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What Happens To Used Mushroom Blocks?

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

You may have heard we make our mushroom fruiting blocks from scratch, using locally sourced materials. You may have purchased and enjoyed our delicious mushrooms. And you may have wondered: 'What happens to all those artificial logs after the mushrooms have all been picked?'

Here at Moxie, the best of those blocks are fed fresh material, and go on to produce more mushrooms, over and over again. Any that don't make the grade find their way to our composters, and with the help of our fungal friends are quickly turned into re-usable fertilizer for our regular fruits and vegetables!

Every once in a while, something magically mushroomy happens, and our compost pile itself will continue to fruit delicious, gourmet mushrooms. And sometimes, other things....

This is a quick video fly-by of our fresh compost pile, showing some fine specimens of Hare's Foot Inkcap mushrooms. You can read all about them here:

Long story short, Coprinopsis lagopus (Hare's Foot Inkcap mushroom) mycelium is common in compost heaps, but because of the evanescence (extremely short life cycle) of their fruiting bodies is a rare and transient encounter in this state. The gills were already very dark when we came across them, indicating a late developmental stage. This mushroom produces four known sesquiterpene antibiotic compounds called lagopodins, and has been used as a model system in mycology for decades. It's edibility is classed as 'unknown', and we were not in the guinea pig mood, especially as similar compounds can cause allergic reactions.

Here's what the mushrooms looked like when we serendipitously discovered them:

Just 3 hours later, they looked like this:

Like other inkcap mushrooms, such as the delicious Shaggy Mane, Hare's Foot Inkcaps quickly deliquesce to a black ink through autodigestion to facilitate the spread of their spores for the next generation.

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