Friday, March 30, 2012

In Which "Rotten Fungus" is NOT Redundant

I got a few comments on my post Wednesday in reference to my "throw away the bad mushroom experiment" item on my to-do list.

So, I have some explaining to do.

No, they were not psychedelic mushrooms, and no, it wasn't a penicillin experiment, either.

Like many ventures gone terribly awry, my story begins with "So there's this website I saw...."

It was called Fungi Perfecti (no kidding, that's the name) which sells these "easy" mushroom growing kits. I looooove mushrooms.  (No, I am not a hobbit. I am short though. *checks for hairy feet* Yep, definitely not a hobbit. But I love my Elevensies!)

So we bought this Pioppino mushroom kit. Apparently, you get this bowling ball size of sawdust and mushroom spores. I figured this would be a cinch. Humans don't have to try hard to grow fungus, I reasoned in my reasonable way. Just walk through a boy's locker room barefoot and let the itching begin. Or ignore a loaf of bread. Or let your shower get steamy and watch that black stuff accumulate.

Easy peasy, right?

So I dutifully misted this lump of brown matter (that sounds gross. It really looked like a dry stump). And I kept this little plastic humidity tent on it. And voila! Wittle baby Pioppino mushrooms started to grow, like this:


Dang. I'm good.

But then, oops. Busy me, I forgot to mist it. So then they dried out and looked like this:


And then, in order to make up for my poor watering habits, I over-misted, over-humidified, and basically doused the lump. And then they looked like this:



Now, the mushroom experiment, a horrific fungus-on-fungus violence of spore-ific proportions, is residing in our back yard.

I'm so embarrassed. I can't even grow a good fungus.

44 comments:

Mark K said...

Sorry to say this, but I love this post as it made me laugh. Not in a malicious way, but enjoying your turn of phrase and humour.

Don't give up. That would be too easy, now, wouldn't it? I say try again and be more attentive. I'm sure you can succeed if you do give it a second go. Love the diagrams. Maybe you should insider doing a kiddies illustrated book?

Kindest regards,

Mark K

Mark K said...

*excuse predictive text on this iPad - it's determind to undermine me... Grrr! That last part should read "consider", and not "insider"!*

Mark K

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Ha, ha! Having grown up with a mushroom house in my backyard (literally) and still living in the heart of mushroom-growing southern Chester County, PA (where pungent manure grows the best white caps), I can safely say I've never had an urge to grow my own mushrooms!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Funny that you want to grow mushrooms. Now what you know what not to do maybe you should try again.

Liza said...

You gave me a lovely Friday laugh.

SA Larsenッ said...

I'm going with Mark's comment, except I won't apologize. This definitely gave me the chuckles. I love your drawings!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is too funny! Not a chance I could get any to grow properly then.

Connie Keller said...

I've always wanted to do one of the mushrooms kits. Now, not so much.

Loved the drawings!

Casey L. Conley said...

"zombie shrooms of the armageddon!" LOL! I love it. Don't feel bad... I once under-watered a cactus. :)

DL Hammons said...

I just crossed your name off my "People I love to have dinner with someday" list.

:)

Ciara said...

I kill every living plant. Well, except strawberries. I planted them a few years ago and they still grow. It is great for my self-esteem. :) My husband told me that it was time to dig them up and replant, but I'm too scared. I doubt I can replicate the success.

Margo Kelly said...

Bwhahahahahah.

That's the funniest thing I've read in AGES ... and those pictures! oh. my. gosh.

bwhwhahahahaha.

thanks.

Barbara Watson said...

Thanks for the smile.

prerna pickett said...

You're not alone! I don't think fungi would survive in my home either.

Slamdunk said...

Haha--thanks Dr.

As one of your readers wanting more on the mushrooms; thanks for delivering.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I love the mushroom pictures (your drawing I am guessing).

One day we will do a picture book together, I will write and you can sketch. It will become a bestseller :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Ooops, forgot to mention, we can co-write, but you will be the sole illustrator. I can't draw if my life depended on it.

Deb Salisbury said...

ROFL! You've made my day! :-D

Krispy said...

