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Morel vs Morel

It’s been awhile since I posted/blogged.  But since some news came about in the mushroom world about morels – it’s only fitting.

The Danish Morel Project is growing morels indoors! Honestly I am happy for them and I respect their work – they seem to be getting great yields, the timeline isn’t the greatest at 22 weeks from start to harvest.  The other component I am sure that caught everyones eye – grass.  So it’s not entirely sterile and has processes which are far more drawn out and careful when speaking about other styles of mushroom growing already in place like shiitake, oyster, maitake so forth.

Their work is based upon sclerotia harvesting and growth.  This method is the same method that Ron Ower and Gary Mills fashioned up in the 80’s.

Mycopia headquartered in California but has a sister site right here in Michigan also grows morels via this method.  

It is a 2 phases of growth and each phase has 3 stages.  It’s rough breakdown but believe me there is lot more to it – but likely shiitake I won’t be going over every detail.

A side by side comparison of the 2 techs known the produce morels indoors.

While they are success in growing morels – it is not entirely controlled.  Phase 2 requires taking little growths called ‘sclerotia’ out of the first growth media and planting them in another media of which cannot be done in a sterile aspect.  It can be done carefully, but not sterile.

The grass is to encourage the symbiotic growth morels have with soils.

That’s the key component which we’ve figured out here at Midnight Harvest is what morels need to fruit in the first place.

With that said we still have not figured out how to scale our science like they have – we’ve run scaled trials and yet we have not achieved full indoor growth like Mycopia and Danish Morel project.

Once we do we could convert our process of growing shiitake to growing morel almost over night.

We’re still running countless studies to determine whether our answer is technical or nutritional.  We’ve seen really interesting results having gotten big 1/2 inch morels from smaller substrates and in large substrates getting only tiny morels.

We’ve actually grown better morels in-vitro surprisingly.  Granted they are tiny as ever – they still were great amounts and shape.

Tiny morel mushrooms fruiting in-vitro. Completely sterile.
Morel pin fruiting in agar dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morels pinning in a 500ml container.

The strong case though being our science would be able to convert any mushroom farm into a morel farm without switching over systems or heavy investment into any equipment or process.

With that said I admire and respect these other companies very much and wish them all the best in their current success as I am not quite there yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Hall

Citizen Scientist, self-studied indoor mushroom grower. "Growing gourmet mushrooms and continuing advanced research into rare varieties of fungi"