ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
Posts: 1910
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:20 pm

@Jacob

I found that mushroom on a hike at Shaker Village in central Kentucky. Here are some more images and also the cluster on the other side of the tree. I can't remember what kind of tree it was however.

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ffj
Posts: 1910
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:19 pm

Success in stage one!

This is what the rye berries looked like eleven days ago:

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And today. The mycelium have completely taken over the substrate and I am ready to inoculate mushroom grow mix with this grain spawn.

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So the next step is to break these bags apart and place about 3/4 of a cup of this spawn into newly sterilized grow bags, which is where the mushrooms will actually grow. I think I can get about ten bags inoculated with what spawn I've created ( I started out with 4 cups of dry grain ) and if I average about two pounds of mushrooms per grow bag then I should be able to harvest about twenty pounds optimistically. We'll see how that goes and I'll be sure to document everything. The substrate will change and the bags will get bigger. I'm excited at this early victory.






In other news I'm building another fence. Now this is a fence I wasn't planning on building or necessarily wanted to build but my neighbor has forced my hand. This Spring the neighbor decided to go into the excavation business and he purchased a bunch of equipment including skid steers and dump trucks. In order to park all of these pieces of equipment he leveled a spot in a field between his house and mine so now I get to look at construction equipment and a filthy parking lot way too close to my house. He just ruined a nice looking field that I can't avoid seeing. I've already spoken to him about the eyesore and level of noise but the reality is that he is under no obligation to move this stuff as we live out in the country and there is no rule prohibiting him from doing what he has done. It's just an asshole move on his part and I'm hoping his latest endeavor fails. In the meantime though I am taking measures into my own hands and blocking the view.

Now I have wanted more privacy for years now before this latest incident, so I planted trees along that fence line 2 and 3 years ago. At certain angles it does block everything out but not at 90 degrees.

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At each post I planted a climbing vine to soften up the fence a little. These are hyacinth bean plants.

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And here are the infill panels. I know, they are huge. :roll: But when the trees fill out more and the vines do their thing, it will all be proportional. Promise. ;)

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Once I complete the fence I will take a final picture, but the weather has been atrocious lately so I'm moving a bit slow. It's a bit unkempt because i haven't finished but the final product will look much better. I've got a hundred feet of this to finish and even though I only have 16 feet of blockage up, it has made a big difference already.

ffj
Posts: 1910
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:55 pm

O.K., so I've moved on to the next stage of my mushroom adventure. The first stage was inoculating rye berries from a purchased strain of liquid culture, which went very well, and now my task is to take those colonized rye berries and split them up into fruiting blocks, which is where the actual mushrooms will grow.

The fruiting blocks are quite simple to make actually and I'm quite surprised on how clean the process can occur. I've always associated mushrooms with dirt and darkness and wetness but with this bag system it is all very orderly. My recipe for the fruiting blocks is quite simple: 5 cups of hardwood pellets, 1 1/4 cups soybean hulls and 1.4 liters of water. This will create a 5 pound block which in theory should produce 1-2 pounds of harvestable mushrooms, which of course remains to be seen. The costs are reasonable too, as I can buy a 40 pound bag of wood pellets for $5, and a 50 pound bag of soybean hull pellets for $6, and the bag comes in around 75 cents.

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Once the pellets are hydrated, they instantly fall apart and create a mush. Some people choose to mix everything in a large tub and then place into the bag but it is much simpler to add the dry ingredients into the bag and then add water. Once the bags are mixed, I then sterilize the substrate in a pressure cooker. Unfortunately, I can only do two at a time which means it takes a while and I have to store the finished bags in a sterile environment until all the bags are ready for inoculation. That is where my handy tote comes into play.

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Note the bag of spawn before I crumbled it up. After doing that I simply placed about a cup of the spawn into each bag and sealed each bag up with the impulse sealer. I tried very hard not to contaminate the sterility but it's very hard to do perfectly without compromises. At least in a still box. A laminar flow hood would really shine in this operation.

And the finished product. I created another bag of rye berries to continue the line and four bags of fruiting blocks. Now it is just a waiting game for the mycelium to colonize their new worlds. I will keep you guys updated on the progress.

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In other news, I have mostly finished my fence, which although large, has greatly improved my life. Not having to look at stuff that pisses you off is wonderful.

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ffj
Posts: 1910
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:52 am

Just a quick update:

Three days and this stuff is going crazy. They are really digging their new homes. I think it is pretty remarkable so here's a picture:


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