Not long after Zac and I inoculated that oak log with Oyster and Shiitake spores, a good friend of ours wrote to torment me.

She said that her CSA teams up with a local mushroom farm, and that, lately, she’d been enjoying the best fresh mushrooms.

And then, because she’s actually a really nice person and the sort of wonderful friend who does things like that, she sent us an Oyster Mushroom Mini-Farm in the mail. This is basically a block of super-inoculated mushroom-growing substrate (hay? sawdust? coffee grounds?) that’s guaranteed to grow.

So, we set up our mushroom farm in the corner of our garage, and more or less forgot about it.

This gently misty morning, we inspected the block of substrate, and found an exceptionally fine-looking crop of Pleurotus ostreatus.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

In other good news, after this harvest, we can expect two or three more flushes of mushrooms before the farm stops producing (I think it dries out? Or maybe the mycelium needs more substrate to feast on? Any mushroom experts? Is there a way to make sure our mushroom farm lives on?)

What I do know is that these colors, textures, and smells are completely entrancing, subtle, and fascinating.

I could have photographed them in different arrangements all morning– and, who knows, maybe mushroom arranging is the next hip thing.

For dinner, I’m thinking of miso soup, radishes shaved to translucent pink thinness, and freshly dug spring onions.

May your Monday be just a subtly-shaded and surprising, friends.