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Mushroom Garden Beds Using Far West Fungi Farm Mushroom Sawdust Loaves

Monday, October 31st, 2011

If you joined us on the Far West Fungi Field Trip and brought back some of the mushroom sawdust blocks or loaves to use in your garden, here’s some info on how to treat them:

The loaves with the leathery chocolate colored skin are shiitakes. The rest that are white are most likely white, brown, or gray oysters. Trumpet oysters form white sheets of mycelium on the top of the block that often retain the thick cut bases of the trumpet oysters. The loaves of golden or pink oysters should have some remnants of those colors on them. In addition you may by chance have some of the less common Reishi, maitake/hen-of-the-woods, or lion’s mane/crabalone.

First cut any mushroom stems remaing on the loaves down to the surface of the sawdust so they don’t continue decaying.

Soak the loaves in water in a wheel barrow, tub, or barrel with a weighted board on top to keep them submerged for 12-24 hours (not longer at one time as they may drown). Some folks like to soak them in hydrogen peroxide water as it kills off the mold some, though this is an extra overhead step that isn’t necessary. This should be no more than .3% concentration. That would be two bottles of 3% H2O2 from the drug store poured into a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water. After 24 hrs the H2O2 decays to water and can be poured off into the garden.

Put the soaked loaves of sawdust bottom side down on a bed of chippy wood chips 6-12? deep and 3×3′ or 4×4?, or longer in length if you have more blocks. You want chippy wood chips from logs and branches as they are the better food for these wood eating mushrooms than leafy or twiggy stuff that doesn’t last very long and gets more mold and bacteria. On top of the wood chips should be placed one or two layers of unwaxed carboard as the bottom of the blocks are more likely to leap off and grow into the chips if they are in contact with the layer of cellulose cardboard against the surface of the bottom of the loaf. The blocks should be placed side by side butted up against each other and they will often grow back together sideways, especially if they are all of one kind like shiitakes or oysters.

On top of the loaves of sawdust you should place fluffed up straw, excelsior, or draped burlap as a humidity layer for the mushrooms to sprout up into and not dry out. Excelsior is the stringy aspen wood fibers sometimes used in packaging material instead of syrofoam peanuts. If you use burlap you can place stakes in and around the bed to tent it above the mushrooms.

A simple way of taking care of the cardboard layer and the humidity layer is to place the loaves in unwaxed cardboard boxes on top of the wood chips. The blocks can be placed one layer deep in a cardboard box side by side in contact with each other filling the bottom surface of the box. The box should be the depth of the block height plus that much more to allow the mushrooms room to grow above the loaves. The flaps on the top of the box provide the humidity layer when the box is folded closed.

When the loaves are installed in your mushroom beds in a shady, non windy part of the garden the rains will keep the blocks and humidty layer wet all winter long during the November to May rainy season with very little work on your part, except to harvest mushrooms. If the weather goes through a dry spell you may have to water periodically.

Ideally the mushroom loaves will send out mycelial tentacles down into and through the cardboard to the wood chips anto pick up more nutrients to add to the blocks. If they don’t “leap off” they will at least continue producing mushrooms out of the sawdust remaining in the loaves until they are used up in a few months to a year.

Your success may vary depending upon how fresh the blocks are and the type of mushroom and how regular the rains are in the season as extra watering maybe needed. Check through the straw/excelsior/burlap once a week or so for fruiting mushrooms and keep the straw fluffed so it doesn’t get compacted.

Let us know on your results at litchfield.ken@gmail.com or david_gardella@hotmail.com

How to Treat the Mushroom Blocks from Far West Fungi Field Trip

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

A transfer hood for transfering small batches of mushroom spawn

If you joined us on the Far West Fungi Field Trip and brought back some of the mushroom blocks to use in your garden here’s some info on how to treat them:

Soak them in water in a tub or barrel with a weighted board on top to keep them submerged for 12-24 hours (not much longer at one time as they may drown) and then put them bottom side down on a bed of chippy wood chips 6-12″ deep and 3×3 or 4×4′ or longer in length if you have more blocks. The blocks should be placed side by side butted up against each other and they will often grow back together sideways especially if they are all of one kind like shiitakes or oysters, if you can tell them apart. Cover with 6-12″ of fluffy straw, excelsior, or draped burlap to provide a humidity layer for the mushrooms to fruit into.

They can grow through the bottom of the block and pick up more nutrients from the chips to keep fruiting all during the rainy season. The chips should be chippy wood chips of ground logs and branches as opposed to leafy/twiggy stuff that gets moldy easily. You can also put down a layer of wetted unwaxed cardboard on top of the chips and sometimes that makes it easier for the mushrooms to leap out of the bottom of the blocks onto the cardboard and grow through it into the chips.

Your success may vary depending upon how fresh the blocks are and the type of mushroom and how regular the rains are in the season as extra watering maybe needed. Check through the straw once a week or so for fruiting mushrooms and keep the straw fluffed so it doesn’t get compacted.

Let me know on your progress at litchfield.ken@gmail.com

MSSF Cultivation x Dress Head Womens Little Black Dress – Chic / Conservative

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Looking for something to wear in the winter? This woolen fabric with cotton material would should keep you warm. This MSSF Cultivation x Dress Head Womens Little Black Dress – Chic / Conservative is available in black or dark red. The dress is skirt length coming just above the knee and is long sleeved. This one piece dress is contoured mid frame area to show curves but is loose fitting for comfort ability. This dress is perfect for the office or everyday wear. The dress has a back zipper for easy dressing and slit for easy movement. The rounded neck and fitted bust line provides a slimming, fitted, and elegant look to this plain Jane attire. This dress is can be worn separately or with blazer. The MSSF Cultivation x Dress Head Womens Little Black Dress – Chic / Conservative has accenting threading hemmed down dress for an even more slimming effect. Definitely a must have for those cold days, and a must have for the office.