This blog post was funny, cute, and also gross! It's pretty impressive that you managed to not only kill the fungi but to resurrect them into some unholy zombie species.

Julie Dao said...

LMAO!!! I love this post and I think you were doing just fine growing those until you forgot to water them, that's all! I'm a big fan of mushrooms, too. Your next book should be about a dystopian society overtaken by zombie mushrooms.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

LOL I'm sorry to laugh, but that's funny, but sad too. What a bummer. I've always wanted to grow mushrooms, but wondered if it was worth the bother.

I just had a batch of wood ears (a kind of fungus--so good!) go funky. I made super yummy soup with half of them, then let the rest sit in the fridge too long and they started to smell like fish. I like fish, but wood ears should not smell like fish. ICK!

Theresa Milstein said...

Awww, it sounds like me with plants. I take comfort that I can keep my children and pet alive. At least.

Carrie Butler said...

Ewwwww! I can't stop picturing it now. Probably because the illustrations were awesome! ;)

Old Kitty said...

I love these grow your own mushroom kits but to be honest I only ever get three good mushrooms at the most!
:-)

But zombie fungi are fab! Yay!! Take care
x

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Ah, funny! Thanks for my chuckle of the day. It's the kinda think I would do. I forget to water plants, and then I try to make up for it. Like Rachna, I really enjoyed the drawings, too!

Botanist said...

Shame! I love mushrooms too, and as I read, my mouth was already drooling at the thought of steak and mushrooms, fried mushrooms with bacon & eggs, mushrooms in a simmering stew...

Then you revealed that even mushrooms need a certain knack to grow properly. I'm doomed!

Kimberlee Turley said...

You are too funny.

This reminds me of my experiences trying to grow cat grass. The roots always ball up then grow mildew. I know it says not to over water it, but then it dries up and goes limp.

Or maybe it has to do with the fact that the cat is is always nibbling on it.

A Lady's Life said...

lol you are soo funny lol

Angela Brown said...

Well, now, I would say something except your experiment went quite well compared to it I had have tried it. lol!!!

Sarah Pearson said...

There have been times in the past when the bottom of my fridge looked scarily like your last picture. Thankfully, I've learned the importance of not poisoning family members :-)

mooderino said...

First do no harm, isn't that the doctors' code?

Leslie Rose said...

Your pix totally cracked me up. I had a "bad Halloween pumpkin" flashback reading this. I left one on the porch too long one year. Yuckfest.

lbdiamond said...

hahaha! I'd SO do this. LOL!

Karen Lange said...

Love your sense of humor. At least you learned what not to do. :)

Coleen Patrick said...

Thanks for the smiles Lydia! That would be me too. Thankfully my husband takes care of all gardening type things around here. :)

Sylvia Liu said...

This is an awesome post, and it reminded me of my childhood. We lived in Caracas and my parents for some reason decided to grow mushrooms. They spent a good year or more trying to grow mushrooms, in our bathtub, in our friends' yards, smuggling in spore from their friends in Taiwan, and all to no avail. So I totally know that it is NOT easy to grow mushrooms!

Jennifer Hillier said...

Greatest. Grossest. Post. Ever.

Thanks for the laugh! Haaaaaa!

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

You amaze me with your ability to tell a story with such humor and wit. This was so funny. I think really, it's fine to just go buy the nice mushrooms at the store, or the Farmer's Market if that makes you feel better. :D

Susan Fields said...

Sorry it didn't work. :( That definitely sounds like something I would do - my thumbs are both black.

Catherine Stine said...

Oh, lordie, this is sooo gross! A gross that is also delightful and tickles my ribs. Yeeeccchhhh.

julie fedderson said...

The little market by my house sells these fresh. And this weekend they're having a fresh fish market (sushi grade!!). I will buy you some, just to prevent your death by botulism in the future.

Nas Dean said...

Loved your drawings and narratives to go with it! So try again and this time it will turn out good as you know what not to do!

James Black said...

Thanks for sharing! I didn't have any fungus when i used my mushroom kits they ended looking great!

Kelly Polark said...

You crack me up! I can never grow anything. I have a dead plant on my kitchen counter right now...

 
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