I love this idea! I feed slugs to my bluegill every time I'm around my aquaponics setup.
In Thailand there are these fish that they keep in tanks to clean your feet. They are minnows, hundreds of them, and they eat the dead skin off your feet in about 15-20 minutes. My feet were baby-soft. It was incredible. Some people found it tickly/freaky, but they were very effective. I think you want some of those!
I'm putting together a smaller system as a backup power generator to use during power outages. I have 4 x 100w renogy monocrystalline panels, a 30 amp renogy solar controller, 100 w inverter, and one 50 ah 12 v sealed la battery. It's enough to to charge phones and tablets and laptops, and power these diodes LED lights I just installed from ikea. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00119424/# I just snipped off the plug inverter and rewired with a switch to my controller.
Eventually I will buy more panels and batteries, and upgrade to a larger mppt controller, but for now I get to tinker and learn the basics for under 1000$. I've probably got about 700$ in my system right now.
I'm also in maine, just have the panels on my roof, south facing.
I don't get to enjoy the same warm dry climate as you, but I do live on a ridge of ledge on a small rocky island. And I've been planting trees here for something like 13 years in poor shallow rocky soils over ledge.
I suggest you carry a heavy iron bar to test for the depth of the soil. You can just plunge the bar in and quickly ascertain an idea of the depth of soil and how rocky it might be before you dig a hole.
Also don't hesitate to build Swales and terraces to increase the depth of your soil.
My soil is so full of ledge pieces that it really benefits from being turned over and picked through a few times before planting. This results in a denser, cooler, and slower draining soil too. Adding compost and organic matter really helps absorb more water.
Mulching with some kind of organic matter and building a lip or dam around your planting to hold water make watering and retention of water much easier in fast draining soils. Make sure the trees have enough water the first year +!
Hope that helps a little...
Russel your theory is absolutely correct. We have the same problem here, except instead of buckthorn, we have invasive barberry. To make matters worse, the deer eat the barberry berries, depositing their seeds in little manure balls all over the place.
In the few years I've had my forest garden fenced I've had elderberries and red currents spring up from no where!
Very interesting, tell us about the spore print...
I think a lot of tropical mushrooms have gone un identified so far, but without a spore print I'd say its in the group strophariaceae. That's a wide guess, but If it was growing on or near dung It could be paneolus or psilocybe. Look for a purple-black spore print. Any chance that black staining was a bit bluish? Was it growing in a group or solitary?
If the spore print is brown it might be a pholiota.
Hope that helps, post more pictures...
Yep, I would say armillaria mellea. I've found them to be very good. My mom even dries them on good years, and reconstitutes them later.
Deer love them. I have a theory that the "October lull" described by whitetail hunters is actually when the armillaria fruits and the deer never leave the woods.
Young buttons are much better than old tough ones, get them before the veil breaks.
And look into possible gastric upset, it's never been a problem for myself and the dozen or so other people who I've eaten them with, but ymmv.
Sorry, I jumped right in and didn't notice you meant lepiota procera!
I still can't find anything about anyone cultivating parasol mushrooms, but I'll give Aroras habitat entry here anyway.
solitary to widely scattered or in small groups in open woods and at their edges, in old pastures, along trails, etc; fairly common in the summer and fall in eastern North America (especially the New England and the south) and Mexico.
Cj, thanks for the inspiring pictures!
I've found shitake to be a medium-aggressive colonizer. I've had no trouble expanding sawdust spawn, cloning wooden plugs on agar, or expanding dowel spawn on to wood chips. Maybe commercial strains from the supermarket are hard to work with, but I've had few failures with fungi perfecti and field and forest products. If anything, I think f&f might have be a little more aggressive, but they both colonize just fine.
You just need a clean space and to follow sterile procedure. It takes a little practice but it's very doable.
Hi Jason, I'm curious as to your personal philosophy when it comes to harvesting whitetail. Do you follow a QDMA approach, whereby only inferior bucks and mature-to-old bucks are harvested, as well as an appropriate amount of does to keep populations in check, or do you follow the approach suggested by Jay C Whitecloud, in which only young, infirm old, and inferior deer are culled? Or something else, ofcourse.
