Founder & Citizen Scientist
I’ve been studying and attempting morel cultivation for over 6 years.
I had been researching everything morel from the books which lay more in myth and word of mouth to the books that lay out the pH changes in soil.
Investigating trends in its behavior in the wild such as fire morels and also trying to understand past successful growing operations and why they failed.
Two scientists discovered how to grow morels in the 80’s but their process never ushered in morel cultivation to be commonplace. They even patented their work which is being used by a few companies who are putting their own twist on that type of growing method.
In researching something you get to research everything because you have to know everything about your hypothesis and how it will apply to your testing. If you test something to ensure you are aware of all of the factors. Because if the hypothesis is wrong is it because you are wrong or a factor you didn’t consider which could potentially affect your outcome.
In the spring of 2020 – we finally cracked one part of the code. We grew a morel on a petri dish. Petri dishes aren’t normally used in fruiting mushrooms, it can happen, but it’s not ideal. Agar/petri is mainly used for cloning DNA and holding it for a long time.
A hypothesis we came up with worked – and worked great. Since that day in february 2020 we’ve grow hundreds of morels in small trials in the lab.
Growing them became second nature – we’ve had mistakes that grow morels and have witnessed some amazing happenings all by chance.
We have not grown them up yet – that’s what the last 2 years has been. Surprisingly morels don’t just scale that easily. Shiitake, maitake, and so on all just scale from small substrate to big. Yields will be proportionate to the size of your media.
But not morels. That’s been the challenge now is that below our hypothesis of why morels grow I had now how do they grow up. There’s almost no reference points here for growing so I am writing the book on cultivation of morel mushroom and why. In the end of this journey will be a simple 2-3 sentence paragraph aka ‘biological algorithm’ that unlocks the morel mushroom from myth to indoor mushroom.
Many people have said it’s impossible. Many people have tried including companies, schools, and private individuals. I attribute my success to two factors.
I am not educated in the subject of morels, fungi, or even biology. I have a light understanding of it all but only surface level. This has allowed me to veer off in any direction I see fit. Not having a pre-disposed aspect clears my head for ideas, random thoughts, and creativity within the science.
Dolphin training. Sounds odd but I used to be in the marine mammal field and almost took a career as a dolphin trainer. Dolphins cannot hear us at all so very little communication is used and the same applies to fungi. All you have to do is make small moves and eventually a bigger goal is achieved. WIthout large expensive equipment or running an expensive lab I’ve been able to use observation and patience as the keys to being able to understand morel and its’ needs.
The ‘why not’ mentality along with the training in different areas over years allows me to not only think outside the box, but then understand how we go about putting the work I do into a box. A repeatable, scientifically proven box that then grows morels every week.