How to grow Coprinus comatus
Coprinus comatus (O.F. Müll.), Commonly known as an ink fungus, belongs to the Coprinaceae family and is one of the few edible mushrooms of the genus Coprinus. The coprinus comatus being a saprophytic fungus can also be easily cultivated; it is enough to know the substratum and the microclimatic conditions necessary for its development. In fact, the fungus of the ink grows in agricultural soils rich in organic matter, fructifies from spring to autumn, isolated or in large groups, in fields, vegetable gardens, in land that is loose or sandy, rich in organic substances and prefers small fragments. of decaying wood, shavings and sawdust. For this reason it is enough to rebuild the habitat for the cultivation that in a short time you can start to collect an abundant product.
The suitable habitat to be rebuilt may be a fairly shaded area of your garden or warehouse, which will always remain quite humid, and pile up minute lumber and sawdust chips on the ground or on a soil substrate; to this you can mix leaves in already decomposing state to enrich the reserve of organic substance on which to grow the Coprinus comatus. If you operate in a small portion of soil, this must contain the mycelium of the mushroom or, failing that (if the fungus has never appeared) you can also buy it on the net considering that it is very low costs. If you do not have a garden with these characteristics, you can grow it in a structure that can be kept at constant temperature and humidity for a few days, until the development of the carpophore, ie the maturation of the real mushroom, takes place. In detail I give you a method of cultivation. You just need to get fresh horse manure (maximum one month) to add about 20% of straw, already wet in a pile for about fifteen days. At this point it will be necessary to wet this mixture well and to pile it for about 1 m – 1.50 m. of section and for the length at your disposal; because of the fermentation after a few hours the temperature will tend to rise considerably. After four days you will have to undo the “mass” and make small 15-20 cm wide piles. and 10-15 cm tall. and long as needed; you will find that the temperature, measured with a thermometer in the heart of the pile, will begin to increase until you can keep your hands in the middle. At this point, after a week stirred up the pile bringing external parts inside and vice versa, wet the dry parts and distribute the wet parts. This processing of the heap substrate will be rebuilt every week until the temperature no longer rises. Then summarizing work once the mass and 3-4 times the piles. At the end of this working process you will have obtained a brown, fairly soft substrate, devoid of the unpleasant odor of ammonia (if you hold it between your fingers, it will let out some drops of water). At this point you can add to this mass the mycelium sprinkling it and mixing it deeply with the fingers. Be sure to keep the inside temperature of this mass around 16-20 ° C. After a further fifteen days, cover this substrate with a thickness of 4-5 cm. of a mixture consisting of: 4/7 peat, 2/7 of very small gravel and 1/7 of well-mixed calcium carbonate. Now you will have to keep this substratum well moist and, after about 3 or 4 weeks from the covering, the first fungi will form. Between one harvest and another, spend a little more than a week, with a few more waterings.