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"feeding" mushroom logs?  RSS feed

 
dan long
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I know nothing about mushroom propagation that one cannot learn from watching an hour of youtube videos on the subject so bear with me if i say anything really dumb.

I read that oyster and shitake mushrooms grow well on alder logs so that is what I fantasize about growing.

I understand that it is important to sterilize growing mediums (with the exception of straw?) and anything that will come in contact with it when getting mushrooms started. In fact, it sounds pretty similar to wine brewing. If i am making wine, I need to be very careful to keep everything clean in the initial stages but I can get away with less than sterile procedures once the yeast population has picked up. At this point the yeast will out-compete just about anything else. I am wondering if that will work the same way with mycelium. Can a healthy population of mycellium out-compete mold and other contaminants?

For instance, once i have a log that if fully colonized, could i perhaps dump a big load of unpasturized wood chips on top of it for the mycelium to migrate into? Or even, would i be likely to succeed if i were to do this with hot-composted manure? What if I were to sort of build a compost pile on top of a colonized log? Would the mycelium be able to migrate into and consume the compost pile? Or would the contaminants force out the mycelium? Maybe it would be somewhere in between where i would start seeing multiple species of mycelium in the pile and i could just harvest the ones that I innoculated for in the first place? Can more that one specie of fungus grow in the same place? I just realized that i have never noticed two different types of mushrooms growing together.

Is the mycelium very likely to colonize a log that i place in contact with a colonized log? I would have to peel the bark off of both and then put the exposed parts in contact. Better yet, would the mycelium be very likely to migrate through the soil that the logs are resting on and then start popping up other places?

If I put extra mushroom mycelium into garden soil, am i likely to get mushrooms in my garden? Am i likely to get them in nearby logs? How about mulch? Maybe this is a complicated question since different mushroom prefer different growing mediums and conditions.

I saw a video on how to inoculate dowels with mycelium. It didn't seem really complicated. Just boil the s*** out of the dowels and a glass jar then make alternating layers of dowels and mushroom "roots" (does that work or would i have to use colonized coffee grounds?). However, in the spirit of "minimum effort, maximum effect" am I likely to succeed if I were to just stuff some mushroom "roots" into a hole in a log instead of a colonized dowel?

I am going for the permaculture "minimum effort, maximum effect" thing here, and i'm just trying to figure out which corners can and cannot be cut.
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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Dan, you have so many questions, that I don't know where to start. But since I'm free this afternoon, I'll try to answer them for you!

paragraph 3: Sometimes it can, sometimes it can't. For example, King Stropharia mycelium is so aggressive, it actually prefers non-sterile wood chips. On the other hand, shiitake mycelium is so weak, it can't out-compete other fungi very well.

paragraph 4: Probably not, but it might work on some species. But anything that grows on logs will not grow into manure or compost.
Yes, more than one species can grow on one log or in one spot. I see mushrooms of different species fruiting right next to each other all the time. A single wood chip bed could have dozens of overlapping different species that live, grow and die in a succession of species. paul stamets calls this "sequencing".

paragraph 5: Probably not for both questions.

paragraph 6: Sometimes old mushroom kits can be left in a chip or compost pile and then continue growing and fruiting, but this is pretty rare in my experience.

paragraph 7: Probably not.

My advice is that you check out the books by Paul Stamets about mushroom cultivation: Mycelium Running, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator. These books are a great inspiration to me and helped me get started years ago. If possible, visit a local mushroom farm where they grow shiitake and oysters. Then order the free paper catalog by Field and Forest Products in Wisconsin- they have the best selection of high-quality spawn- nice helpful folks, too. Their phone number is 715 582-4997. (In fact, if you live in Oregon, send me a message and I'll give you some free spawn!) Good luck!



 
John Saltveit
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I agree with MK, except about the spelling of our home state, Orygun.

Some mycelium prefer wood chips, some new fresh logs, some rotting leaves, others feces, others excess nitrogen in the soil. Some standing logs, some living trees. You've got to know.

