After a little over a week of having this installation in our exhibition space, we have been watching it carefully to see what has begun growing on the mycelium shroud. The humid environment, which is usually sitting at 99% humidity, has created the perfect place for all kinds of warm and wet loving mold and fungus.
The mycelium (the roots of the mushroom) has begun to spread and grow across the body. At first it is a bit difficult to see against the white shroud, but on careful inspection these fluffy white roots are definitely growing, building the ground from which the Schizophyllum Commune mushroom will grow.
At first we were a little nervous when these tiny green circles started appearing all over the white mycelium shroud. The little spots are green mold, which are notoriously known for taking over growing environments and killing off growing mushrooms. Most commercial mushrooms growers are very afraid of this contaminant getting near their mushroom facilities. We have a little bit more hope for our experimental project, since the mycelium seems to be spreading quickly and can potentially overtake the green mold.
These green sprouts were a bit of a surprise initially, standing out in stark contrast against the white wool shroud. The humid environment caused the grains, which we laid down to nourish the mushrooms, to sprout and grow through the shroud. It will be interesting to watch the relationship that will grow between the mushrooms, the mold, and these little plants.
After waiting patiently, and watching dangerous patches of green mold and surprising green sprouts appear, we finally saw our first little mushrooms poking out of the shroud. These little clusters of beige mushrooms first began to grow near the foot of the body, but are quickly appearing in other places on the shroud.
Find out more about this installation here.
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