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Non-sterile cultivation of mushrooms

 
Posts: 649
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
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i also have king stropharia. i find they grow better if you mix some straw and some compost in with the chips then cover with a thin layer of compost. it holds moisture much better and i don't have to water them. i bet if you did that plus water them they would do well in your drier area. id also put a layer of compost in the bottom of your hole before you add your chips. you could start your mycelium indoors with the burlap sack method i described above. just mix in some compost also and put them in a large covered tote indoors with a few holes drilled in it for circulation. when they turn white with mycelium place them side by side in your shallow hole and cover with 3in. of chips and a layer of straw . should get shrooms in a few months this way. good luck!
 
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Thanks! I wish straw and pine chips were things we could get easily here, but they can only be had by purchase. I have tons of dying oak trees and loads of juniper.

 
steve bossie
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Thanks! I wish straw and pine chips were things we could get easily here, but they can only be had by purchase. I have tons of dying oak trees and loads of juniper.

could chip those oak branches. oysters and king stropharia will grow on shredded cardboard too. its wood pulp! rent a chipper and chip the branches with the cardboard, add a little compost , wet and inoculate! would work in the burlap bags too! oysters esp. aren't very picky .

 
steve bossie
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check with your highway department or yard work contractors for wood chips. lots of times they'll deliver you a load for free!
 
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I reviewed this thread, 4 years later. I just want to say that I am astonished at how much effort I put into growing mushrooms back then. Today my strategy is much simpler: I blend up whole mushrooms, with a bunch of water, and I pour the slurry over whatever I want to inoculate. It works great. My current oyster mushroom bed is wood chips on the ground, with logs stacked on top of that. I inoculate it whenever I have extra spawn. I add logs whenever they are available.
 
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I have a steady supply of Brewer's spent grain and would like to try growing mushrooms of any easy variety on it. I grabbed two small samples of fresh grain and stuck in some mushroom butts that I had on hand. They seem to be taking to the grain, which prompted me to consider growing mushrooms more seriously.

I know the commercial way would be to grab grow bags and culture syringes and try to do it in a sterile way and I've only seen grain done that way, is that really the only option? I know grain is not natural like wood, and I have doubts that I can grow mushrooms and not a bunch of mold unless I start sterilizing the bags.

But if there's a more holistic approach with less disposable plastic I'd like to try that. Would lacto-fermenting the grain help deter rampant mold? I can keep the grain in my fridge for a good week without mold growth, can mycelium spread at those temps? Any thoughts from people more knowledgeable about mushrooms?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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K Kat:

You might use the grain by inoculating it with mushrooms for 3-5 days, and then spreading the grain around outside, in suitable habitat, where you'd like mushrooms to grow.
 
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Although I use sterilized spawn to start, I grow oysters on unsterized straw in buckets of straw.  Then the straw becomes spawn for additional buckets.
 
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