I made this up with my last backstrap from last season. Bowhunting season starts in 4 days, so I had to clean out the freezer!
Baked backstrap with fried sage leaves
1 backstrap, or 1/2 backstrap
1tbs salt ( coarse sea salt preferable)
1 tbs coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp dried sage
1 cup whole fresh sage leaves
Bacon grease or oil for frying
Clean backstrap of all visible silver skin, pat dry
Mix the Salt, pepper, and dried sage and apply liberally, almost forming a crust
Preheat oven to 350
Heat a skillet with a spoonful of bacon grease or butter to near smoking,then sear the backstrap on all sides 2-3 minutes.
Remove from skillet, place in baking dish and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the backstrap.
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch bacon grease or fry oil till hot, then fry whole sage leaves till crispy.
Remove the backstrap from the oven and let rest 10-15 minutes. Slice into 1/4 " medallions and serve on top of the crispy fried sage.
Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
First, stop feeding your fish. They can go for weeks without food.
It sounds like your system is not quite cycling yet. I had this same problem last year when I introduced bluegill fry to my few weeks old tank. I lost about half ( 8 ) before things finally adjusted. It took about a month. Google cycling aquaponic systems if you don't know what I mean by cycling.
Sylvia Bernsteins aquaponics book is a great overview for the new user, and there is a lot of info at her store at aquaponicssource.com.
Have you introduced any pond or aquarium water to your tank? That is one way to inoculate your water with the proper bacteria.
You can also try to fix the nitrites by adding salt, I forget how much per gallon, but the info is out there.
There are several good aquaponics forums on the web where you should be able to find lots more information.
My experience with my shipping container is that If you have an exposed south facing wall it will get hot very quickly in the sun, even if it's partially shaded some of the day. on a sunny 60f day this spring it was stifling inside container, closer to 90f. I would suggest screening or insulating at least that wall if you are going to be living inside. Even something like reflectix Mylar bubble wrap would do a great deal of good.
I've been using lots of old and new brush in my hugulcultures, and I pile everything willy-nilly. Generally, I think you just need to use more dirt and compost to fill in the cavities, but otherwise potatoes and blueberries have done great on them.
Are you direct seeding onto undisturbed ground that already is covered in growing things? If that's the case, anything to pull back the leaf litter and provide more seed to earth contact will help.
Like r.scott says above -( key line is great idea too!)
I would first chop and drop everything on the site you don't want to keep, and pile it in windrows ( or mounds, future hugulcultures, etc). then rake clean the earth in the spaces you want to plant ( between the windrows) lightly disturbing the surface, or the more labor intensive routes - broad fork,double dig or pick and shovel. After planting your seed, lightly mulch with the old leaf litter. As your plants grow you can continue to mulch around them with the chopped and dropped vegetation, or leave it in windrows to gradually compost.
Even if you start little islands of cover crop this way, the soil fertility will spread outward, like fungi on a Petri dish. Good luck! You are at my same latitude, so I am very curious to learn more about your successes.
Oh, and in the chickens forum there is discussion of an automated chicken coop door. Other permies are using it in situations similar to yours where they cannot visit their land everyday.
Is that Geoff Lawtons son making those tools? That's awesome! Thank you for that link.
I got one of these on amazon for 11$! It has a serrated blade, and works amazingly well, it even cleaned up honeysuckle and forsythia 1/2" thick. Much better than a machete, less effort extended and easy pulling motion. Thank you for the heads up Judith!
I've had good success transferring colonized shitake plugs and sawdust spawn to sterile sawdust (pressure cooked up to about 2 hours) and enriched sterile sawdust in a non-sterile environment ( clean closet ). I use gloves and a mask lately, because it's impossible to get the dirt out from under my fingernails.
As far as stuff pretty much anyone can do at home with a few materials, a little space, and some research and experimentation, these are things I've done with a simple thrift store pressure cooker, plastic totes, mason jars, myco bags, baby bottles, Petri dishes, basic sterile technique, and a closet I can clean up.
Extend purchased spawn- by grain to grain, sawdust to sawdust, plug to grain, plug to sawdust, plug to agar, grain to agar, etc.
