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primary or secondary decomposer?  RSS feed

 
dan long
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I am doing some research on PNW Washington mushrooms that i can forage with the intention of growing them in my garden. Thing is, I want to know if they are primary or secondary decomposers. Since this information is generally useless to foragers (they really only need to know if its saprophytic or michorizal so that they know where to look) I'm having a hard time finding information that would give me an idea of wether to grow a given mushroom on straw or compost substrate.

Is there anywhere on the net that can provide this information? Please note that i am not looking for info on those commonly cultivated mushrooms (aside from shaggy mane).

In case there ins't any such resource, does anybody know specifically what the following mushrooms prefer?

Shaggy mane
Shaggy parasol
Blewit
Prince
Angel wings (i suspect are primary decomposers)
Fairy ring/Scotch Bonnet (I suspect are secondary)

On that subject, is it safe to assume that a mushroom which is typically found on logs or stumps (angel wing) is a primary decomposer while one that is found in a field (Fairy ring) is a secondary decomposer? Is white rot/ brown rot and indicator of wether or not it is primary or secondary? Are certain mycelium exclusivley primary or secondary or does it exist on a spectrum? (this one is slightly primary this one is very secondary etc etc). Are there any general rules that can point me towards the right direction?
 
Ludger Merkens
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Hi Dan Long,

have a look at mycelium running by paul stamets. Following of page 210 he has "The Cast of Species" where your questions are answered.
e.g.

Shaggy parasol:
Natural Habitat: Growing along roads, in lawns along borders to woods, and in anhthills
Type of Rot: White
Natural Method of Cultivation: [...] on 2 inches of gras clippings [...]

but he goes into much more detail, so have fun reading.

regards
Ludger
 
dan long
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Ludger Merkens wrote:Hi Dan Long,

have a look at mycelium running by paul stamets. Following of page 210 he has "The Cast of Species" where your questions are answered.
e.g.

Shaggy parasol:
Natural Habitat: Growing along roads, in lawns along borders to woods, and in anhthills
Type of Rot: White
Natural Method of Cultivation: [...] on 2 inches of gras clippings [...]

but he goes into much more detail, so have fun reading.

regards
Ludger


I have that book next to me right now. Ill take a look!
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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Dan, your questions show an insatiable curiosity about growing mushrooms- that's a good thing to have! I have some experience with some of the species you mentioned. P=primary, S=secondary, B=both.

Shaggy Mane: This species is featured heavily in all three cultivation books by Paul Stamets. He suggests cow or horse manure compost, or beds of hardwood sawdust/chips. "Newly laid or fertilized lawns that are frequently watered are perfect habitats..." However, I've never had any success with growing Shaggy Manes from spawn purchased from fungi perfecti. However, I've had some success adding Doug-fir sawdust to a pre-existing patch in a gravelly area near my barn. This species seems to like limestone gravel and soils rich in calcium. Mushroom Adventures (mushroomadventures.com) sells kits with manure compost in boxes that can be grown inside your house. Check out their photo gallery. Fungiforthepeople.org also sells outdoor spawn for this one in the springtime. B

Shaggy Parasol: I've had some success growing this one from dumping spore emulsion around fruit trees in an orchard mulched with horse manure/compost. This one likes soils rich in calcium and nitrogen. The "newly laid lawn habitat" would also be ideal for a project for this one, too. S

Prince: This one can be grown on leached cow manure compost with lime. I'm trying to grow it right now with this same method I use to grow Almond Agaricus. I've also noticed this ones loves limestone gravel areas. Check out mushroomadventures.com or fungiforthepeople.org for more info. B

Angel Wings: Although this species is listed as edible in all the older books, several people have died recently from eating this species in Japan. I used to eat it, but I don't anymore! It's not worth the risk. This link has info about the deaths in Japan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleurocybella_porrigens

Fairy Ring: This one seems to like well-watered lawns around extremely well-rotted remnants of tree stumps. I've never heard of anyone growing it, although I'd like to find out how! S

Blewit: According to Field and Forest, this species "seems to have a preference for hardwood and pine needle/pine chip duff mixed with organic matter... making it an ideal candidate for seeding into piles of chips, sticks and leaves". Field and Forest sell spawn for this one, although I bet you could transfer mycelium from a wild patch to a fresh slash pile and start your own patch for free. B?

