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Growing mushrooms in a permaculture yard  RSS feed

 
David Castillo
Posts: 32
Location: IL/WI Border
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Hi Michael,

That's a beautiful mushroom in your hand. I'm currently in the process of permaculturing my yard. If I don't win your book here, I'll end up picking it up for more inspiration and knowledge.
Looking forward to the Q and A and perhaps a few pics of your design(s), if you would so kindly would share any. I would love to see your mushroom setup or even an explaination of it, as I innoculated alot of logs with various types of mushrooms. Thanks in advance.
 
Michael Judd
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Posts: 24
Location: Frederick, Maryland
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Senor Castillo

Here is a favorite place of mine to grow fungi - under the deck! Perfect as the house blocks drying winds and rain falls right through. I usually spawn run my logs here and move them out under a pair of spruces once they've run.

Also see the entire fungi chapter of my new book posted at: http://www.overgrowthesystem.com/edible-landscaping-with-a-permaculture-twist-fungi-growing-your-own-mushrooms/
7a-Logs-under-Deck.JPG
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fungi under the deck
 
Myron Weber
Posts: 67
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
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Very cool, Michael. Following up on the mushroom topic:

I kinda wrote off the idea of growing mushrooms because I typically get 10.5 inches of rain per year (even less this year), so it seemed like the kind of "going against nature" practice that isn't very sustainable. But... In one of my garden beds that is heavily mulched with wood chips, I've gotten volunteer mushrooms springing up at times. Obviously that's a great sign for soil health, but it also got me thinking I could do some intentional mushroom cultivation.

What say you? Is growing mushrooms practical in a near-desert environment? Obviously I've shown that they can grow, but I'm not sure about yields compared to inputs.
 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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I have a leaky barn roof, which drips down along the edge of a pen. I leaned up 70+ shiitake inoculated logs along that wall where the drip line was. All the water they get is what drips through the roof onto that line of logs, or soaks up from the muddy dirt. Now 70 logs is a fairly serious investment in time to get set up, but once established, it hasn't cost me anything but the space that it occupies.
 
Michael Judd
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Location: Frederick, Maryland
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Myron

Dig this. After just a few years of planting up a water harvesting swale I put fresh wood chips in the dug out portion (the path), inoculated with wine cap (stropharia), covered with cardboard for a little extra moisture trapping and topped off with straw. Granted I have three times your rain harvest but this set up could work with your grey water feeding into the swale to keep it all going.

geoff lawton shows his progress with swales/fungi in Greening the Desert you tube video.
18-Food-Forest-swale-inocuated-with-wine-cap.JPG
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swale path inoculated with stropharia
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
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Location: zone 6b
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Great topic! I tried the link Michael posted but with my Chrome browser it was really pretty weird looking, but still good photos! I'm going to order that book! IMHO, mushroom gardens are the very best "crop" for a north-facing shady slope with access to greywater (like I've got).
 
Rusty Shackleford
Posts: 22
Location: Tidewater Virginia
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@Michael, what have the returns been on this feral system of yours? 'Shotgunning' a log with plugs is a good way to overwhelm the medium, but does the same thing happen in a terrestrial environment? and for how long before 'weed fungi' start to infiltrate? etc.
As a general trend I see sooo many images/descriptions of 'Day 0' systems across the 'net, but seldom any hard data about returns. The swale looks nice so far, thanks for sharing the image!
edit: and thanks for the Lawton ref. Off to watch it now!
 
Becky Keith
Posts: 20
Location: Kelly , NC
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Hey Michael,

I am on a heavy wooded 8 acres in coastal North Carolina. We get a lot of rain. The boys and i were studying fungi for a school lesson and then I sent them out to find mushrooms. I was amazed at how many variety's they found. Most of them I have never seen before. So I have been considering growing mushrooms in the woods here. I have been doing some research and I kinda like the boiled hay in the hanging bags. My question is have you tried this? It seemed less labor intensive than drilling holes and plugging logs. I thought it would also make easier harvesting. I am a complete dummy when it comes to mushrooms. Except I love to eat them. I am looking for things that I can grow easily with minimal impact to sell at a farmers market or farm stand. I need to feed my family as well as bring in a small income. I was laid off a few years ago when the health care industry took a nose dive. I was contract and the hospital I worked at didn't renew. Since I have been in my field for many years I was at the top of the pay scale. Most hospitals if they are hiring are only hiring new grads cheap. Do you make a decent living off mushrooms? I plan to be diversified by selling eggs, milk,meat and eventually cheese as well as fruits and vegetables If I can grow anything in this sand pit of a garden. Also another question what mushrooms do you find are most in demand?
 
Dan Tutor
Posts: 103
Location: Zone 5, Maine Coast
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Becky Keith wrote:Hey Michael,

I am on a heavy wooded 8 acres in coastal North Carolina. We get a lot of rain. The boys and i were studying fungi for a school lesson and then I sent them out to find mushrooms. I was amazed at how many variety's they found. Most of them I have never seen before. So I have been considering growing mushrooms in the woods here. I have been doing some research and I kinda like the boiled hay in the hanging bags. My question is have you tried this? It seemed less labor intensive than drilling holes and plugging logs. I thought it would also make easier harvesting. I am a complete dummy when it comes to mushrooms. Except I love to eat them. I am looking for things that I can grow easily with minimal impact to sell at a farmers market or farm stand. I need to feed my family as well as bring in a small income. I was laid off a few years ago when the health care industry took a nose dive. I was contract and the hospital I worked at didn't renew. Since I have been in my field for many years I was at the top of the pay scale. Most hospitals if they are hiring are only hiring new grads cheap. Do you make a decent living off mushrooms? I plan to be diversified by selling eggs, milk,meat and eventually cheese as well as fruits and vegetables If I can grow anything in this sand pit of a garden. Also another question what mushrooms do you find are most in demand?


Hi Becky, I've been looking into this a lot lately, so I can relay a little of what I've learned to answer your questions.
You have a great climate for growing many kinds of mushroom in NC! As a novice, the easiest species to grow would definitely be oyster, which you can do in straw bags or beds. You can get spawn from a number of places, I recommend fungi perfecti or field and forest products. You can fruit the spawn bag right away, or mix it in to pasteurized straw, or wood chips, or cardboard and paper waste, or even coffee grounds. The moisture content matters, so you will probably need to soak whatever your substrate is over night, or briefly boil it, before you add it to your spawn. Then you need to keep the spawned substrate somewhere where it will experience the right temperature and humidity for growth. This all really general...
Growing mushrooms is very rewarding, but it does take a little reading and experience to gain confidence and understand the unique life cycles of fungi.
I would read paul stamets "growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms" before attempting anything more than fruiting a purchased spawn bag.
Shitake logs require less controlled conditions and initial knowledge about fungi, but more physical labor.
Shiitakes bring a higher premium and have a longer shelf life, as well as the potential to be dried and retain considerable value. Oysters are faster.
Hope that helps!
 
Becky Keith
Posts: 20
Location: Kelly , NC
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Thanks Dan , I appreciate how helpful you have been. I think I am gonna try several different ways and see what works best for this climate. I saw when watching a film on the hugelkulture beds that there was a lot of mushroom growth. I imagine that was because of the heat and humidity coming off the bed itself.
Becky Keith
 
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