Start spores- on grain, agar, cardboard,
Make spawn- liquid, grain, sawdust, from spore, mycelium, or liquid culture
Clone fruiting bodies- from store bought hypzigus Tesselatus
Fruit off straw, grain, cased grain, wood chips and sawdust
Store and preserve cultures for later use and indefinite, infinite expansion- p. Eryngi, p. Ostreatus, p. Columbinus, h. Tesselatus, s. Rugosannulata, p. Cubensis (sub strains), p. Azurescens, p. Cyanescens, l. Edodes ( 2 sub strains )
I've always considered amphibians friends. If you are curious about seeing more newts and salamanders, I learned a good trick for creating habitat from a roommate who is a herpetologist. Basically, they love to spend time under flat rocks and boards.
My roommate was actually trapping and tagging them for a study. His "traps" consisted of a V made from two boards laid on edge and screwed at the lap joint. This V shaped frame is placed with the point downhill and the edges are pressed into the ground so there is no space to go under the board. Now he dug small holes at the corners and inside the point of the V, and placed clean empty soup cans in each hole with the lip below ground level. In each can was also placed a scrap of sponge, to keep humidity up for captured amphibians. On the ground along both wings of the V, inside and outside, were laid more boards, flat on the ground, so that they covered the soup cans at the corners, and all the ground space in between.
The idea was that as a newt travelled through the leaf litter and hit an obstacle (the board wall), it would travel downhill most of the time, staying under the laid boards for cover, until it walked into the can and was captured. Other bugs often fell in too, so the newts were content to chill until he sexed them, counted them, tagged them, and let them go.
I thought it was pretty neat.
Are there other cultivation books worth the money?
I've learned a lot from magic mushroom forums, which usually have vibrant communities of growers of gourmet mushrooms as well.
The video series on edibles by roger rabbit - let's grow mushrooms!, is pretty good.
I think we are due for someone to write a good book on home cultivation techniques and small farm set ups, demystifying spawn making and sterile technique for the amateur, market,or casual grower.
I have a lot of ideas, maybe I'll get something together over the winter ( my quiet season) and start sharing it here.
I've just been dabbling for five years, so I'm no expert!
I'm just fascinated by fungi.
Hard to say without a little more information, but I think No.
Where were they found? ( region, climate, country, state, etc.)
What were they growing on (tree species)?
What color is the spore print?
The most obvious give away for a psilocybin containing mushroom is flesh that stains blue when bruised. Many also have a ring around the stem, and a purple-black spore print.
If you have little knowledge or experience picking wild mushrooms, I certainly wouldn't start with that.
Buy and read a mushroom guide book before eating anything wild, and then stick to the fool-proof fungi until you gain a lot of experience or work with an experienced mushroom hunter or mycologist .
More than a few chickens in a garden for more than a short amount of time will destroy it. If your plants are already well established and pretty big, you'll have better luck, but the chickens will still scratch and dig and dust bathe.
Ducks won't be able to jump up anything much higher than 12 inches, if that helps.
Good to know! I haven't read that one, just heard great things. Does it go into specific growth parameters for different species?
Not that it needs to, Paul covers that thoroughly in the other two, just curious.
I found japanese millet while looking for duck forage and fodder. It is highly recommended by duck hunters as a flooded food plot crop.
It is cheap for small applications ( the seed is very small, 1# = 155,000 seeds). I've raked back the top layer of muddy leaves in a nearby seasonal pool, hand broadcast the millet, then lightly distributed some of the leaves back over to discourage birds. It seems like a great option for seasonally flooded marginal areas, or in wet Swales and pond edges to provide both forage, nurse crop, cover, and grain.
Japanese Millet Seed - Japanese Millet Seed is commonly used for feeding ducks as this millet will grow in flooded soils or standing water. Japanese millet duck food plots should be planted before the rainy season allowing the plant to sprout and begin growing before the standing water comes in. This millet can handle standing water if the young plant doesn't become completely submerged. Japanese millet is most successful when planted on prepared soil, although Japanese millet will germinate and grow just about anywhere. For Duck food plots, plant the Japanese millet early in the summer (June-July) depending on the start date of your duck season. Japanese millet seed heads will hold on longer than most millet varieties, even in standing water. The seed will slowly drop out of the seed head feeding the ducks over time.
