Delivered Compost, Outdoor Mushroom Blocks Etc.

soil hand.jpg
soil hand.jpg

Delivered Compost, Outdoor Mushroom Blocks Etc.

from 60.00

We will deliver a heaping pickup truck load (>1.5 yds) anywhere in Philly or just outside the city. We offer 2nd Flush Shiitake Blocks, Assorted Spent Blocks, or Cold-Composted Mushroom Substrate. Remember, we grow Wood-Loving mushrooms meaning this is very different stuff from traditional “mushroom compost.” Details on each of the 3 items offered below.

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2nd FLUSH SHIITAKE BLOCKS

While many mushroom farms grow for a total of 2-4 flushes (harvests) of shiitake from each of their blocks, we flush them only once on our farm, meaning they have more growing potential. After harvest, we clean blocks of stem butts, stack and slowly dry the blocks to preserve this potential and help prevent them from breaking up during transport (some will invetiably arrive broken, and there is sometimes a bit of harmless green mold as well) A 1.5 yard pickup truck load has roughly 200 blocks.

Each block has the potential to grow another 1/4lb of mushrooms per block given optimal moisture, humidity, and time. Even in non-optimal conditions, you will still pull a good bit of sizeable shiitake from your blocks during the subsequent fall and/or spring seasons, following relatively rainy. cool periods. Do not break your shiitake blocks.

Keep your shiitake blocks in contact with the ground (for moisture) in as shady a location as possible (they can tolerate a bit of sunlight). Consider partially burying your blocks in soil, woodchips, or anything that holds water and drains. They do well next to windbreaks like sheds, just make sure they have access to rainwater. Irrigation can help acheive greater yields but isn’t required. The blocks will invite critters like ants, worms, spiders and higher members of the foodchain like birds and small rodents. Blocks typically overwinter unscathed.

Blocks will persist for a year or more, then slowly break down into the soil, building soil organic matter. They do not have enough nitrogen to be used as compost, but are a great woody additive to compost mixes, make primo worm bedding, and can be used in some mulching applicaitons. Some folks not interested in high yields build semi-persistent organic walls out of blocks and soil/clay. The drier the blocks remain the longer they will persist, and the less they’ll produce mushrooms. But they are fun and easy to use as bricks nonetheless.

Please make sure the mushrooms you are picking are in fact Shiitake! Other mushrooms may be present and can even grow from spent mushroom substrate. Things that look like shiitake are unlikely to be poisonous, but you want to be 100% certain. If in doubt, consult an expert or email us a picture for confirmation.

Outdoor grown shiitake are typically more flavorful than indoor, though they sometimes aren’t as pretty. I like letting them mature fully- where the overall shape goes from convex to flat. At this stage, they’re at their tastiest, but the refrigerated shelf life is shortened to only a few days. For longer term storage, harvest in the convex stage before white spores begin to drop. Remove any dark, slimy, smelly spots. Always cook mushrooms. They may have some insects in them. If you wish to minimized bugs, dry them out quickly and bugs will largely migrate since a dry mushroom wicks water out of anything it contacts. Enjoy the fruits of your minimal labor!

ASSORTED SPENT MUSHROOM BLOCKS

This will be a mix of leftover blocks of any/all of the following: King Trumpet, Shiitake, Nameko, Pom Pom, and Oyster grown on hardwood sawdust, with an average of 20-30% supplementation with rye or wheat bran. The mycelium still has life, and you may get some additional mushroom fruitings if weather permits, but less reliably than if blocks were shiitake alone. If you’d like a good shot at mushrooms, order your delivery before cool, wet weather arrives. But most folks order this stuff to be used as a compost additive, a mulch, or to help loosen up clay soil.

Because these blocks are higher supplement, they contain more nitrogen which means that left in a pile, they will heat up due to microbial action and break down into dark brown fluffy, carbonaceous “soil” after a year or two. We’ve seen temperatures around 130 in the summer. This is not hot enough to be considered “hot compost,” but there is nothing in it that technically requires higher temperatures: no manure, food scraps etc. It is a wonderful addition to a hot composting operation that incorporates higher nitrogen components. It’s also the best worm bedding you’ll find anywhere.

If you choose to break these up and add directly to soil, keep in mind that woody material can absorb some nitrogen from your soil and stow it away from plant roots. That said, supplemented and myceliated wood will not steal nitrogen the way fresh woodchips will.

If you do see mushrooms growing and want to harvest them, please make sure the mushrooms you are picking are what you think they are! Other mushrooms may be present and can even grow from spent mushroom substrate. If in doubt, consult an expert or email us a picture for confirmation.

Cold Composted Mushroom Substrate

This product is a dark, carbonaceous (very high organic matter %) soil amendment that is quite different than typical “mushroom compost” from Kennett Square.

The production process begins with the slow composting of spent mushroom blocks from our farm. While the blocks are mostly wood, there is enough nitrogen (mainly in the form of mycelium and undigested bran) that the pile will heat up due to microbial action and break down slowly into dark brown fluffy, carbonaceous “soil” after a year or two. We’ve seen temperatures around 130 in the summer. This is not hot enough to be considered “hot compost,” but there is nothing in it that technically requires higher temperatures: no manure, food scraps etc. We find that this stuff is relatively low in weed seeds, but not entirely. It will contain living insects, eggs and the like. It is a wonderful addition to a hot composting operation that incorporates higher nitrogen components. It’s good worm bedding (freshly spent blocks are better).

Unlike Spent blocks, this product has largely broken down meaning it can be used immediately as a soil amendment without worrying much about it stealing nitrogen away from plants. It is on the acidic/fungi dominant side, meaning in its raw form it is best suited for perennials. Adding compost and topsoil should be enough to use in the farm, garden, or as potting soil.