Agaricus Benesii (Pine Mulch Mushroom) that are dried in a carefully controlled environment to preserve the viability of the spawn. Instructions to extract spores are included. (Kit includes a metal tin of dried spawn, and instructions for creating the appropriate substrate and for growing indoors or in the garden.) Temple Gardens strain.
Flavored and used like the common White Button mushroom, this mushroom will produce a similar sized button mushroom, and a 4-5" cap when mature. The color of the cap will darken to gray or tan as it grows. This mushroom is used in recipes the same way White Buttons are, with similar flavor and results. The very firm to hard texture of this mushroom means it is not used raw, but holds up better in cooking, and is a good canning mushroom.
Agaricus benesii is distinctly different from other Agaricus mushrooms, and images online are now completely incorrect. Many years ago, when this listing was first posted, the image above, and this description were typical for Agaricus benesii, but people who do not understand mushrooms have corrupted the identification, and they've posted pictures of Agaricus bisporus, Agaricus arvensis, Agaricus bernardii, and other species which are NOT A. benesii. They can get away with it when it is not such a distinctive mushroom, but with this one, the features are so different as to be unmistakable. One TOUCH of this mushroom, and you KNOW it is different than most Agaricus.
Pine Mulch Mushroom grows in any compost or mulch that has a significant content of conifer wood or needles. Caps have pale grayish to tannish gills, which darken to brown after the veil breaks, as the spores mature. The spores are brown in color. This mushroom has a very dry feel, more so than any other Agaricus mushroom, and the cap may break into a mosaic pattern. The stem STAINS RED slowly when it is cut, and then turns graybrown. The cap may or may not stain red. This mushroom is also HARDER in feel than any other Agaricus. It doesn't even LOOK or FEEL like an Agaricus in the button stage, it has a hard ridge around the edge of the cap, and when the veil breaks, it stands out from the stipe with a hard double edged ring. When the veil breaks, you see the classic Agaricus gills, which turn dark brown as they age. It smells mushroomy.
This is one of the BEST mushrooms for a Back to Eden No Till Garden in areas where the most prevalent mulch is pine, spruce, oak, or cypress. It helps break down the mulch into accessible nutrients for your plants, and helps retain water in the soil. You get an extra crop, which helps your plants and does not harm them! It bears in the fall, or early or late winter, so it will grow well in the garden after the other crops have died out.
May be used to culture into compost to create spawn, or can be direct sown into substrates or into mulch using several simple non-sterile methods. Will grow in partially composted straw bales that have had manure or manure tea added.
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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