brushed over each hole to seal in the spawn to keep it from drying out.
There they are, logs filled with shitake spawn waiting to grow yummy mushrooms. I can't help but think of the perfect timing of this experience for us, it being Easter week. With thoughts fresh in my mind about Jesus and his resurrection, about how he always makes a way for seemingly dead things to become new. You know these mushrooms cannot even grow on a living log? It has to be decaying. Without the death of theses trees the new amazingly useful "fruit" could never be born.


  1. Hey...we just had some trees cut down for safety reasons and they did the same thing to some of these logs that remain in our back forest..can't wait to see the mushrooms growing. Thanks for visiting me the other day. xo

    1. HI Koralee-
      They tell me it will take a year for the mushrooms to grow. You can force them though, by soaking the logs in cold h20 for 12 hours. I am tempted, but I'm gonna hold out and be patient!

  2. That project is so "you!" I love the point you made about our children staying the same, but becoming more interesting. It's such a nice way of looking at life. And what a beautiful Easter week illustration at the end. Lovely.

    1. Thanks Gypsy, as always for your kind thoughts!