Mushroom Cultivation is not as difficult as it may sound. Gary Goldman, Cape Town’s original Mushroom Fundi, is all set to show you how, with a little patience, some cardboard and a hardwood log, you can grow your own shiitakes and oyster mushrooms from here on out.
Just imagine the bragging rights at your next dinner party: “Oh these? I grew them, actually. No big deal.”
- Great hands-on experience where you’ll make an inoculated shiitake log and a batch of oyster mushrooms on cardboard to take home.
- Learn which hardwood logs are used for cultivating shiitake and how easy it is to grow oyster mushrooms on cardboard.
- Understand the cultivated mushroom’s life cycle.
- A printed manual for the shiitake log workshop to take home.
- Gary’s delicious banana muffins and coffee keeps you energised.
Sure, you could pick up some shiitake and oyster mushrooms at your weekly farmer’s market, but doesn’t it sound a whole lot cooler to learn how to grow the fabulous fungi yourself? With 15 years experience mushroom foraging and cultivating edible mushrooms, you better believe Gary Goldman is the guy to show you how it’s done.
“It’s more like two workshops in one, really, showing how different growing methods can be used for different mushroom strains,” he explains. Folks that are all about minimum fuss and instant gratification will be all over the oyster mushroom growing tutorial, where Gary will demonstrate how to cultivate the creamy white, delicate beauties directly on cardboard, where they’ll be ready for the picking in less than a month.
Slightly more finicky, but so worth the extra effort – and wait – you’ll also learn how to cultivate buttery, umami rich shiitakes by inoculating hardwood logs with shiitake spawn (science, yeah!), which can take up to 18 months to, uhm, mushroom.
The mushroom cultivation workshops happen at Gary’s home, so you can expect him to ply you with freshly baked almond and banana muffins, biscuits and stovetop-brewed coffee between doing demos and talking up a storm about nutraceuticals (medical mushrooms to you and me), the health benefits of shiitake and oyster mushrooms (spoiler alert: one of them is an aphrodisiac) and everything in between, really. He is, after all, the fundi of all things fungi.
- Freshly baked muffins and coffee
- Mushroom cultivation substrates, spawn and tools required for workshop.
- Mushroom cultivation information (shiitake log cultivation workshop manual)
Medicinal mushrooms are known as nutraceuticals – a broad umbrella term describing any product derived from food sources that have extra health benefits in addition to their basic nutritional value.
Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald