WSF, Wageningen. In collaboration with Boerengroep, WSF organized a Mushroom Inoculation activity on Saturday (26/3/22). This particular session is held by WSF’s Field Commissioner to inspire participants on good practices to inoculate shiitake mushrooms. On that sunny Saturday afternoon, at least 15 participants were invited to dive into the knowledge of growing mushrooms and the chance to get hands-on experience. This mushroom inoculation session was a follow-up of the previous activity held a month ago, collecting logs in the forest with Pip.
WSF was pleased to again invite Pip Gilmore of Groene Takken to our field. She started her journey on this path in 2002 when she had the idea to work on something related to giving added value to forests, trees, and woods. Pip is an expert in making edible wood, the wood that feeds the edible mushrooms. Before starting with this enterprise, Pip also worked at WUR, at some points it's also a bit nostalgic for her to be back here and working with students
On this occasion, Pip trains the participants to grow summer shiitake mushrooms. Before the practical session, Pip explains a lot about wood log requirements, mushroom plugs, and how to maintain the growing conditions. To begin with, Pip recommends using oak wood logs as it is dense and can provide nutrition for shiitake mushrooms for a long period, suitable for a sustainable growth plan. Then, she explains about the mushroom plug which we will put inside the log in a certain configuration to allow better growth and maintenance. It can take a year for a mushroom to flower so it can be harvested.
“I like the young energy from the students in WSF, a young generation that is open to ideas and full of curiosity. The key to growing mushrooms is to get into the routine. You have to pay attention to the weather and make sure you have planning to guide you during the process. Growing mushrooms takes time, so try to be relaxed and don’t stress out” Pip said to the participants.
Also, Pip gave some recommendations on how to maintain the woodpile in order to have sufficient mushrooms grow and avoid drying out. Pip also suggests that the students create a task division and keep the mushroom maintenance activity on a weekly basis. All in all, the growing mushroom is a combination of art, hard work, and patience. If you are interested to know more about how to grow mushrooms, be sure to have a look at Pip’s website at https://groenetakken.nl/.
Written by: Harlino Prayudha
Edited by Ellen Hoekstra.