Monday, May 11, 2015

Inoculating the Mushroom Log

Apple tree in bloom.  

Another long term project that I've been wanting to try is growing our own mushrooms. New Mexico was too dry to do this, but we have the right climate here.  I ordered a package of Shitake mushroom spawn, and we cut down a small oak to use as the growing medium for the spawn.

The mushroom spawn are  embedded into small wooden dowels, and the log is inoculated by drilling holes, and hammering the dowels into the fresh green wood. In this case, it is an oak log.  Oak is preferred because it is a wood that will not rot quickly.  If this goes as it should, the log will produce mushroom for about 8-10 years, several times a year.  The first run of growth will take awhile, up to nine months. So, that's why I say, "long term project".  During this first nine months, the mycelium are growing inside the log.  The end of this "run" will be indicated by white  growth at the cut ends of the log.  At this time, the log will be soaked, submerged in water, which will stimulate fruiting.  If I am fortunate, beautiiful Shitake mushrooms will begin to grow along the length of the log.

Steve got a new cordless drill, which I got to try out today. After the holes are drilled, and the dowels hammered in, the holes are sealed with wax. I used the red cheese wax.

First, the supervisor showed up.
"Are you sure you're doing that right?"
The the union reps came by.  They were "helpful".
In other news, we removed the window from the old shed before demolition. We will keep it for use on our greenhouse. The hoops went up in the garden, with some difficulty due to rocky soil, and I moved all the tomatoes and peppr plants to the chick greenhouse till planting day. More onions and celery were started.
the goslings finally have names. After watching their personalities for several weeks, we have decided on Angus and Gracie.  Angus is already showing his goose tendencies by chasing off the young pullets if they get too close to me,  its pretty amusing.

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