I have been fascinated by fungi for most of my life. I have even written papers about them, I have books about them, and I even belong to a couple of wild mushroom groups on Facebook. The mushrooms are wild, not the groups. LOL! So when it came to my attention that the Clay County Extension office was having a Mushroom Cultivation Workshop I couldn’t wait to go. As the day drew near I became very sick (nothing contagious) and had to miss several days of work.

Believing there was no way I would be able to attend due to the pain I was experiencing, I was heartbroken. As the evening drew nearer and nearer I pulled myself together and with a promise to my husband that if I started feeling too bad we would leave, we headed out.

The Workshop

The workshop started at 5:30 pm and we drove an hour to get there. It was outside, it was freezing and continued getting colder and colder as the evening progressed. I happily stood there freezing, transfixed, by every detail. When it came time to inoculate our logs I was first in line because I wasn’t sure how much longer I could stand and was starting to feel pretty bad. All the while my husband asked me if I was ok, ready to sweep me off and back to the house. Nevertheless, we left with a log inoculated with Oyster mushrooms and I couldn’t have been happier.


The extension office workshop was a huge hit and drew a big crowd. There were so many people in attendance. I decided that I would hold a workshop for my Grow Appalachia members. This may be another way for them to make extra money, and add another healthy item to their diet.


I called Will Bowling at the Clay County Extension office and he was happy to hold a mushroom workshop at Red Bird. My husband McKinley secured all the logs needed, and we were on our way. The day came and the workshop was a huge success. Our farmers market, where the event was held, is straight across from our community store, consequently, we had several people just wander over and join the workshop. It was so much fun.

The Results

The group was so excited about the class. They asked questions and jumped in eagerly. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. So here they are.

Will Bowling leading our workshop

Drilling the holes in the logs.

Inoculating the logs

Hole filled with mushroom spores

Hole sealed with wax


I can’t wait for our next workshop!