Cultivation Difficulty: Moderate
Substrate: Straw and composts, sterilized sawdust
Colonization/Fruiting Temperatures: 70-80F/58-65F
Supplied As:Liquid culture in 10cc syringe
The Shaggy Mane is one of the best known wild edible mushrooms. It is rarely found for sale as a fresh mushroom because of its poor keeping qualities. It has a curious habit of melting into a black goo as it matures. This is not decay but a natural autodigestive (deliquescence) process that helps disperse the mushroom's spores. To secure a supply they must be hunted or cultivated at home.
Shaggy Mane's can be reliably gardened using a buried Supplemented Sawdust Block w/ Rye Grain Pocket colonized with Shaggy Mane mycelium. The fully colonized block should be removed from the bag and buried in the spring, preferably in an outdoor household compost pile. Shaggy Manes are thermotolerant and seem to be stimulated by the ammonia production in active compost piles (although they can't survive peak heating). Mycelium planted in the spring should produce mushrooms the following autumn.
Reportedly, Shaggy Mane mushrooms can be fruited indoors using the same substrates and techniques used for the common button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus or it's close relative Agaricus bitorquis. This requires temperatures much lower than normal room temperatures, which limits its cultivation to those with cool basements, unheated outbuildings or a precisely temperature controlled fruiting environment. We have yet to attempt this in our labs.
Mushrooms should be harvested at a young age. Avoid those that have begun to darken from autodigestion as they will cook up watery. The enzyme responsible is deactivated with heat, so cooked mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator with no danger of melting. Since the autodigestive process is only located in the gills the stems can be salvaged from mushrooms that are slightly past their prime.
The culture offered here has been isolated from a wild collection in Oregon, USA.
Note: Culture supplied as living mycelium in solution in a sterile 10cc syringe with unattached 16 gauge needle. Culture can be stored under refrigeration for several months. Use to directly inoculate Sterilized Substrates and Media.