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raising pleurotus ostreatus mushrooms:

raising pleurotus ostreatus mushrooms


name: raising pleurotus ostreatus mushrooms
start project: 2011-03-11
end project: 0000-00-00
more information:


Continuing my experiments with mushrooms, I decided to raise another mushroom family, namely the Pleurotus Ostreatus. These mushrooms can be raised on willow woodchips, in a transparant plastic bag, inside the house. After 6 weeks, the results should be visible.


Fist I collected willow woodchips at the Elishout landbouwschool in Pamel, outside of Brussels. I ordered the pleurotus ostreatus spawn at the famous mushroom dealer Mycobois in Deinze, Ghent.
On friday march 11th, I spread the spawn in thin layers inbetween the willow woodchips till the bags were full. I filled 2 big plastic bags, and 1 smaller one, with 2,5 liters of spawn.
In the beginning, the bags have to be put inside with an average temperature of 18 to 20°C. In those weeks, the mycelium starts running and takes over the woodchips completely. When this is done, we can put the bags outside, 8 to 15°C, where the pleurotus will start growing through the vent-slits in the plastic bags. Exciting!


fast growing mushrooms - 18.04.2011
date: 2011-04-18
This morning I noticed that the floor beneath the bag with the fast growing pleurotus ostreatus was totally white. Than I realized that the mushrooms probably ejected their spores. Is this a sign that I should harvest all of them?

fast growing mushrooms - 17.04.2011
date: 2011-04-17
I was excited to come back from Dortmund (which was, by the way, a very nice festival with lovely people). The pleurotus are behaving well, and I think that I'll prepare yet some of them tonight!
These pictures are taken in the morning. First a day of seed-action today, and in the evening harvest some pleurotus ...

cooking with the pleurotus ostreatus
date: 2011-04-17
After a day of seed-swapping and seedball rolling, back to the pleurotus: yes! we can harvest tonight! I pick the biggest flock in proportion. Their stems are all connected, it is 1 stem at the bottom coming out of the bag. You can break it easily, it comes off with a bit of myceleum with some woodchips connected ...
The mushrooms smell very fresh, a wood-odor. Their flesh is very firm. We decide to cook a pasta, with garlic and sage and olive oil and some herbal salt and pepper --- mmm, delicious!

fast growing mushrooms - 15.04.2011
date: 2011-04-15
After one day the mushrooms nearly doubled in size. They spring out of the plastic bag, but only from 1 side. The 2 other bags keep quiet for the moment, no changes yet.
I have to leave for Dortmund for 2 days, I cannot wait to see what happened when I'll be back on saturday night!

the mushrooms are there!
date: 2011-04-14
Always sooner than you think, nature goes its own way. After exactly 4 weeks and 6 days, the first pleurotus ostreatus grow out of the wood chips in the plastic bags. 1 week and 1 day sooner than they should ...
My goal was making a timelapse movie, but tomorrow morning I have to leave early for a 3 days workshop in Dortmund.
I hope they'll still grow once I'm back.

OpenGreens research #3
date: 2010-10-08
Friday, october 8th, I went to look for mushrooms at the Jardin Experimental Massart, one of the the fieldworkspaces of the biology department of the free university of Brussels (ULB).
On my way over there, I was thinking about one of the 20th century pioneer-experimental artists: John Cage.
John Cage was not only a major figure of the musical avant-garde but also an avid mycologist, collector and consumer of mushrooms. His knowledge of the fungal world was legendary.
Indeterminacy was a lecture/performance work in which Cage recited a series of one minute stories and anecdotes in no particular order. Many of these stories related to his love of mushrooms and his experiences of collecting and studying them.
In the experimental garden/forest, I picked some of the mushrooms to study them in my studio. Following movie gives random impressions of the research of the species under the microscope, accompanied by an excerpt of Indeterminacy, read by Cage.

A video of this research can be seen here: