ERE Adventuring

Where are you and where are you going?
NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Alphaville wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:05 pm
the noma thing about the old vegetable i saw in a video. basically his produce guy got him interested in old produce that was left on the vine, old shriveled leaves, frozen berries, shriveled roots, that sort of thing. apparently they taste good and intense and whatever. i don't remember much about his gardener except that he looked a little like the old manager at köln, with the glasses, who looked like a bike mechanic, hahaha.
That must have been David Zilber. From what I know about Noma they're all about fermentation, so maybe they were going for naturally occuring wild fermentation by leaving stuff around "too long". I actually tried fermenting (store bought, rehydrated) shiitake mushroom after their recipe once, but that turned out modly and disgusting and the cleanup took forever :/
Alphaville wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:05 pm
anyway im thinking a mushroom that has good flavor but a broken cell structure could still be dehydrated and powdered, or braised in a stew or blended with a pumpkin soup or something.
That might actually be viable, as the drying and powdering takes away any concerns about structure. I can't blend stuff right now, as everything breaks all at once and the blender is one of those things :/
Alphaville wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:05 pm
eta, much later: then again, staying in pajamas all day is also a highly valuable weekend skill. :D
(i have a black belt in it)
As it turns out I can't sit still after all. I went to my spot today and looked for evidence of the second flush of mushrooms growing on "my" tree. And whoah, was I surprised! The whole tree is breaking up and teeny tiny mushrooms start pushing through in all the places. And it's not just the spot in the picture, but half the tree is breaking up and out. A few little pins (i.e. tiny mushrooms) seem to have been nibbled at by birds or insects, but at least the moisture should be enouth for a lucky few winners to grow to full size. I'm excited for next week :)

Image

After that I went back to search for the "Enoki" I remembered. Good news is I found them. Bad news is that it's probably Galerina Marginata which is deadly poisonous. I took one home for study, but it's definitely no Enoki.

I also found the tiniest Kuehneromyces, which would be the last enoki-lookalike and is actually edible:

Image

Apart from that I also found a huge bushel of oyster-like mushrooms, which should be Panellus Serotinus. Apparently it tastes horrible, and the specimen I found were super mushed up by the thawing snow anyway, so nothing lost there.

Image

The trip overall took some 2h, including the bike ride to and fro'. I didn't really search for anything to take home, but am positively surprised by finding the enoki lookalikes. I'm getting a good feeling about identifying those conclusively now. On the bad side, my tire got a puncture right before home (everything breaks at once!).

Edit: I forgot to mention that my fiance ordered a mushroom knife and basket to gift to me (not for christmas, we don't do that :p). I also ordered an indoors mushroom growing kit which should arrive sometime next. So I'm thinking about opening a thread in the Skills-section to document my mushroom growing adventures at home to not spam this journal too much :p

Alphaville
Posts: 2427
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Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

NuncFluens wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 10:11 am
That must have been David Zilber. From what I know about Noma they're all about fermentation, so maybe they were going for naturally occuring wild fermentation by leaving stuff around "too long". I actually tried fermenting (store bought, rehydrated) shiitake mushroom after their recipe once, but that turned out modly and disgusting and the cleanup took forever :/
no, it was peter stöger :lol:

yeah i might have been david zilber. anyway this video was from 10+ years ago maybe? so way before their fermentation book. and yeah the idea was a bit of wild fermentation or aging or something. literally going back long after the crops had been picked and seeing if something might have been done with the leftovers.

i inspected the noma fermentation book a while ago. it seemed a big daunting and required purchase of japanese supplies. so i postponed during pandemic.

only wildish fermentations im attempting right now are

1. yogurt: this is now successful and ongoing 1 gallon (4l) per week of self-perpetuating culture from heirloom source,

2. sauerkraut: my last batch (first in a long time) was oversalty and turned moldy (wat). i need to reevaluate this process. maybe it was a bad cabbage, maybe it got contaminated from my water supply,

i might try sourdough in the near future but bread baking requires firing up a large and wasteful over at high temperatures for a long time so im not a huge fan of the process. for this reason i prefer pancakes. so, maybe sourdough pancakes will be it...

-----

as for your trip, reads like a fine piece of observation of natural facts and processes.

and your solstice gifts sound awesome. looking forward to reading of your experiments in mushroom cultivation. i've considered doing that before, maybe with all the coffee grounds we generate, but i've never come around to it.

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

I wanted to do so much with fermenting, but somehow never got around to it. I still do my waterkefir, although the wintery temperatures have slowed fermentation down considerably. But the mushrooms take precedence now. Maybe I'll get around to ferment some of them in the future, but first I need to get my dehydrating game on point. So much to do...

Alphaville
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Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

NuncFluens wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 12:07 pm
So much to do...
that's the fun part though :D

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Work
I went to the office one last time this year, mostly to use the specialized vacation-granting software that won't run at home. I should soon get an e-mail confirming my 2 weeks of holidays in January. I've decided to "work" between Christmas and New Year's, but expect to use some overtime to take a day or two off.

I also ran into the only colleague that would be expecting anything from me and apparently he will take his vacation starting next week, so I'm off the hook for now. This leaves me with the last few tasks for the project partner and those presentation slides, so I'm really chill about work right now.

Mycology
I tried to provide other content... but it seems like my life is all mushrooms now. Anyway, guys, I made it! As I was walking home from work I decided to take a detour through the park to see if any mushrooms would grow there. I didn't have high hopes, but found a little pond on the way that made my mushroom-senses tingle. As I worked my way through the bushes, I found both Enoki and Mu Err. The amount I found is minimal (13g Enoki and 7g Mu Err), but it's nice to have a little success at least.

The park itself had nothing, but upon leaving I spotted a big cluster (55g) of Enoki right beside a garden wall. This is not where I would expect them, as I found them only near water up until now, but what do I know? I took it and brought them home for photos. I also prepared a few spore prints to make extra sure that I have the identification right. Confirmation from the mushroom forum is also pending.

But enough talk, here they are:
Image
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Other than that, my mushroom basket and knife arrived! The basket is very small (fits about 300g), but it fits my backpack perfectly, so I can just take it whenever I go out :D. Here it is (tablespoon for scale):

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I have also ordered a DIY mushroom cultivation set, that should arrive soon. If all goes well, it should provide about 1kg of oyster mushrooms in about 3-4 weeks time. This should also teach me how to prepare the substrate on which they will grow and what it takes to make it work. As a side-project I'll try to grow my own spawn from those Enoki stems for the eventual scale-out of my operation.

Alphaville
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Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

wow congrats. nice loot! though to mee it looks like death incarnate :lol: (but i know nothing of the subject, so, speaking from sheer ignorance). still looks very cool.

and that knife has a clever design, with the hook shape and the ruler and the brush, i can visualize it at work.

also... i'm interested in your oyster mushroom operation so please publish as you go. can it be done with used coffee grounds?

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

The oyster mushrooms were even intended to be grown on used coffee grounds, but I overlooked that fact until after ordering. Since I have no access to coffee grounds I bought some all-natural straw, which should work just as well. Even the (unused) cat litter should work, but I'm not keen on experimenting that much on my first try :p

Alphaville
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Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

NuncFluens wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:47 am
I have no access to coffee grounds
i thought you mentioned taking coffee breaks during the day?

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
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Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Yes, but at home that would be instant coffee. The office would have been a good source, but I won't go there until mid-january.

Alphaville
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Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

oh, right right right. we generate large amounts of plant waste daily (ground coffee, tea leaves, unused vegetable parts) and i'm looking to put it all to work...

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Alphaville wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:04 am
oh, right right right. we generate large amounts of plant waste daily (ground coffee, tea leaves, unused vegetable parts) and i'm looking to put it all to work...
I thought about using our old dried out summer plants as a substrate, but apparently mushrooms are very picky. They don't like conifer wood, herbs or anything that smells strongly, and they need enough nutrients. I'll even have to cook off the straw at a minimum, although sterilizing in a pressure cooker would be optimal. This also goes for coffee grounds or any other substrate :/

Alphaville
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Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

eye zee...

i do have pressure cooker...

NuncFluens
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Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

That makes things easier. I just cooked off some cardboard in a cooking pot for my side experiment of growing enoki-mycelium from stems and I feel like a hack for not properly sterilizing :/

Alphaville
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Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

after considering what you wrote i think i'll just start with vermicomposting now and figure out "crops" later. but i'll keep an eye on your experiments! thanks for sharing them.

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Update Time!

Work
I've finished almost all of the tasks for the big partner project, so no more meetings and no more deadlines! There's still a hitch in the system, which I might or might not get around to fixing in the next 2 weeks. Since my colleague took his holiday as of yesterday, there's also no pressure to finish the in-house stuff. Life is good.

Mycology
I ate some of the enoki 2 days ago, after the spore print turned out okay. I had the rest of them today, mixed with some mu err. The mu err's texture was very pleasant after everything I read about them being either chewy or slimy. The enoki on the other hand are very disappointing in texture and taste, as they're just mild and soft. They might be a good "supplement" to soups or stir fries for the nutritional benefit only.

I also went on another mushroom hunt yesterday, which came in at around 3.5 hours. I visited "my" oyster mushroom tree, but not much happened. One little cluster of 2 mushrooms grew from 1cm diameter to 2cm and turned from a brown to a blueish color, which was weird to see, but pretty normal. All the other little openings in the bark looked exactly the same, so no idea if and when I should return to harvest.

After that I made my way through 3 other forested patches, but didn't manage to find anything edible. I spotted 6 clusters of Panellus Serotinus, or the "fake oyster" (see photo) as I call it, so I got my hopes up a few times. Other than that I also found another cluster of oyster mushrooms that had dried out before it could fully form. On my way home I also found about 3-5g of enoki, but couldn't be bothered to pick them up, as I would have had to dissemble half of the stump*s bark to get them. Nice to have technically "found" something, though.

Image

Overall this trip was just as demotivating as the ones before, so I'm thinking that I might not go out to hunt for mushrooms explicitly anymore, at least not in the winter. I think my hiking spirit (and fitness) has been restored to a degree where I can just hike and have a half eye out for mushrooms, should they be there. Hopefully this makes for a more relaxed trip and takes away the pressure of needing to bring home food.

Lastly, I received my mushroom kit in the mail on wednesday, so I finally started my mushroom farm. I had to soak and cook the straw first, but managed to set up the whole thing yesterday before my trip. As I had half of everything left after preparing the first bucket (well... a 500ml "bucket"), I started a second batch in some tupperware. As of just now, the mycelium has already started to spread (see photo, the white tufts are good), so I'm really stoked about what happens next week.

Image

My side-project of regrowing enoki spawn from stems does not show any promise. However, this was expected as the stem butt method is mostly used with more aggressive species. I'll keep it for another two weeks, but once I need the jar for growing oyster mushroom grain spawn, it's out.

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by ertyu »

how about from spores? you did a couple of spore prints, right

NuncFluens
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

I did make some spore prints, but it's generally advised against taking spore prints for innoculation as the chances of it working are quite slim due to contamination. I could try to suspend them in a sugar solution or clone a chunk of the mushroom on an agar plate, but both methods seem to require a sterile environment and tools and I'm not up for that just yet.

But that's according to the commercial cultivation scene (where I got most of my tutorials from). Hobby cultivators have great success with unsterile methods, so I might have to give it another try in the future. As is, I'm limited by my lack of equipment and shelf space, though, so that will have to wait until I'm all set up.

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Mental Health:
I've been a bit more quiet the last few days as we were going through a tough patch there. My fiance has been diagnosed with depression for 12 years now and tried a lot of things to get better. Last year was a really good one as far as her condition goes, but it all came to a head a few weeks ago. We can't say for sure what triggered the drop, but an increase in stress (holidays and work) seems likely.

Anyway, for the last few weeks I've tried to be as supportive as I can be while still looking after myself. As I'm not exactly the most stable person myself, I tend to care overly much and then get depressed because it isn't working. I tried to avoid that this time, which is why I lasted as long as I did. But eventually I fell into a depressive state myself right around the holidays.

With work stress easing up and the holiday stress behind us, things are looking way up now, though. My fiance has stabilized and almost fully recovered, so that's good. I myself have started to get better too, but while I'm hopeful that the drop seems to have passed, I'm still raw and apprehensive. We've also talked a lot about it since and it seems we're finding smarter ways to handle the situation rather than just duck-and-cover until it's over.

What really surprised me in hindsight was that I actually told my fiance that the drop would come, as I noticed the manic phase that seems to come right before it all goes to hell. So we're hopeful to have a warning sign in the future, to which we can react accordingly. So overall it was quite bad, but we came out better than before.

