Did everyone have a great weekend? We sure did at the Fort Wayne Farmers Market. With the start of a new week, we are wanting to do a series called “Monday Minute”! It is our hope that these will be short blurbs aimed at educating the public about mushrooms, urban farming, and local market culture.

Monday Minute

The Lentinus Edodes “Shiitake” mushroom is the second most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. In the wild Shiitake grow in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous, hardwood trees. They are found naturally only in the warm and moist areas of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Shii tree that they are most commonly found on and “take” meaning mushroom.
At Windrose Urban Farm the Shiitake are grown on hardwood sawdust blocks. The sawdust is a by-product of the lumber industry in Indiana. The process of growing Shiitake mushrooms can take nearly 3 months from start to harvest. Spent mushroom blocks can also be reused by vermicomposting, putting the blocks through a worm farm designed to produce a rich compost that will be used to grow vegetables. These worms thrive on the mycelium, the fungal organism that the mushrooms fruit from. That compost created by the worms is one of the best natural fertilizers for vegetable growing.
-Chris Knipstein

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