(Rendered image above is a hand-drawn representation of this mushroom. Some mushrooms were processed or too aged before images could be obtained, and other mushrooms were found when we did not have access to a usable camera.)
Keys most closely to Bovista Pila. Spawn has been carefully cured and dried to preserve spore viability. The exact identification of the specific puffball species is less important than verification of edibility, and knowledge of growing conditions, both of which are known of this species. (Kit includes a metal tin of dried spawn, and instructions for creating the appropriate substrate and for growing indoors or in the wild.) Brookhaven Fields strain.
This is a small puffball (1-2"), grows scattered or gregriously, depending on conditions. It likes disturbed ground on gravel or dirt roadways or paths, heavily grazed fields, and other less than perfect growing conditions. We know this will grow on sand or on clay. It bears more heavily, with larger fruiting bodies, during rainy seasons where it rains at night, and the sun comes out in the daytime. It prefers UNSHADED areas, and will not bear in tall grass.
It may be naturalized out of doors, or cultivated indoors in a box of soil with a layer of grass clippings or hay over the top.
While this is a small puffball, it is a good edible, and has been enjoyed by the family on the property where this strain was found, for more than 50 years. It is most useful as a means of making otherwise unproductive areas produce a mushroom crop.
May be used to culture into compost to create spawn, or can be direct sown into substrates or into the soil using several simple non-sterile methods.
Each order of dried spawning mushroom contains enough to create two batches of active spores, which may be cultured and expanded, and then sown into the desired substrates.
Dried Spawn is EASY to use! Just reconstitute in water, and either finely chop or use a blender, and pour the resulting spore and mushroom mixture over your substrate or onto the ground where they need to be sown.
Packaged in metal tins for longest storage and viability. We do not use plastic in handling this product (plastic leaches chlorides, which are fungicidal in effect), and our products are not exposed to chlorine or other harmful chemicals during growth, processing, or handling on our property. You may be assured of the highest quality and maximum growth potential.
NOTE: Dried spawning mushrooms must be selected and handled correctly to produce viable spores. They must also be used correctly to extract spores, and then to culture the spores into the receiving medium. Our proprietary methods ensure viable spores, and we give you instructions for culturing them in a non-sterile environment. (If cultured improperly in a non-sterile environment, things go terribly wrong.) You are not only paying for the mushroom spores, you are paying for our expertise in both the processes we carry out before you see the product, and the instructions we give you for using the spawning mushroom.
Cross contaminations DO occur with non-sterile mushroom spawn (they seem to occur with alarming frequency with supposed sterile spawn as well!). In general, these contaminations are harmless, they may produce other non-edible, or other edible mushrooms, but for the most part, the mushroom you paid for will outnumber the contaminations by many times, and will not establish ahead of the desired mushroom.
Additionally, when using non-sterile methods to culture in natural materials, prior colonizations of unwanted fungus may occur, resulting in the fruiting of unexpected, random mushroom types. This is not at all a disaster, and normally does not cause problems. These mushrooms will typically be inedible, and may be ignored - in our experience, the cultured mushroom still establishes well and will produce well in spite of the interlopers! The chance that a poisonous look-alike would grow instead is virtually non-existent - because dangerous look-alikes don't grow in the same environment as visually similar edible species.
We do advise that you KNOW YOUR MUSHROOM - and that you know what it looks like, so you correctly identify anything coming up. This is wise in every instance, because even when you are using "sterile" kits or materials, rogue mushrooms may grow.
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