King Stropharia is native to Southern Europe, but it is a hardy and adapatable mushroom species which is grown all over the world. A ground dwelling mushroom which thrives in hardwood wood-chip, sawdust, cereal straw, animal and poultry bedding, and also garden mulch materials. It is know as the the Garden Giant because the mushrooms can grow to quite a size – sometimes bigger than a dinner plate when mature.
King Stropharia has a rich mushroomy flavour with undertones of red wine and potatoes, and the stem has a stringy texture similar to asparagus. This large meaty mushroom can be sliced into steaks and coated with a marinade of soy sauce and herbs – perfect on a summer barbeque. Alternatively, the caps and stems are sautéed in butter or margerine and served with eggs or mashed potatoes.
King Stropharia is cultivated in raised, or dug-in beds, which are lined with cardboard and then layered with a mixture of spawn and wood-based materials. 1kg of sawdust spawn is recommended per 1 m square bed filled to a depth of 15 cm.
Beds are located in shaded well draining areas and spawned after the frosts end in Spring and before the first frosts of Winter. Beds spawned in Spring have a very good chance of producing in Summer that year if the mycelium is well established, otherwise it will produce the first crop the following year. Beds can produce for up to 3 years and new material can be added each summer to re-invigorate the mycelium and prolong the life of the bed.
- Yield: 1-2kg per metre square
- Fruiting Temperature: 10-20 deg.C. (Spring, Summer to early Autumn)
- Availability: March to October
- Documentation: instructions for creating a wood/straw-based outdoor bed