new issue on salenow!
King stropharia are big and have a distinctive taste.

Growing your own mushrooms

Kirsten Bradley talks about the joys of growing mushrooms, king stropharia being one of her favourites.

Learning how to grow edible mushrooms in your garden is a great way to increase your household’s resilience, enhance your garden’s soil – and make your tummy very happy, all at once. It’s safe and easy, and even potentially free, once you have the basic bits you need. The best thing about growing mushrooms? You don’t need any fancy equipment to begin. You can get started with a few basic ingredients and then slowly build from there – up to an abundant garden of mushroomy goodness.

Getting started

We love growing king stropharia mushrooms in our garden. Partly because they are big and beautiful, and partly because they are quite different in taste and texture to any of the other mushrooms we grow, or can source from local markets and shops. You can purchase mushroom spawn for this variety from a number of reputable online Australian suppliers. Spawn is a bag of super-charged mycelium of that specific species, to get your garden growing.

The mushroom garden technique has two stages. We start growing mycelium in a big tub. After the first harvest of king stropharia mushrooms, the tub will be full to the brim of the mushroom’s strong mycelium. Now that it has adapted to our climate and conditions, we move that mycelium into a prepared garden where it can spread out, continue to live its best life, and pop up as intermittent harvests of king stropharia mushrooms. Our other favourites for this technique are wood blewit and pearl oyster. 

King stropharia are big and have a distinctive taste.

NOTE: Make sure you get to know the characteristics of what you’re growing, give them ideal conditions and a head start by following the technique described in the Early Winter 2023 issue of OG. When your harvest pops up, just check they’re the right mushrooms and enjoy!

Kirsten Bradley is a gardener, educator and writer who grows a lot of mushrooms, among other things. She co-authored the book Milkwood: Real skills for down-to-earth living with Nick Ritar. This information comes from a feature she wrote for OG 141. 

There’s a selection of back issues available here — you can also subscribe and get the most recent issues delivered to your door!

OG 141 cover_Helen McKerral