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David Sewak - 2 questions concerning mushroom cultivation practice

Posts: 348
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Hi David - I have two questions for you.

The first question is about garden beds I set up with wood cores incolulated with stropharia mushrooms (Garden Giant). We've set up a couple more beds this year (mixed hardwoods in varying sizes, medium size chunks to sawdust) and due to a supply crunch, the stropharia culture I ordered is taking FOREVER to arrive. In fear of having the wrong fungus colonize these beds before the culture arrives, I took a few shovelfuls of soil from the already established beds along with some small bits of heavily colonized wood and added them to these beds. Question is, would this be effective all on its own? It seems like the stropharia is pretty darn aggressive, so much so that it doesn't really take much to completely colonize quite a lot of material. I'm wondering how little mycelial culture to how much substrate can we get away with (safely) when it comes to such aggressive varieties but in such non-sterile conditions.

Second question is about shocking logs and totems into production for different varieties. We have logs inoculated with shittake, pearl oyster and blue oyster, as well as some totems with lions mane. They were set up in early spring 2 years ago now with no signs of fruiting thus far. The "cookies" of the totems are stuck together well and the logs did show signs of colonization on the cut-ends last summer. Are there different techniques that work better than others for particular varieties (X is better for shittake while Y is better for lions mane), or for totems vs standard log cultivation? I can't imagine throwing a whole totem into a barrel of water will be easy and giving a totem hard thumps could potentially separate those cookies...don't want to ruin the art before it's happened!

Thanks for any help you can give - looking forward to answers
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In our book I cover a couple of ways we did our Stropheria,#1 was the mother ship method (you are dancing around it with your approach) I always kept this fed so we always had a "supply", #2 is my lasagna method in our companion planting section. I never figured out "how little" you can get away with, and yes they are very aggressive, if you set up their habitat.
As for the "shocking" I always had luck with the shiitake- doing the soak and strike method. The water and the temp difference causing the fruiting. I did do it a whole lot unless I had to because you can wear a log out pretty quickly by forcing. We had 200+ logs going and ran the gambit of strains so we had fruiting from March/April until Oct/Nov.

As for the Totems I found them to be more of a pain than I wanted. The one way I found that worked was my birdbath style which I explain in the book. I did have some success with putting a contractor bag over the totem, and keeping it moist-high humidity. Then pulling it and watering it with spring water at night. Oysters did fairly well with this treatment, Lions mane I always grew indoor or in ground with the drill and fill method.

We do cover the whole gambit of species, substrates, tree species, etc and explain which methods we had success with. * I never did any white buttons or Portabello (same shroom) or anything growing on crap-life gives me enough of it why would I work with it?

Hope some of this helps alot of what you are looking for we do cover in detail www.mycelialmayhem.com

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