Finances
This is looking quite bad right now. I couldn't be bothered to go find out where my money went this month, but I used up my whole budget and had to very lightly tap into savings. This is all without any major expenses, so I'll have to figure that one out till the end of the month :/

Mycology
I was visiting my parents over the holidays and went on 2 mushroom hunting trips. I managed to find a handful of enoki in several spots both times. This reinforces my hunches about where they are growing (near water), which puts another damper on my motivation to find them at home. It's super hard to find a body of water that isn't in a protected area around here, so I'm not counting on finding much more.

I didn't have any luck with any oyster mushrooms, either, as they don't seem to grow here and there. It's more like every forest has a "magic tree" that holds all of the oyster mushrooms for that region, and I'm unable to find it. Or maybe I did find it and there are just no more magic trees left...

On the homegrowing front not much happened either. Both batches of what should become oyster mushrooms are now hard packed with mycelium, so hopefully the fruiting can start soon. I removed the top layer of mycelium to encourage new growth and opened up the containers to the fresh air and indirect light. My biggest concerns are now humidity and temperature, as the batches are standing in the bathroom. I'll see what I can do by misting them a few times each day.

The enoki-on-cardboard experiment didn't go anywhere, so I tossed it out and replaced it by another experiment. I took some enoki spores when I was at my parents' and am now trying to grow a liquid culture. This would be step 1 of 4 until I get to edible mushrooms, so a lot can still go wrong. If this works, I can cultivate mushrooms found in the wild, though, so it would be a good skill to have.

Fitness
I've noticed how our alcohol consumption has went up during my fiance's down-phase, so we had a talk and decided to do a no-drink-january to reset ourselves back to sustainable levels. Seeing how I'm on vacation until mid-january I decided to make this into a whole fitness month to get ready for next year's hiking season.

I made it through the holiday season without gaining too much weight, so the focus will mostly be on fixing my elbow issues by following a rigorous (but mild) rehab protocol. If this works I'd like to get into a steady calisthenics routine over the next year, as I just don't have the space to set up any equipment right now.

Another goals would be to keep hiking twice per week, even if I'm not motivated by finding mushrooms anymore. In the past I've found that I can build a good base with 2 trips of 15-20km each week for a few months. I can already go the distance right now, but it's taking a lot out of me. If I can normalize this distance I should be well set up to start into the hiking season in spring.

Alphaville
Posts: 2427
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by Alphaville »

Sorry to hear about the depression taking over your household and here's hoping that you both are getting it properly treated. And not to minimize the condition, but just curious, do you get vitamin D + omega 3 in your food/supplement rotation? For me winter is always rough, but I've noticed (truth? placebo?) that those supplements help mitigate the seasonal blues. They're neither a cure-all nor a substitute for therapy and medication, but I've found they help me. Here's wishing both of you a speedy recovery and a good new year.

NuncFluens
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:25 am
Location: Bavaria, Germany

Re: ERE Adventuring

Post by NuncFluens »

Thanks for the well-wishes. I think we're through the hardest patch and are already working on rebuilding ourselves better than we were before. The vacation time definitely helps with that :)

As far as treatment goes, I myself have been told that I'm not bad enough to be treated and I kinda agree. It's really just 1-2 down phases per year when I overextend myself and lose sight of my needs. Nothing that a bit of self-awareness and stress-management can't solve in the long run...

The fiance's treatment has been a joke, though. She has been on several drug protocols for over a decade now, but it's all just band-aid solutions. Psychotherapy has likewise been pretty useless overall, as neither the 2 long time psychotherapy engagements nor the month-long stationary treatment last year did anything for her. What did improve the situation a whole lot over the last year was fixing our relationship and working as a team to make life better in general instead of working against each other to get what we want.

As far as supplementation goes, I tried medicating my seasonal affective disorder with fish oil and vitamin D for the last two years, but didn't see any effects. The fiance is not willing to try at the moment and I only want to push so hard, as it's mostly counterproductive. I do see the worth in a more holistic approach (food, exercise, stress managment), though, so I try to sneak in healthy foods by taking over the cooking duties, at least.

Edit: And a good new year to you too, of course :p

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