Can anyone direct me to any information on early methods of mushroom cultivation? I have read Paul Stamets’ books. I have built an indoor, climate-controlled mushroom farm with a lab, but in spite of using reusable buckets instead of plastic bags, I don’t like how much energy/fossil fuels and other plastic and paper products I need to throw out and re-purchase. My goal is to grow mushrooms in a closed loop system on a homestead with the lowest tech methods possible. The only information I have been able to find so far is that the Japanese would sit new logs next to fruiting ones and let the spores from the fruiting mushrooms inoculate the new logs, and that you can take mycelium from a wood chip bed of king stropharia and put it in a new bed. Zero-waste, no electricity/fossil fuels and complete self-sufficiency are higher priorities than maximum yields.
Does anyone know of any other sources I could learn from?
You have already mentioned the Original method of mushroom cultivation.
These are the same methods for most of the edible mushroom cultivation for non-commercial growing of mushrooms used around the world today.
The modern method of inoculating logs is with either pure sawdust spawn or spawn covered wood dowels.
I use paul's books almost exclusively so I really can't offer up other books to read that are in English.
Tradd Cotter's book on organic mushroom growing has a chapter on low tech mushroom growing. He even developed a disaster growing kit for natural disaster places.
It seems that he really is onto low tech mushroom growing so I think he is a good place to start. Nevertheless, his book is well worth the read !
Spore mass slurries work extremely well. I make slurries with all sorts of mushrooms to get as diverse a fungal network as possible on the farm, I am in the process of treating all our acreage with slurries.
It is really very simple, take the mushroom caps you want to spread the spores of and a) scoop out the gills and place in a blender with water and "whiz" them up or b) place whole mushrooms into a blender with water and "whiz" them up.
Pour slurry where you want to inoculate. ( use this at the drip line of all trees, shrubs and bushes, over emptied garden beds and lawn areas)
Okay yea that is easy. Do you have an estimate for your ratio of mushroom/gill mass to water to sugar? I watched one video where if I remember correctly the guy said 1 cup or less of honey (or other sugar source) to a 5-gallon bucket of water and just one small to medium size mushroom is all that is needed. And how long do you wait for the spores to multiply? 24 hours or less?
For growing mycelium it only takes about a half teaspoon of molasses dissolved in the water, if you are going to blend it and use it immediately, you don't need to use any.
Sugars have been found to be the perfect food for cancers, it is also the preferred food for ciliates the worst soil critters so never use much at all, to do so will almost insure that your good microbiome will be under attack immediately.
I much prefer to let the spores grow in the soil, that way I don't have any worries about disrupting the delicate balance of my microbiome.
Thus I don't ever use any form of sugars for any preparation, I make the preparation (what ever it happens to be) and use it immediately.
Fresh is always best, even the steiner preparations should be used as quickly as possible once they are finished.
The answer to the how much really depends on how fast you want the mycelium to populate the 10 x10 area.
For an even pour over I would make up around 2 gallons of slurry and pour it back and forth at about 1 foot intervals but I am usually not in a rush for full occupation.
Since you are describing a 100 square foot space, you can go as high as 1 gal. per square foot, but I would consider that a waste of valuable slurry.
For best growth rate of a fungi slurry inoculation it is always good to add a fresh layer of fungi food as a mulch, it does multiple things for you that way.
It holds in moisture, gives the fungi spores darker areas to grow, provides additional food for the mycelium as they grow.
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 1 year ago
Life lives and grows... It's really, really hard to get in the way of that. Pretty much anything you do will be right and proper.
One of my favorite ever mushroom plantings was with morel mushrooms.... We blended up the ends and pieces with the water that was used for washing. That gave about 2 gallons fo liquid. We swirled it around in our mouths, and spit it back into the containers, or ejected it in a stream from our lips towards places we wanted to inoculate. Mixing our essence and DNA with that of the mushrooms. Then we circumnavigated the garden and orchard, singing, chanting, dancing, and sprinkling the spawn anywhere that it seemed like morels might like to grow. The only thing missing was some really clever costumes. So that was a couple ounces of mushrooms spread over 1.5 acres in 2 gallons of water. Then we irrigated, to give them a bit of moisture to germinate.
The planting previous to that was about a half pound of oyster mushrooms, blended up in a gallon of water, poured over a truckload of wood chips spread out about 5 inches deep. This is growing vigorously.
The planting before that was about a couple ounces of oyster mushrooms, blended into a gallon of water, and poured over a dozen 4 foot long logs. Also include in the spawn mix were spore prints on brown paper. They were taken years ago from wildcrafted oyster mushrooms. This is growing. Hard to tell what's happening inside a log, but mycelia is exposed on the surface.
A couple weeks ago, I took the stem of an oyster mushroom, and poked it into a dead stump. The same day, I laid a whole oyster mushroom on another log, and let it drop a spore print onto it.
I made up a spawn blend today. It is the stem ends from two oyster mushrooms that came from the stump of a dead poplar tree. They were blended into a gallon of water. I'm intending to plant them tomorrow onto stumps from poplar trees that died at the same time.
It's too soon to tell how many of these plantings have taken, it might be years before they fruit. It's obvious that some of the oyster mushroom plantings are growing vigorously. They might fruit as soon as this fall.
I work in units of gallons of water, because that's the size of containers that are easily available to me that have tight fitting lids that are easy to transport.
Long winded way of saying that life lives, and grows. And if we spread propagules around, we can influence which life grows nearby.