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Does anybody know of a high mycelium producing edible mushroom?  RSS feed

 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I recently learned that mycelium can be made and used as insulation and I am pretty interested in growing my own mushroom insulation. Does anybody know of a high mycelium producing edible mushroom that I can try this with?

I would probably build a mold slightly larger than my rafters and fill it with growing medium, then let it sit in my solar dehydrator to remove moisture and stop growth of the mushroom, then put it up in the wall, cutting or squeezing it to fit.

I don't know the R value of the mycelium but it seems like it would be on par with fiberglass.
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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I hear the theoretical possibilities of what your saying and thinking wow if fungi can do that, I know where to get lots of fungi. Then I took a hard look at the risk being heavily weary on knowledge and foresight and said there's no way we know enough about fungi to wrap ourselves in it, never mind a fruiting body of mushroom can go through asphalt but think of the climatic predictions you have to control. If 1 pipe burts in the lifetime of your home even if it never rains it would be enough to start a chain of conditions that the mycelium could exploit, and naturally eat your home.
Even when i think about cement I know it cracks with time, it's not that the fungi attack their barrier but more that you can't guarantee the barrier and you don't know every variable that nature can chip at over time.

I dunno it's like the statement "if it was alive it can live again in compost" gives me the chills about this as much as the statement is exciting in the context of compost.
I can't expertly dismiss or extol what you suggest, but one aspect of me says great Idea I'd love to find out if it works. The other said this is a mans life were talking about and permaculture critical thinking says that caution should be applied were it's impossible to know enough to control the outcome.

There are other items that serve as 100+ year insulation but they might not fit your bio-region, have you herd of a aquatic plant called zostra? After composting it you get almost pure silica remainder which nothing can feed off of and is better than hay.
 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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My problem is space [I'm building my house inside a shipping container] What if I lined the space between the rafters with plastic, and put plastic over the insulation between it and the wall and the mycelium will have nothing to feed on. If I was to grow the batts until they did not produce anymore, there wouldn't be any food inside the cake to start a new colony...right?
 
Saybian Morgan
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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it sounds viable in theory as your barrier medium is shipping container. But mushroom manure is "spent" by commercial criteria, that spent material is sold to gardener's because it's still jumping with life. if you think you can keep the moisture out I don't see it eating a container and if it ever did it would be from going past the metal and into the inside of the home.
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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interesting idea, and interesting concerns.

to the concerns I'll add flammability. dry mushrooms have been used as tinder for a long time. on the plus side, however, one of the common treatments for fire resistance should also prevent the mycelium from springing back to life: boric acid. not the friendliest stuff around, but it's not systemic and tends to stay in place.

as for an edible mushroom that makes a large mycelial mass, I would start with something easy like the Pleurotus genus. they're aggressive, delicious, and spawn is widely available for a wide variety of climates.
 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I could just bake it in a uv chamber [I need UV lights anyways to sterilize the incoming air/moisture exchange in the grow tunnel] and kill everything on the pad, then install it. I might need to cut down on the depth of the pads to maybe an inch or two so the UV light could penetrate into each side enough to sterilize it to the center. I wanted to run the pads until they couldn't produce anymore so the nutes would get all used up preventing another something from wanting to live there [unless it fed off the mycelium, maybe add boric acid?]
 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I saw another post on here about growing shroom cultures from store bought mushies. I definitely want to see if I can get my favorite store boughts take hold and grow, even if its not as much as i need for insulation, it beats $12 a pound!
 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I have been thinking about this for a few days and was wondering about the possibility of putting the myceleal insulation in long sealed plastic bags, then wedging them in place so that light pressure makes a seal against the beams. The bag will prevent moisture from activating anything [even though they will be sterilized and dehydrated, it will prevent future growth if your foot fungi take hold in the walls.] I could maybe seal them with great stuff or something?
 
Michael Vaughn
Posts: 1
Location: Pacific NW USA
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What an intriguing and innovative idea. Ideas like this is what progress feeds on.

My suggestion for an edible, prolific mycelium producing mushroom is the King stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata). If paul stamets can use this species for mycofiltration, it should produce the mass of mycelium that you seek.
 
Nathan Wrzesinski
Posts: 79
Location: Austin Texas
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I am currently trying to cultivate my favorite mushroom, the portabello (agaricus bisporus) Check out my "Portabello experiment" thread for pictures!
perhaps for the next run of mushrooms I will try it


 
Chris Kott
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Why would you not grow the insulation on the outside of your shipping container? You could essentially have plastic compartments made of the same long plastic bags, maybe with another sealable plastic that would enable you to control moisture and temperature conditions in the growth chambers. You could use any growing medium you were planning on using anyway, and simply seal it up, dehydrate with a shopvac on each end, one blowing air in, one sucking it out, and some diatomaceous earth on the "in" end when it's largely dry. You could basically use a lot of Paul Wheaton's WOFATI observations on hydrology and using thermal mass to advantage after that, or just wrap it in some kind of natural fibre net and stucco or cob it and throw a stainless steel roof on top with long eaves. Why decrease your internal space any more than necessary, and why not take advantage of the fact that the shipping container was designed to maintain an internal environment that could ship perishable items long distances without coming out all moldy and shit on the other end?

-CK
 
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