Everyone has fungus in the bathroom (don't even try to pretend there's no mildew in your bathroom--I know the truth). We tend to have more than most, what with the stone walls and the cold and the steam and the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Gross. I wage a never-ending and pretty much losing battle against bathroom fungus at all times. So why did I decide to cultivate it voluntarily?
WELL. I'll tell you. (As if I wasn't going to tell you.)
While flipping through seed catalogs some months ago, I noted that the spruce tree stump outside the kitchen door seems to be perfect for mushrooms. You can buy the spores to inoculate stumps and logs from seed catalogs. So I mentioned that to the room at large, which at the time happened to contain A. and the MiL. And then I got a portabella mushroom growing kit from the MiL for Christmas. You see how this all connects?
The kits are not the straight-up inoculation spores that I had been looking at. The kits are pretty much self-contained little fungus gardens. You don't have to have anything yourself. Not even a container--you just use the box it comes in. There are detailed instructions included, with multiple steps required. Also multiple temperatures, which posed something of a logistical problem, since there are few places in our house that are 65-75 degrees at all times and are not accessible to the Devil Cat, who would find a box full of dirt to be irresistible for her dastardly deeds. Also, it must be dark. So the initial stage for the box took place in the downstairs bathroom.
The next stage involved misting with water regularly and a temperature of between 55-65 degrees. And dark. So the box was moved upstairs to the MiL's bathroom, which is generally not quite as warm as the downstairs bathroom, but is heated with a space heater and is, once again, safe from the Devil Cat and her deviltry.
It took awhile to get to this part, and there were other stages, but once I got past this stuff and the mushrooms actually appeared, they grew alarmingly fast. And before I knew it, I was heading upstairs with a bowl to harvest mushrooms from the bathroom. Which is not a place you normally anticipate finding edible things.
The kits are not an economical way to grow mushrooms, but they are pretty fun. Especially if you're not really a gardener and don't normally have the supplies around to grow things yourself. The instructions claim I can start the process over and possibly get more mushrooms from this one box, so I'll do that. And then I'll inoculate that spruce stump this summer and harvest some mushrooms that were not grown within eight feet of a toilet.
Modest goals, but they work for me.