There is a technique called a log raft. Stamets talks about it in Mycelium Running I believe. You intersperse logs with chips. It works for some species of fungi on some wood substrates. I'm doing it on Nameko.

So much of what we do is an experiment, even for Stamets, and he is THE expert.
John S
PDX OR
 
Mat Smith
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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dan long wrote:I read that oyster and shitake mushrooms grow well on alder logs so that is what I fantasize about growing.

Oysters grow well on just about anything - I think they are the best type of mushroom to start growing, very fast, high success rate, and tasty


dan long wrote:Can a healthy population of mycellium out-compete mold and other contaminants?

That is the whole 'aim of the game'.
If you're in a cold climate then go for a mushroom that grows well in cold climates, as the colder the temperate the slower bacteria will grow.
Oyster mushrooms are very aggressive and grow very fast, so they tend to be so successful because they out-compete the contamination as you say.


dan long wrote:For instance, once i have a log that if fully colonized, could i perhaps dump a big load of unpasturized wood chips on top of it for the mycelium to migrate into? Or even, would i be likely to succeed if i were to do this with hot-composted manure? What if I were to sort of build a compost pile on top of a colonized log? Would the mycelium be able to migrate into and consume the compost pile? Or would the contaminants force out the mycelium? Maybe it would be somewhere in between where i would start seeing multiple species of mycelium in the pile and i could just harvest the ones that I innoculated for in the first place? Can more that one specie of fungus grow in the same place? I just realized that i have never noticed two different types of mushrooms growing together.

Yes those ideas will probably work, but it's about targeting the specific type of mushroom that you want to grow, then providing the best habitat for it so that it can out-compete it's competitors (other fungus/mold/yeast etc).
Some mushrooms like wood, some like compost, so you need to choose either the substrate you want to use (eg compost) then find a mushroom that likes that, or conversely find a mushroom that grow well in your climate then use the substrate that it likes best.


dan long wrote:Is the mycelium very likely to colonize a log that i place in contact with a colonized log? I would have to peel the bark off of both and then put the exposed parts in contact.

Yes that will work, and that is how mushrooms were initially cultivated on logs. It is best if the logs are touching. Some mycelium will not like traveling through the soil, or will be much slower.


dan long wrote:Better yet, would the mycelium be very likely to migrate through the soil that the logs are resting on and then start popping up other places?

Depends. Some mushrooms will, some won't, depends on the type. Not the best way to get started though.


dan long wrote:If I put extra mushroom mycelium into garden soil, am i likely to get mushrooms in my garden? Am i likely to get them in nearby logs? How about mulch? Maybe this is a complicated question since different mushroom prefer different growing mediums and conditions.

Possibly but not likely.
Possibly but not likely.
Lots, if it's the right mulch done the right way.
Yes, it's complicated, as you say different mushrooms grow on different stuff.


dan long wrote:I saw a video on how to inoculate dowels with mycelium. It didn't seem really complicated. Just boil the s*** out of the dowels and a glass jar then make alternating layers of dowels and mushroom "roots" (does that work or would i have to use colonized coffee grounds?). However, in the spirit of "minimum effort, maximum effect" am I likely to succeed if I were to just stuff some mushroom "roots" into a hole in a log instead of a colonized dowel?

Yes that will probably work.
You could use the mushroom stem butts to colonise coffee grounds as a test to make sure they don't get contaminated, then inoculate the dowels.
No, I wouldn't just put mycelium in the holes in the logs - too much chance of contamination.


dan long wrote:I am going for the permaculture "minimum effort, maximum effect" thing here, and i'm just trying to figure out which corners can and cannot be cut.

For minimal effort maximum effect I'd recommend having a go with Oyster mushrooms to start with, then onward and upwards from there!
I've grown white oyster mushrooms on pasturised straw and used coffee grounds to good effect. I'll have to make a thread of it I think.......

Mat
 
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