What’s in Your Drawers?

At home if I open up my drawers I find: socks, underwear, t-shirts, sweaters, running shorts, sweats.

A drawer in the blogger’s bed room filled with handkerchiefs and knick-knacks

On the rooftop there are drawers, too, but when I pull open a drawer at the Noble Rot, there’s only one thing within: King Stropharia mushrooms (Stropharia rugosoannulata).  The regular reader (and good for you if you are a regular reader!) may recall my 8/5/13 post about our mushroom growing experiment, “Preparing for a King and a Kingdom with Straw”.  We constructed some simple wooden drawers with casters to roll under our table-high raised beds, filled them with straw, then inoculated with purchased King Stropharia spawn. We chose Stropharia because, as their royal moniker implies, they can get quite large, with caps that rival Portobellos (mature Agaricus bisporus) for size.  They also grow on a variety of material and do well with outdoor, open-air cultivation. The fact that they grow on straw accorded well with the low-weight requirement of rooftop gardening.
Last season during late summer and fall I watered the heck out of that straw to insure the spawn would take, and take it did, evidenced by the white filamentous mycelia that were visible when I peeled back the top layer of straw. I was excited at the prospect of roof-grown mushrooms, but I had to keep my thrill in a kind of an inner hush-room until I had results to show.  I mean nobody that I know eats mycelium, of which I had a lot.  They eat the fruiting bodies, of which I had none.  The first cap to poke through came sometime in April, but still I had to bite my tongue because who the heck is going to get excited about one measly mushroom?  Now, though, I think I can declare success.  The drawers are bursting with ‘shrooms, and the warm weather seems to be a stimulant to ongoing eruptions.   I’m continuing to water regularly, and we’ll see how long we can ride this wave before we have to restock and re-inoculate.

A drawer in the blogger’s rooftop garden filled with King Stropharias.

So I’ve got clothing and mushrooms in my drawers.  Last night was Portland’s annual Naked Bike Ride, and I’m pretty sure that about 20,000 Portlanders had nothing in their drawers at all, or, more accurately, had their drawers in some backpack or other bag. 

Where are these people’s drawers?

So I guess an answer to the question, “What’s in Your Drawers?” depends, at least in my city, on what group of people you ask.