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Growing Chanterelles

Trevor Newman

Joined: Jan 28, 2010
Posts: 42
I am curious if anyone on here has experience growing/ propagating chanterelle mushrooms...What type of substrate do the prefer- Can they be grown in straw, woodchips,logs? I have a client who wants to incorporate chanterelles into his edible landscape...any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
So far as I know there's no reliable way to grow chanterelles in "captivity." They live in association with the roots of various living trees. The best way would be to start your food forest in an area where they grow already, and make sure you don't remove any of the trees that they grow in association with!

In theory, I've heard, one way to try to do it is locate a place where chanterelles grow and plant some young trees of the same variety they're growing with there, close to where they appear--disturbing the soil (and mycelium) as little as possible. After two to five years spent creating similar conditions on your land, you could transplant the trees from there to your own property, with a good amount of their soil and associated mycelium, and then wait another few years to see if any fruiting bodies appear or if the transplanted mycelium didn't take. I think this is the way people are trying to cultivate truffles now. But this is hard and slow work with no guarantee of success. For one thing, people aren't really sure what trees chanterelles need to live with--they may depend on multiple species.

To my mind the best way to cultivate chanterelles is to protect the areas where they grow naturally.

Joined: Jan 01, 2010
Posts: 172
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
Hey kerrick,

I just attended a workshop on growing your own edible mushrooms, and the same question came up. The same answer was given. But also he mentioned that other micorrizhea, symbiotic ones that dont produce mushrooms, just the mycelia systems, cán be easily transported to your own ground. (i want to start improving the soil in a bit of forest with some species of shrubs i know to be a bit dependant on this symbiosis.)

Do you happen to know why these are easier, and if there are any other micorrizhea that produce edibles but are possible to transplant in a practical way?

land and liberty at s.w.o.m.p.
www. swompenglish.wordpress.com

Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
Well, morels are also mycorrhizal, and Stamets was at one time selling spawn for those, reportedly with inconsistent results (maybe that's why he's no longer selling the "morel kit," although he's still offering spawn for sale, at fungiperfecti.com. I think that what's holding people up in the case of chanterelles is that they grow in association with a lot of different trees, and we don't know yet what conditions are essential to reproduce for them to grow in captivity. Morels are similarly difficult, but it sounds like some people are reporting success, while others are not. A classmate of mine spread some spent mushroom compost from a supplier in her urban garden as a soil amendment, compost in which oysters had been grown successfully but not morels, and this spring had a flush of morels. Whether they will return or not is yet to be seen.

Lactaria and Russula mushrooms are also mycorrhizal, and some of these are reportedly both edible and delicious, although others are poisonous. They're a lot more profuse than morels or chanterelles, so if you wanted to give it a shot, you could go on a mushroom hunt with someone really knowledgeable and experienced to collect a few samples of the edible species and distribute the spores in your garden and see if any come up the next year. On the other hand, some people are even trying transplanting truffles with the time consuming methods I described--it's just discouraging to think you'll have to wait several years and literally (not metaphorically) go over the ground with a fine tooth comb even to know if you've failed!

If you know your ground and your shrubs, then you should be able to find out what kinds of mycorrhizal fungi prefer that kind of habitat and associate with the other species present (and the ones you want to plant). Chances are good that a couple of these will be edible, even if not particularly sought after. Have you already done a survey to see what kinds of fungi are already present?
Emerson White

Joined: May 02, 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
Morels aren't mycorrhizal(at least not exclusively), there is a company in Washington that grows them indoors. the trick is day/night temperature variation, as I recall. I also recall a company selling long needle pine inoculated with chanterelles but I don't have any specific information for you on that one.
rose macaskie

Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Emmerson White. I also recall a company selling long needle pine inoculated with chanterelles but I don't have any specific information for you on that one
      Paul Stamets used to live, maybe still does, in Washington State.
      As I remember it Paul Stamets says that one person got chanterelles to grow in his garden,  where he had the right sort of trees, by putting the chanterelles that he was not going to eat, those he disgarded as not fresh enough, in a bucket of water for a day or two days and then throwing the water that had contained them at the feet of the trees on whose roots he  hoped to grow the chanterelles.
        If you do it that way, maybe you won't mind if it does not work. I have spent money buying boletus in the greengrocers, to put in water and so be able to throw the, hopfully spore filled water, under the pine, over the pines I have's roots,and boletus are expppensive, so maybe some would not mind buying Paul Stamets spawn even if they could not be sure it would work. I have bought pactets of powder and sort of pills for innoculatign ground with fungi and if the place i bought them in had not shut i would go on buying htemm though they have not worked unless they are just waiting several years to come up.
      In big business you plan years ahead, THe feminist Gracia Stienem says that traditionally men think way ahead, they have businesses called, "so and so and sons" she wants to see busineses called, say "orothy Brown and Daughters." Traditionally  women are forced to only think of buying enough to last a day or two to cook with, of small spaces in time.
          In the old days farmers always planed for there sons and grand sons i don't think its strange to try affordable things that wont work till maybe after your dead.your dead . agri rose macaske.
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subject: Growing Chanterelles