Alright, so you don’t live in a Mediterranean climate, and you’re sick and tired of hearing how we’re harvesting bell peppers in Northern California 😉 .
Well here’s a nice little project that you and your kids will love any time of the year: growing oyster mushrooms indoors! I was recently at a “mushroom camp” with the Sonoma Mushroom Association, and among many different lectures and activities, made my own oyster mushroom growing kit.
The instructor, Ben Schmid, pasteurized the straw (boiled to at least 180F), and excited, wide-eyed participants like myself stuffed it (using rubbing-alcohol-disinfected gloves) into clean plastic bags (about 2 gal capacity). Finally, Ben added oyster mushroom spawn (mine were purportedly Australian Blue Oysters – but there’s nothing blue about them so perhaps I got a different oyster species) into the bags.
It took exactly 23 days till I harvested the first bunch. It was kept in our well-lit kitchen that averages 65F throughout the day. Needless to say, it was a THRILL to see the first bunch grow into a dinner-sized portion. We cut them up (leaving the pretty caps intact) and stir fried them with red bell peppers and onions. Delicious!