The shroomery.org website has a section for gourmet mushroom cultivation, it's worth checking out. Hope this info helps!




 
dan long
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M.K. Dorje Jr. wrote:Dan, your questions show an insatiable curiosity about growing mushrooms- that's a good thing to have! I have some experience with some of the species you mentioned. P=primary, S=secondary, B=both.

Shaggy Mane: This species is featured heavily in all three cultivation books by Paul Stamets. He suggests cow or horse manure compost, or beds of hardwood sawdust/chips. "Newly laid or fertilized lawns that are frequently watered are perfect habitats..." However, I've never had any success with growing Shaggy Manes from spawn purchased from Fungi Perfecti. However, I've had some success adding Doug-fir sawdust to a pre-existing patch in a gravelly area near my barn. This species seems to like limestone gravel and soils rich in calcium. Mushroom Adventures (mushroomadventures.com) sells kits with manure compost in boxes that can be grown inside your house. Check out their photo gallery. Fungiforthepeople.org also sells outdoor spawn for this one in the springtime. B

Shaggy Parasol: I've had some success growing this one from dumping spore emulsion around fruit trees in an orchard mulched with horse manure/compost. This one likes soils rich in calcium and nitrogen. The "newly laid lawn habitat" would also be ideal for a project for this one, too. S

Prince: This one can be grown on leached cow manure compost with lime. I'm trying to grow it right now with this same method I use to grow Almond Agaricus. I've also noticed this ones loves limestone gravel areas. Check out mushroomadventures.com or fungiforthepeople.org for more info. B

Angel Wings: Although this species is listed as edible in all the older books, several people have died recently from eating this species in Japan. I used to eat it, but I don't anymore! It's not worth the risk. This link has info about the deaths in Japan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleurocybella_porrigens

Fairy Ring: This one seems to like well-watered lawns around extremely well-rotted remnants of tree stumps. I've never heard of anyone growing it, although I'd like to find out how! S

Blewit: According to Field and Forest, this species "seems to have a preference for hardwood and pine needle/pine chip duff mixed with organic matter... making it an ideal candidate for seeding into piles of chips, sticks and leaves". Field and Forest sell spawn for this one, although I bet you could transfer mycelium from a wild patch to a fresh slash pile and start your own patch for free. B?

The shroomery.org website has a section for gourmet mushroom cultivation, it's worth checking out. Hope this info helps!






I really appreciate you taking the time to write all that. Some good info in there, my friend! Is there a source you are quoting on this info? I noticed you mention where these are found naturally. Are you simply hypothesizing based on the environment that you are able to find them in?

What would i look for if I were to try and cultivate a species that neither you not Staments mentions? Some are obvious, like angel wings or oysters popping from relatively fresh logs and stumps and obvious secondaries are going to be found in manure but organic matter exists on a spectrum or fresh-decayed, not one or the other. That would make it difficult for a relatively inexperienced forager (me) to decide what kind of substrate to use if he wanted to propagate what he found in the woods, which is exactly what I intend to do. One example i can think of would be the blewits you just mentioned. You classified them as "b?". they grow in pine needle duff and those needles are going to be in various states of decomposition. They could be feeding off of the fresh ones or the aged ones. Do you have a particular strategy you recommend?

I'm almost wondering if it wouldn't be less work to make three trial substrates: straw, poop and straw and poop to try and grow a new species on than it would to study all the different species i might want to cultivate. That is, someone already knows. You guys always surprise me with the wealth of knowledge you bring to this board!
 
John Elliott
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If you want shaggy manes, I would suggest befriending someone with a horse pasture. The only place I have ever been able to collect them is in or near horse pastures.
 
dan long
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John Elliott wrote:If you want shaggy manes, I would suggest befriending someone with a horse pasture. The only place I have ever been able to collect them is in or near horse pastures.


There are so many horse owners around where i'll live that its probably secondary decomposer heaven. I probably have easier access to compost than i do to primary decomposer substrate unless the road service is cool with dropping off wood chips at my front door.
 
dan long
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I should probably clarify that I am hoping to collect mushrooms from the wild, make a spawn from them, then grow them outside in the vegetable beds. going for a low maintenance strategy.
 
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