Fourth and fifth grade students at Wagram got a lesson in unconventional farming on Wednesday as representatives from the North Carolina A&T State University Mushroom Biology and Fungal Biotechnology Lab and Scotland County Cooperative Extension were on hand teaching how to plant and grow shiitake mushrooms.
Dr. Felicia Anike, Research Specialist Lynn Luffman and student Larriale Spruill demonstrated the technique to inoculating sugar gum logs with mushroom spawn before turning the students loose to complete the process.
“This has been such a rewarding experience for our students,” said Wagram Principal Jamie Synan. “I am very thankful for Sharon English and the other staff members at the Cooperative Extension office and the knowledgeable faculty from A&T.
“This will be something that our students won’t forget about for a long time.”
Student Redionysis Redionysis agreed with his principal.
“This has been a lot of fun,” said Redionysis. “I never knew were the mushrooms that we ate came from. I can’t wait to harvest our mushrooms.”
Shiitake mushrooms take between eight to twelve months to fully mature after inoculation, so Wagram students will be able to harvest today’s bounty next school year.