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using fungi in different ways on a large property  RSS feed

 
Fredy Perlman
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Location: Mason Cty, WA
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Hi Peter,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for all you've done to disseminate this priceless info.

In the near future, I expect to assume stewardship of a large property, location as yet undisclosed, in Vermont zone 4b including several acres of white pine-white oak-hemlock-ash forest of varied topography and including rocky peaks, wetland and riparian area. I am interested in making fungi a mainstay of anything I do, so to figure out what I can raise/encourage, I need to consult a broad resource, like your book, which coincidentally was mentioned in glowing terms by a young mycology student over last weekend. I will put my questions in bold with numbers so they are easier to extract.

There is shaded wetland alongside a river on the property, so I thought a shiitake log operation would work well there; easy access to water and shade. Perhaps logs could even be cut further upriver and floated down to the site.
1. Can shiitake logs be force fruited in a river, perhaps in a pen? (It remains to be seen if state law will let me build a soaking pen in the river.) Are there any problems with soaking thus?

There is a large interstate nearby, uphill from the property. I am uncertain whether runoff is a problem from there. If so, the young mycologist told me burlap bags filled with rice straw/sawdust/shredded jeans etc could be inoculated with oyster spores and thrown in a runoff trench to filter the rainwater and raise mushrooms free of the transmission fluid/brake dust/motor oil and mixt gick.
2. How can the filtered contaminants be safely disposed of after mushroom harvest?
3. Are you aware of grants to install mycoremediation systems such as this?


paul stamets casually mentioned in a talk shared by Permaculture Voices that Stropharia winecap could be used to neutralize the E. coli hazards of a leaking septic tank. I am aware of several such tanks in the area of the property.
4. Would Stropharia winecap remediation of leaking septic tanks work in zone 4b, and if so, can you sketch how such a filtration plan could be installed? (I would love to train on how to do this and offer this service in the area, but am concerned it would involve a great deal of technical skill I couldn't practically acquire.)


I'm told that spawn kits in mason jars were a big seller at an area farmer's market. I'm a big fan of sharing things with people, then providing them the means to do them themselves if they so like.
5. For Vermont zone 4b white pine-white oak-hemlock-ash, what kind of spawn kits could I create to sell for folks?

I will really appreciate it even if you answer only one question, I don't want to unduly tax your time here. Innumerable thanks
 
Lorenzo Costa
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Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
Fouad Yammine
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Hi Peter!

Thank you for this opportunity!

I live in Lebanon (Asia not USA) where polluted rivers are a major health concern. I was hoping to do some guerilla remediation by creating dams of inoculated mulch in hemp sacs.

Would you have any recommendations or suggestions as to how to proceed? What mushrooms would be ideal for organic and inorganic pollutants? Could we combine more than one? How many dams along the river do you think it might take to filter through all of it ?

Thank you very much for your help!

Fouad Yammine
 
Lorenzo Costa
steward
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Location: Italy, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti zone 9
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
Peter McCoy
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Hi Fredy and everyone,
Great questions.. Let's see..

1. Can shiitake logs be force fruited in a river, perhaps in a pen?
Yes, shiitake logs need to be soaked to fruit. Cold water is ideal as the temp shock also stimulates fruiting. So a river is excellent. After soaking, I would set them up vertically to fruit near the river, which I am guessing has a slightly higher relatively humidity level. Keep them in the shade so they don't dry out and at all times (especially when they are inculbating/resting) don't stack them so tight that there is no air flow between them. This can lead to mold growth on the logs.

2. How can the filtered contaminants be safely disposed of after mushroom harvest?
This is a common misconception. Fungi break down chemicals best when they are in contact with the chemicals for an extended period—they take time to "eat" the chemicals (really, to have their exometabolites interact with and dissemble the target compounds). If the substrate soaks up the chemicals in the water and the fungus has days/weeks/months to digest all of the material, then it will potentially break down a significant portion of the compounds. It will likely never break 100% of them down. Conversely, if the water is rushing through the mycelium there will be little contact time and the fungus (more specifically, its enzymes) won't have much time to break them down. Cold temps in the water and low levels of dissolved oxygen can also inhibit efficacy.

If the water, or any other substrate fungi are growing on, contains heavy metals any mushrooms the form should not be eaten as the mushroom may accumulate the compounds into its tissue. In theory, most mushrooms will not accumulate chemcial pollutants in their tissue, but this has been shown to not always be true either.

3. Are you aware of grants to install mycoremediation systems such as this?
Sadly no.

4. Would Stropharia winecap remediation of leaking septic tanks work in zone 4b, and if so, can you sketch how such a filtration plan could be installed?
Stropharia mycelium is great for this application as it is quick growing, grows on many substrates, tolerant of many forms of stress, produces very dense mycelial nets, and has a love for interacting with and eating microbes. Whereas fungal mycelium isnt so great at quickly filtering dissolved chemical contaminants, some species such as the Stropharia are great at filtering microbes, which are solids. In essence, a mycelium permeated substrate would be placed in the path of the contaminated water and naturally filter out the microbes... that simple. A good technician/cultivator would be monitoring and preparing the site to meet the growth requirements of the mushroom and providing/replacing substrates as needed.

5. For Vermont zone 4b white pine-white oak-hemlock-ash, what kind of spawn kits could I create to sell for folks?
Indoor kits for many species can be grown year round. The customer would need to provide the proper temps and humidity levels per species. Outdoors, the Stropharia and Shiitake go-tos are hard to beat. A local, hardy Oyster grown on a local ag waste would also be a good idea.

And Fouad,
To do your questions justice would take a very long time as there are so many variables and details to consider. Mycoremediation is relatively straightforward but one must be fully versed in fungal biology, ecology, and cultivation before getting into that application. My book has an extensive chapter on fungal remediation that breaks down all these concepts your raise. But it comes toward the end of the book after all the foundations are laid.

Peter
 
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