Eastnor Horticultural Society

Trip to Wylie Mycological

Once upon a time, on Wednesday, September 24th to be exact, several members of the Eastnor Horticultural Society travelled to a heavily wooded area on the south shore of Bass Lake and came upon a magical kingdom of mushrooms - not ordinary, everyday mushrooms but beautiful mahogany coloured Shiitake mushrooms. Mr. Bill Wylie, owner and chief magician of the realm, conducted a tour for his spell-bound guests.

Click on image for larger view.
Getting to know
one another.
The beginning
of a fascinating journey.
The traditional Japanese
method of Shiitake
mushroom propagation.
He showed us the traditional Japanese method of cultivation. He had drilled holes in paper birch logs, inserted growing medium and spawn into the holes and sealed them with wax. After a period of time, he planned to cut the logs into lengths and sell them, thereby creating a very unusual gift possibility in time for Christmas. Eventually shiitake mushrooms will grow right before your eyes.
Someone is going
to get an unusual
Christmas present.
Bill showing a producing
Shiitake mushroom kit,
propagated in an experimental
method outdoors.
Beauty comes
in many forms.
After many years of experimentation, Bill has developed a different method to grow kits for speciality mushrooms. The process is highly scientific and is, in part done, in conditions that are like a sterile operating room. He imports special oak sawdust from Virginia and mixes it with nutrients to form his cultivation substrata. This is then bagged and put into a sterilizer, then taken to the sterile room for inoculation of mushroom spawn. These kits eventually find their way to mushroom growers who actually bring them to harvest and into stores and restaurants for consumers.
A visual and
gastronomic delight.
Oak sawdust,
all the way from Virginia,
mixed with nutrients to
form cultivation substrata.
Bagging the substrata,
using the latest in
automated equipment.
Thank you, Bill, for the most enthralling trip into the world of mushrooms.
A sigh of relief as
another shipment of
culture kits
are ready to go.
Thank you, Bill,
for an amazing
and magical trip.

Text by Mary Swanton.
Photos by Martin Hogarth.

The next meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. on 29 October 2003 at the Anglican Parish Hall. The guest speaker will be Judy Gay, the author of Master Gardener’s Note’s, regularly appearing in The Bruce Peninsula Press. A Nominating Committee will be appointed at this time.

The Annual General Meeting will be a Pot Luck Dinner at 6 p.m. on 26 November 2003 at the Anglican Parish Hall in Lion’s Head. Remember, this is when the election of new officers will take place and memberships for 2003/2004 are due.