Friday, December 28, 2007

Instructions? Pah! PAH! I say

One excellent present I had this year was a grow-your-own-mushrooms kit, (not those kind of mushrooms) from my mum, consisting of a styrofoam tub and two bags of dark, composty-looking stuff.

Carefully, I follow the instructions.

1) Remove cardboard packaging.

Carefully I remove the cardboard packaging, tear it into strips and put the strips in the compost bin. 2008 is the year where Patroclus and I become custodians of the earth, living in harmony with its ways so that when the inevitable peak oil collapse comes, we can make a living from tilling the soil and harvesting the bounties of nature. The current plan is for the divine Miss P to open a cake stall at the Farmer's Market on Tuesday (which will be re-named Bartertown), while I stand around with a crossbow, glowering.

Anyway, I put the cardboard strips in the compost bin, which is fine, because cardboard is okay to put in a compost bin, as long as you don't put too much in, which I haven't.

2) Replace the cardboard packaging, which will now act as a lid.



Anonymous said...

You've probably already worked this out but an old sack, newspaper, just about anything else that can keep the light out will work just as well.

Sarah said...

You need to become more impatient and less tidy. You could remove the lid and put it to one side, thinking "I'll compost that later", eager to get to the next stage of mushrooming, and then leave in half-under the sofa for the next six weeks. It would work much better.

Anonymous said...

I have had varying levels of failure with these kinds of kits, but the most I've ever harvested is just enough shitake mushrooms for a stir fry for one ... I think the fungi sense my desperation/control freakery and just decide not to grow.

Do let us know how you get on... and are they normal mushrooms or a "fancy" type?

James Henry said...

Jane - I'll be blogging the whole thing on an hour-by-hour basis (the moment something actually starts happening). They're just normal mushrooms, but my family used to grow them from similar kit years and years ago, and they all worked very well.
My mum used to grow them in my old bunk bed, a fact which still provokes hilarity, even though they were really in polystyrene tubs, but it sounds funnier to say they were growing in my old bed. My brother still slept in the bottom bunk for a few years and claimed he could never tell the difference, etc. etc.
I've decided to train the cat to use herself as a lid, as she spends most of her time in the airing cupboard anyway.

Anonymous said...

My mother's 'little extra' as she likes to call them, was a colourful china dog which I thought could almost be left out on the book shelf, albeit in a corner. I then discovered at the 'gathering of the family clan on Friday' that she had brought them in a set of three and my sister and sister in law had each had one as well, that's OK I thought, but then the 13 year old niece asked how many holes was in the top of my dog, her mum had got the dog with one hole, i.e. the salt shaker, my sister had the vinegar container, making my dog the pepper shaker.

And as my mum used to have one of those kits to make paper bricks to burn on the open fire, I won't mention mushroom kits to her that would be right up her street.

Karl-Marx-Straße said...

one of those kits to make paper bricks to burn

My parents used to have one of those too. It was obviously rubbish. Where can I get one? What is the name for them so I can waste money on ebay for one?

llewtrah said...

"Read the whole exam paper before you start answering any questions" remains good advice when assembling kits!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar problem myself. Instructions said remove contents from soil over compost in tub...done...moisten with water and leave in dark cupboard...done...throw away packaging...done...few days later white stuff starts forming on the soil...right what next...where are the instructions...oh...they were on the packaging :( So now I am trawling the internet trying to find instructions and have stumbled across your blog

James Henry said...

Yes, I had to give up in the end, and just chucked the compost in the big compost bin, where it has singularly failed to grow any mushroom there, either.

Good luck!