A fungus among us

A few years back a very good, albeit tiny, friend sent me a mushroom growing kit. She had it sent directly from the company and didn’t tell me it was coming. I opened my front door one day, and there it was: a shitake mushroom growing kit.

A week later it occurred to me that only one person would send such an odd, yet cool, gift and not tell me who it was from. Jen E. Johnson.

It was fun to watch the shrooms bloom. Part science experiment, part delicacy, the kit provided entertainment and tickled my taste buds.

This year when asked what I wanted for Christmas I said, “a gray oyster mushroom growing kit.” Obviously. (I chose the gray oyster because I should be able to move it into my yard this spring and continue to harvest the tasty fruiting bodies for years.)

My dad and Karen complied and sent me a kit from Garden City Fungi, just down the road in Missoula.

I always suspected that my dad loved me, but when this gift arrived I knew it was true. My dad unabashedly HATES mushrooms. If he was Superman, mushrooms would be kryptonite. If he was oil, mushrooms would be water. If he was Rigby, mushrooms would be a bath. You get the point.

Here is what is happening so far:

The fungus block overlooking our shower. It needs indirect light and moisture, so I keep it in the bathroom. Plus, it is fun to look at while showering.

Peeking under the humidity tent for a better view. I mist it twice a day to ensure proper moisture levels.

It’s alive! The first mushrooms starting to grow out from the growing medium.

Fungi filling up a corner and getting ready to burst out. Can you believe I am going to eat this? Yum, yum!

Don’t worry, there will be more posts and more pictures on this fun topic.

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