After my PhD and a few years working in the science innovation field as a consultant for the protection of biotechnology inventions, I realised that I was going down a path of constantly missing the sun, the wind, the touch of nature. And so I left the office, gathered my savings, built a greenhouse in a beautiful rented farm near Lisboa and with the support of João, started a new adventure: Mushi.
Today we live a simpler, quieter life, and try to build and promote a healthier lifestyle, sharing the richness and wisdom that nature hides. Once a scientist, always a scientist. The greenhouse is now the lab, and nature is its science!
Mushi is a small scale family project. Although I am the only official employee, the project grows from the cooperation and precious helping hands of the whole family. All of Mushi's products are handmade and all materials are recycled or recyclable." (Raquel Antunes)
All the work we do is aimed at minimising the human impact on the environment and ensuring that the farming system works in the most natural way possible.
Inspired by the traditional Japanese method of mushroom growing, we develop natural mini wood logs ready-to-grow tasty mushrooms! Healthy, fun and easy, the logs are perfect for natural flavour lovers and for those passionate about watching life grow.
In addition to our strategic work via our social media to regularly share our message, we regularly take part in workshops and brainstorming sessions with permaculture groups, such as the Instituto de Permacultura Ná Lu'um, through which we were given the opportunity to teach sustainable practices of mushroom growing in Colombia." (Raquel Antunes)
Mushi logs are manually produced in-house according to the traditional Japanese method. Freshly cut tree logs are inoculated with organic mycelium of wood decomposing fungi, which grows naturally inside the wood for about a year until it is ready to grow mushrooms." (Raquel Antunes)
The mushroom log is intended for growing shiitake mushrooms for food and/or decorative purposes.
SUGGESTIONS OF UTILISATION
Ready to use. Unwrap the log and follow the instructions below. The log should not be wrapped in the jute packaging for more than two months.
1. INDUCE FRUCTIFICATION
Soak the log in cold water. Fill up a container with water and keep the log submerged for at least 24 hours (if the log is kept outside or in a very cold/humid place, a few days before soaking move the log to a sheltered place and stop watering so that the “cold water shock” is effective in making mushrooms grow).
Remove the log from the water and drop it gently against the floor (it’s a mechanical shock to release oxygen trapped inside the log and potentiate the mushroom production).
Put the log vertically over a plate, in a ventilated, warm and humid place, without direct sunlight. If the humidity is low, sprinkle the log with water. After one or two weeks, little white buttons with brown heads will start popping around the log. The mushrooms should be ready to harvest three to seven days later, when the cap is completely opened or with the margins slightly turned down (growing takes longer in the cold season).
Hold the mushroom by its foot near the base and turn it around until it’s loose from the log. Remove completely to avoid the rotting of the remaining pieces.
Leave the log to rest for at least two months in a ventilated, warm and humid place, without direct sunlight and water just enough not to let the wood dry out.
Fructification can be induced again following steps 1-5. Each log should not be induced to grow mushrooms more than six times a year so that the fungus doesn’t weaken.
Between fructifications, mushrooms can grow spontaneously simply due to the watering of the log; these mushrooms are generally larger in size, but smaller in number.
STORAGE CONDITIONS (for fruiting):
The log should be unwrapped and kept in a ventilated place, with a mild temperature, humidity and light, but no direct sunlight.
Optimal temperature is 25ºC and humidity 60-70%, so productivity is higher closer to these conditions. Very low temperatures (below 5ºC) inhibit mushroom growing, and very high temperatures (over 40ºC) can kill the fungus, so production in a sheltered place is advisable. Before the first fructification induction and between fructifications, mild and periodic watering is required to keep the humidity of the log.
The frequency of watering depends on weather conditions (inside the house, at least one to two times a week in the dry season; one to two times a month during the wet season). Water by sprinkling the log or by water immersion for a few minutes. If the log has very low humidity (the bark feels dry, the log is lighter than usual or has cracks at the top), the normal watering should be replaced by water immersion for four to eight hours.” (Raquel Antunes)