Saturday, October 04, 2008

Grow-Your-Own Mushrooms

Shitake spawn sounds like a Japanese insult, doesn’t it? I can picture it now. The scene opens with Mel walking down a country lane. Suddenly out of the bushes jump four ninja warriors covered in black from head to toe, wielding sharp curved swords. Mel takes up a menacing pose. In a brisk fight she disarms them all and they run off to shouts of “And don’t come back, you shitake spawn!”

Yeah well, I never have had pretensions of being a good script writer!

The shitake spawn that I am dealing with comes in a grow-your-own-mushrooms kit. Last weekend Cawdor Castle was hosting a food festival. It was all about promoting local produce, much of which was organic.

I managed to deeply impress one of the stall holders. Her son and daughter had been through my classroom a few years ago. Once I could bring to mind the mother’s surname, the names of the children were dragged out of the memory files. I was able to ask how Eric was doing and how Claire was doing. It was impressive!

Most of the stalls were the ones that usually set up for the Farmers’ Markets once a month. The one stall that was not usual was the one with the grow-your-own-mushroom kits. They had “grown ones” on display and many people were taking photographs of them because they looked so artistic. They looked very surreal. They were blocks something the size of a breeze blocks, grey in colour, with a few dozen mushrooms swarming all over them. It they were made of pottery you could see them selling well as ornaments!

Basically all you get is a man made block of something that looks remotely like polystyrene but it is made up of oak shavings, wood chips and bran. One is supposed to stick the block, in its plastic bag, in the airing cupboard and leave it for six weeks. After that you put it outside, or in the fridge for a couple of days to shock the block and initiate fruiting. Then it’s back to the airing cupboard with a tray of water and the mushrooms start to appear in a few days.

The kit comes with a money back guarantee. If, for some odd reason, you have a dud kit – no shitake spawn – you can claim your money back!

The sellers encourage the folks who buy the kits to take their picture with it, once it’s active, and post it on their “Hall of Fame” web page.

It is amazing that something that looks so uninteresting and dull on the outside, has inside of it, the potential to be over-run with shitake mushrooms in a few months time! There is life residing in that block of oak shavings, wood chips and bran.

I have got something residing inside of me. I may look dull and uninteresting on the outside, but inside of me is the Holy Spirit, and, with Him, the potential to be over-run with His life giving power and His all embracing love for everyone. There is nothing “dud” about the Spirit within and no need for God’s money back guarantee. No need to incubate what I have in an airing cupboard, although a warm worshipful attitude will no doubt help. Maybe just like my mushrooms, I will need “shocked” into activity…but there will be a harvest.

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