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Joshua Parke
Posts: 92
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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I came upon this reishi in the woods. It's in a pine forest, so from the small amount of research I did, it's probably Ganoderma tsugae. I didn't pick it because I wasn't aware if there were any poisonous look alikes.........apparently there isn't.

I've been seeing people on facebook talking about inoculating edible mushrooms into their woodchip piles by blending mushrooms into sugar water. Does anyone have experience with this? Would this work for reishi? I don't have any decaying pine on my property, so I was merely curious about spreading it around the forest if I did decide to go back and harvest it.

I'm going to have to do some research on this, but I was excited to share. Any idea on the age of a reishi this size? Do they become more potent as they grow larger, or are the smaller ones more potent?
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M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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Hmmm, that doesn't look quite like a Ganoderma (Reishi) to me. In fact, it looks more like Fomitopsis pinicola, the Red-Belted Polypore. I see this species on old pines and Doug-firs all the time, in fact, it's the most common polypore or bracket fungus in Oregon. The Red-Belt is often mistaken by beginners to be a Ganoderma because they look very similar to the untrained eye. Here's my trick for distinguishing the two groups: flip the mushroom over, and scratch your fingernail into the whitish pore surface. If it stains brown, then you probably have a Ganoderma of some kind. If not, then it's some other kind of polypore. Here's the scoop on the Red-Belt from Michael Kuo, see if this matches your mushroom:

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/fomitopsis_pinicola.html

By the way, I've grown regular Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) on oak logs before. But the large Oregon Ling Chih (Ganoderma oregonense) mushrooms that I pick from hemlock logs along the Coast or in the Cascade Range are "more bang for my buck". I also use Ganoderma applanatum, the Artist's Conk or Ancient Ling Chih. This species is more common and is found on hemlock and California bay laurel. The Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is not found in the wild in the Northwest as far as I know. Let us know if your specimen passes the scratch test!






 
drake schutt
Posts: 46
Location: mid. TN
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Joshua Parke wrote:I came upon this reishi in the woods. It's in a pine forest, so from the small amount of research I did, it's probably Ganoderma tsugae. I didn't pick it because I wasn't aware if there were any poisonous look alikes.........apparently there isn't.

I've been seeing people on facebook talking about inoculating edible mushrooms into their woodchip piles by blending mushrooms into sugar water. Does anyone have experience with this? Would this work for reishi? I don't have any decaying pine on my property, so I was merely curious about spreading it around the forest if I did decide to go back and harvest it.

I'm going to have to do some research on this, but I was excited to share. Any idea on the age of a reishi this size? Do they become more potent as they grow larger, or are the smaller ones more potent?


hey Josh- while I haven't seen reishi fruiting from wood chip beds, that doesn't mean it's impossible. Logs and sawdust blocks are just a more sure-fire method. If you can find wood pellets in your area you could make a bunch of blocks for cheap.
 
Joshua Parke
Posts: 92
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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M.K. Dorje Jr. -- Thank you very much. I still haven't begun to do the research....but you've helped me. I went and scratched two spots into the bottom of it with my fingernail. One of them I used my fingernail on it flat to make a "wide" scratch. And the other one is just a line from using the tip of the nail running "sideways".....anyhow I think it will make sense in the pictures. What do you think? I know very little about fungi.

Drake Schutt -- If I do harvest some, then I may have to try it upon the woodchips I have in my food forest and just see what happens. I haven't begun putting fungi into my food forest yet....it's in the beginning stages at the moment. And I still need to do lots of research on this topic. But I would like these types of medicinal mushrooms as well as the common edible ones.

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M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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The stains left by your scratch test on the underside of your mushrooms look just a little bit too pale to be Ganoderma. Usually, Ganoderma species will instantly stain to a dark brown color when I do the scratch test. But in cases like this, I recommend another test to be even more certain of your identification. A spore print could help confirm what you have. To take a spore print, leave a freshly-picked specimen pore side down on a piece of paper. If possible, one side of the paper should be black and the other side white. Then place a container such as a glass bowl over the mushroom. In a day or so, you should get a spore print on the paper. Ganoderma mushrooms have a dark brown spore print and Fomitopsis has a white or yellowish-white spore print.
By the way, Fomitopsis pinicola also has medicinal qualities and has traditionally been used by Native Americans. Recent studies show anti-cancer activity, immune-stimulating properties and a beneficial effect on liver enzymes. "The Fungal Pharmacy", a book by by Robert Rogers, has a lot of info on medicinal mushrooms.
Reishi can be grown with grain or sawdust spawn on wood chips in tightly-compressed bags. This is how Reishi (G. lucidum) is usually grown commercially. I've used oak logs half-buried in outdoor beds of hardwood chips. Outdoor beds of wood chips alone probably won't work.

 
Christopher G Williams
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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So I thought I would chime in here since my company, Michigan Mushrooms, just started a commercial reishi operation this year. We don't use woodchips, but rather the standard sawdust 'blocks' common in shiitake and other gourmet mushroom cultivation. As a way of maximizing harvests we get an initial fruiting in our mushroom house and then bury the blocks in raised beds out in the garden. They will then fruit from the soil once or twice a year, hopefully for the next several years.



Here are blocks being buried this spring


Here are the 'primordia' just starting to breach the soil.


Here is a 'conk' on it's way to maturity. This one is actually from our greenhouse where we buried several hundred blocks in our kale beds.




And here are a few pics of the more traditional style of reishi cultivation in our mushroom house.
 
Angelika Maier
Posts: 876
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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That looks just awesome! Isn't it expensive to buy sawdust blocks?
 
Christopher G Williams
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
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It sure would be! We make them ourselves. Not including labor it costs a mere $.60 per bag, and the special pressure cooker safe bag accounts for more than half of that figure. Of course there are other operating costs, and we have invested quite a bit into equipment over the years, but it is a fairly reasonable investment for the returns you can get.
 
dan long
Posts: 272
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Joshua Parke wrote:

I've been seeing people on facebook talking about inoculating edible mushrooms into their woodchip piles by blending mushrooms into sugar water. Does anyone have experience with this? potent?


This is the least labor intensive but also least reliable method for mushroom cultivation that I know of from reading Stamets books. He calls it "spore broth" and you can google that term to find all the info your would ever want on the subject!

Blending them up, or even just leaving them whole in a gallon of water will cause them to release spores. "soaking spores in a sugar and salt broth often causes them to germinate more quickly than competitor spores. After 1=2 days, the actively germination spore-mass slurry will be ready to transfer- so be ready" (Stamets, Mycelium Running, pg 135).

I'll paraphrase the recipe he gives for spore broth slurry.

1) add 1/4 tsp non iodized salt and 1 tablespoon sugar or light molasses to 1 gallon water. Boil 10 min. (I have read on shroomery.org that regular sugar in your cabinet is not ideal. You are better off with honey, molasses, maple syrup or anything else that has multiple different types of sugar in it. Note I am borrowing from someone else's knowledge and not speaking from experience).

2) add 1 teaspoon of spores. (in your case, pour some of the sugar/salt water you just made in the blender with a chunk of mushroom)

3) cover the broth immediately and incubate for 24-48 hours with even temperature between 50-80 degrees. (different 'shrooms like different temperatures. Do your research).

4) shake twice per day while incubating

5) broadcast it onto an appropriate substrate (the material that it will grow and fruit on). (different 'shrooms like different substrates)
 
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