Miss 3 loves mushrooms, so I use them in my dishes often. I involve her in washing and slicing mushrooms regularly.
During one of those meal preparation sessions, Miss 3 took apart a mushroom and asked me about the different mushroom parts - the cap, the gills, the stem etc. I followed up on this interest in mushrooms by reading her Food Anatomy book by Julia Rothman.
I would point out wild mushroom sightings on forest trails, and even on the wood chip floor of the playground we frequent. Then, at a farmer's market, I saw mushroom growing kits for the first time. The thought of growing our own mushrooms stuck with me.
Mushroom Growing Project
When we moved into a bigger space and started growing an indoor herb garden for spring, I knew it was time to experience the magic of growing our own mushrooms.
We found Back to the Roots organic mushroom kit on Amazon that is organic and not genetically modified. This was important because we wanted not just to grow mushrooms, but to taste and consume them for a holistic experience.
Shipping was prompt and fuss-free. We received our mushroom growing kit the next day.
The kit provides organic plant-based soil infused with mushroom spawn.
To get started, we soaked the bag of soil overnight, then misted it for a few days. After a week, we started seeing a small crop of mushrooms, which doubled in size almost every other day! Miss 3 loved to examine the mushroom quantity and size.
Soon the mushrooms reached a size we were happy with. It was time for harvesting!
I googled to find out if we should pull or cut the mushrooms. Cutting would allow the mushrooms to be gently separated from the substrate, without damaging it for the growing of a second crop.
It was a wonderful "farm to table" experience for Miss 3, allowing her a hands-on experience to learn where her food comes from and how it is grown. It was fascinating for my husband and me as well, for one, we've never seen mycelium (a network of fine white filaments that helps the mushroom absorb nutrients from its environment) until now!
Interesting mushroom facts I introduced to Miss 3:
- Mushrooms grow from spores (not seeds).
- Spores can't be seen with the naked eye.
- Unlike plants, mushroom spores rely on substances like sawdust, straw, wood chips (or even coffee grounds!) for nourishment.
- Mushrooms are fungi, a kingdom different from plants and animals.
Additional Montessori-friendly Mushroom resources:
- Mushrooms: How to Identify and Gather Wild Mushrooms and Other Fungi book by DK
- Common Mushrooms 3 Parts Cards on Etsy
- Mushroom unit study on Etsy
- Mushroom wooden puzzle on Etsy (Each mushroom puzzle piece can be lifted to reveal its English and scientific name as well as whether it is edible or poisonous)
- Mushroom educational poster on Etsy
I hope you enjoyed learning more about mushrooms!
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.