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nice thank you for the info you are posting ,a question if you dont mind ? i live in the boreal forest ,so unless i travel to get logs [and DNR dont like that ] oak would be hard to get my choices are willow or ash pretty much ,what kind of mushrooms that are good to eat can be grown on these? prefer if its willow i got a couple that need trimmed back and under the one is where i hope to start my mushroom farm
 

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Discussion Starter · #825 ·
If you know anyone who logs or processes wood, perhaps you can make a deal for their pellets & sawdust, or even logs. Yeah, sadly, not much grows in swampy areas. Including mushrooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #826 ·
Well, I tossed one of my PDA plates due to mold contamination. Interesting that I’ve had problems with the lion’s mane but not the shiitake. Hypotheses: fast vs slower growth. The mold doesn’t have time to take over in the shiitake cultures. More data required on that point. One thing’s for sure: I don’t want to spend between $500-$1200 for a good lamellar flow hood. Too much investment for what I’m doing. Also can’t get over the feeling that there’s two different organisms in there. Just funky!

Dish Cuisine Liquid bubble Circle Metal


The shiitake sawdust blocks seem to be colonizing well. That’s good to see.

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Discussion Starter · #827 ·
I’ve taken a few more pictures to illustrate my conundrum. I’m seriously wondering if the lion’s mane liquid culture I made three plates and two jars from was contaminated. That would certainly explain this weirdness. Looking at the shiitake & LM plates side by side shows a world of difference. The shiitake plate looks like a fungus. The LM plate looks like a fungus rooming with a bacteria. Those slimy looking spots aren’t consistent with any of the images I’ve looked up. Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry. Almost wish I had a microscope and that wonderful stains we used in my college lab!

Light Automotive lighting Chemical compound Plastic Circle


Lions mane closeup

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Shiitake closeup

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Discussion Starter · #828 ·
So I contacted the seller and sent a picture of the plate. Evidently s/he agrees with me because a new culture is in the way. Plus I have three tubes from a different seller! That’s where the clean shiitake plates came from. If I can’t get lions mane out of this much culture I’ll likely have to give my degree back! But I think I’ll get it done. Positive mind and correct actions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #830 ·
This mold contamination is pissing me off! I just lost my first two homemade blocks to it. I don’t have the space to make an isolated clean room, nor do I want to put the money into a flow hood! It would probably be cheaper to buy the kits if all I wanted were the mushrooms but that’s not what I’m trying to do here.

I did salvage the un-colonized bottom half of the blocks, planning to re-sterilize in new bags. I guess I’ll get over it and try again tomorrow. At least my new lids came today. They’re nice, with a rubber gasket on the inside, a micro filter, and self healing injection port. That should fix one source of mold anyway.

And $0.40/seed for Baker Creek’s staff pick varieties? BC are you nuts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #834 ·
I hear you! It’s hard to resist the new stuff. Resistance is almost futile! But I have several varieties of tomatoes from the free seed stash, a couple of squash, and more of that Japanese mizuna that grew so well and tasted so good last year. I’m also considering my container soil options. I’m thinking I might go with real soil, which will be cheaper even if I have to buy 2.25 cu ft in order to get it delivered. I can’t stand paying premium for Miracle Gro when it’s not even soil! Hauling it from my driveway to my deck by the pot won’t be any fun though.
 

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I can’t stand paying premium for Miracle Gro when it’s not even soil! Hauling it from my driveway to my deck by the pot won’t be any fun though.
Do you have a hand truck? The one here has been a life saver down through the years from moving 50 lb bags of bird seed to moving big houseplants indoors for the winter and outdoors for the summer. Unless the load being moved isn't really heavy it isn't too hard pulling the load up steps. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #837 ·
No I don't but that's worth considering. The thing is, there won't be any bags to haul. If I end up getting real soil from a nursery, they typically just dump the pile in my driveway. The last time wasn't bad because 1) I was ten years younger and 2) the bed was about ten feet away. In fact, I might use some of that soil in the same bed since that's the bed with the Phytophthora rot problem, but that means digging up the entire bed and tossing everything, including the strawberries. And God help me if I leave one tiny zoospore behind! All that work will be for naught in a year or two. Or less. But it's a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #838 ·
Some good news at least! I have my second batch of lion's mane tincture, with a third in the wings. Given the market value of this item, at least I'm getting something out of the project! And I don't like to fail. I have enough rye berry, oak pellets, and liquid culture to try one more time. Buying in bulk is good that way. Also cheaper than buying in small quantity. Like my wheat straw, if the original project didn't work out as I thought then another project will appear.

I used the double extraction method, as before, and have a full quart of lion's mane tincture for my trouble. Estimated $560 market value for this batch, buying on Amazon. Given the $30 for the kit + $5 worth of Everclear, that's a pretty good return. The third batch will be double this one too, from the same kit. So three quarts of tincture from one kit. If my estimate is correct, I'll end up with about 50 oz from the third batch. That'll be another $875 at market value. So $40 investment yields $1435 in tincture. Pity I can't sell the stuff out of my home kitchen!

The first picture is the precipitate that forms when adding the alcohol portion to the water portion. The second picture is the full jar of homemade goodness. This batch is much darker colored than the other. The water extraction portion was darker. I'm not sure why because that was done with dehydrated mushroom. The alcohol portion was done with fresh, and those pieces are added to the water extraction process. That's the only difference I can think of right now. The jar is lidded, labeled, covered by foil, and in my fridge. I still have about 1/3 of the last batch for morning tea.

Fluid Dishware Tableware Ingredient Food


Liquid Ingredient Fluid Wood Mason jar


I'm going to make fresh grain for spawn this weekend. Making fresh blocks right now will only give them time to get contaminated, so I'll wait until I'm ready to inoculate them. I should end up with six jars of grain, which will go two for shiitake and four for lion's mane. The new lids will help. As it is I have two jars of shiitake spawn becoming visibly colonized. I plan to inoculate today's jars generously so they'll colonize more quickly. I've had the liquid culture for a few weeks and it won't last forever. Might as well use it.

If this doesn't work I'm going to transform into my cat alter-ego and knock some stuff off of shelves! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #839 ·
The wind chills here are decidedly subzero, and supposed to stay this way for a couple of days. So what can I do but putter around the cat condo? Yesterday I sterilized the last of my rye berry so I could inoculate today with the last of my liquid culture. That doesn’t last forever so I might as well use it. Having six wide mouth lids, I now have three each of pint and quart jars, ready for spawn. The generous amount I used to inoculate will hopefully speed up the colonization process. My shiitake jars from 12/27 are just barely showing signs of mycelial growth.

Food Food storage containers Food storage Mason jar Canning


A close up of a shiitake plate, also from 12/27. It’s cool everywhere so that may be slowing things down a bit. As long as nothing’s freezing that’s fine. I have enough tincture to last quite awhile at this point.

Hand Tableware Drinkware Ingredient Liquid


Time to throw in a movie and snuggle with the cats. My compost bin is frozen shut so things like straw & sawdust blocks will likely end up in the new raised bed. Should be an interesting soil come spring! But it’ll be better than bark fines & coir. Ta ta!
 
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