Japanese millet is well suited for areas with wet conditions. With a tolerance for wet and muddy soil conditions while growing, Japanese millet is able to be flooded while growing as long as its leaves remain above water. After maturity is reached, a Japanese millet plot is able to be flooded and used as a duck pond due to its tolerance for wetness. This tolerance for wetter conditions also makes Japanese millet a strong nurse crop to protect slower growing, more tender legumes.
A big benefit of beginning to grow mushrooms from sterile substrates is you can isolate factors and control individual variables more.
If something goes wrong you can more easily deduce the location of the problem, learn, correct it, and improve.
rather than things being hit or miss, and one being forced to make assumptions and guesses about failures and successes.
The big point is educate yourself as much as you can about growing mushrooms, definitely read stamets growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms or the mushroom cultivator . Both have very detailed information about growing conditions preferred by all the cultivated fungi you could find.
dan long wrote:So you guys are telling me that i can just sprinkle some spores or place a mushroom butt on a chunk of: soil/manure/wood chips/log/cardboard and have a chance that it will produce mushrooms? Why are people on youtube sterilizing or sanitizing everything then? It sounds like the effort:output ratio favors the "shotgun approach" or just flinging some spores all over the place unless you guys are getting like a 2% success rate.
I'm new. Could you tell?
To make a gardening simile out of this: buying sterile spawn is like buying vegetable starts- all of the most delicate work has been done for you, so you are almost guaranteed a success.
This is particularly important with less aggressive or finicky fungi, or exotic or specialized plants.
On the other hand, some vegetables, like radishes, grow great from seed hand broadcast into the right conditions. The key is the right conditions. Most people here have a general understanding of where would be a good place to chuck a handful of radishes seeds and achieve success, but fewer people understand the conditions needed by fungi, generally, and specific fungi even less. So while broadcasting spores, or spore slurry, might work great, it's very much dependent on matching a chosen fungi with its desired habitat, or at least environmental conditions.
Shaggy manes and oyster species are both ubiquitous and agressive colonizers of many substrates, so like the radish, you would be way more likely to achieve success than if you went around trying to hand broadcast celery, or the grocery store button mushrooms.
(Your milage may vary)
Rob Read wrote:Bayberry also produces crops of wax in the berries significant enough that pioneers used them for making candles. I've got one planted, and it's faced bunnies and lived (barely) - but others I've talked to say that in good conditions it grows fast and moves quickly (like many nitrogen-fixers). The shade might make it move more slowly (I've got mine in partial shade), and also might mean lesser crops of the waxy (non-edible) berries. Also, the leaves can be substituted for bay leaves in recipes, which I think is awesome.
Yep, I've heard at least one food writer say they prefer the leaves to bay laurel.
Where I live bayberry grows naturally along rocky seashore and field edges, usually well draining, often under or near spruce trees and juniper. It does well in very poor soil, and tolerates salt and wind. It's also not eaten by deer. That makes it a pioneer species of a sort- it is often one of the first shrubs to spread into abandoned fields after grazing or mowing stops.
Another option would be sea buckthorn (hippophae), or autumn olive, both from the Elaeagnaceae family, both providing fruit and nitrogen fixing.
Elaeagnaceae, the oleaster family, is a plant family of the order Rosales comprising small trees and shrubs, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical Asia and Australia. The family has 45-50 species in three genera.
They are commonly thorny, with simple leaves often coated with tiny scales or hairs. Most of the species are xerophytes (found in dry habitats); several are also halophytes, tolerating high levels of soil salinity.
The Elaeagnaceae often harbor nitrogen-fixing actinomycetes of the genus Frankia in their roots, making them useful for soil reclamation. This characteristic, together with their production of plentiful seeds, often results in Eleagnaceae being viewed as weeds.
I've been using all three to start a few nitrogen fixing hedgerow windbreaks, along with Siberian pea shrub, american plum, Nanking cherry, hops, and wisteria (also nitrogen fixing).