If you have a garden, a wooded lot, a compost pile, or a sunny area where you can't plant vegetables, you can grow King Stropharia.

Fungi Garden Workshops

This mushroom can perennialize and take resident in your garden soil, coming back year after year if it can find a source of hardwood chips to feed on. King Stropharia tastes earthy, like asparagus cooked in a splash of wine, meaty and delicious. Both the cap and the stem are edible, so don’t trim and toss the stem like other mushrooms! It is called King Stropharia because the mushrooms can get very large, but they are best to eat when young and firm, when the caps are tight to prevent bug infestation.

King Stropharia (Stropharia rugoso-annulata), also called the “Garden Giant” or “Wine Cap” mushroom, is very good at cleaning soil and water as well. Our chicken house has King Stropharia mycelium threaded through the soil all around it, eating woodchips and straw bedding, forming a mycoremediation barrier for reducing and eliminating coliform bacteria.

Our gardens also have King Stropharia colonizing and enhancing the soil, building and binding the soil together for the plants, unlocking minerals for them, and attracting earthworms that will also contribute their valuable castings to the area.

If you don't have a garden, and would like to grow these in your house, just buy one of the 5 lb sawdust spawn bags, open it up upon receipt, and top it with some moist potting soil, about 1 inch deep, close the bag back up with a clothes pin, or some staples, so the moisture is preserved, mist often and then wait. As soon as you see buttons emerging from the soil, mist them to keep moist, so they don’t dry out and shrivel up. One of the easiest mushrooms to grow indoors!

The Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Mushrooms can provide more than just taste and texture for our meals--they actually have a surprisingly high nutritional value also. With more than 14,000 kinds of mushrooms in existence, only 3,000 of those are edible and about 1,400 are actually recognized as poisonous.

Nutrients in Button Mushrooms

White button mushrooms, the popular ones you see in all the grocery stores, have a surprising amount of nutrients including: 

  • Niacin

  • Riboflavin

  • Folate

  • Phosphorus

  • Iron 

  • Panthothenic Acid

  • Zinc

  • Potassium

  • Copper

  • Magnesium

  • Vitamin B6

  • Selenium

  • Thiamin

In addition, white button mushroom extract has been found to reduce the size of some cancer tumors and slow down the production of some cancer cells. It is most prominently linked to reducing the risk of breast and prostate cancer.


A Great Weight Loss Food

For those who are always looking for nutritious weight loss foods to pack into our diets, mushrooms are a less well-known option. Mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat and sodium. However, like watermelon, they are very high in water content (80 to 90% water) and fiber which makes them a great diet food!

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Love's Summer Backyard Herb Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart of bliss


2.5 cups half and half

0.5 cups heavy cream

4 egg yolks, whisked well

3/4 cup cane sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp cream cheese -or- dry milk powder (optional)

2 cups packed fresh herb leaves, torn (75% less if stronger herbs like thyme or rosemary)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp rum, creme de menthe, or vodka (optional)

3/4 cup good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely (optional)


Put half and half, cream, yolks, sugar, salt (and optional cream cheese or milk powder) in a saucepan.
Over medium heat, whisk constantly and bring gently to a simmer (180F). Remove from heat. Stir in
mint leaves. Cover and steep for 1 hour.
Pour mixture into a strainer over another pot. Using the back of a soup ladle, press out all the liquid
from the mint leaves and discard them.
Stir in vanilla, optional spirits, and refrigerate overnight. Place a layer of film wrap over the surface to
prevent a skin from forming. Place an empty quart container in the freezer for later.
Add the refrigerated ice cream base to ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
When churning is complete (soft serve texture and about 20°F), alternately layer the chocolate with
scoops of the ice cream into the frozen container. Serve immediately for a soft serve texture, or
freeze overnight in the coldest part of the freezer for a hard scoop texture.


© 2013 Love's Ice Cream