Cultivating Lion’s Mane Mushroom

© J.N. Urbanski – Usage prohibited without consent

I first encountered lion’s mane mushroom last August on a hiking trail. It was growing on a dead log and I took half of it home and sautéed it with scrambled eggs. It was delicious, meaty and delicately fragrant with the texture of lobster. The mushroom is a powerhouse of beneficial nutrients and is said to improve neurological function and alleviate anxiety.

After searching high and low for the rest of the summer, I never saw it again. So,  I bought a grow kit from Catskills Fungi (pictured below) in December.

© J.N. Urbanski – Usage prohibited without consent

I didn’t have much luck with harvesting a great deal of lion’s mane from the kit over the winter. Seemingly remarkably fussy, it would grow fruit in small sections then, overnight, it would yellow, and become hard and inedible. It obviously didn’t like the atmosphere in the house – probably a bit too dry from the wood stove. So I’ve decided to plant it outside in a place on my property, in parts of our forest where I ordinarily find mushrooms (below) and give it a couple of dying logs on which to spore and a gallon of water. This might be entirely the wrong way to go about this, in which case, I’m happy to take suggestions. Watch this space for details.

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