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Christine Wilcox

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since Mar 13, 2013
Anchorage, Alaska
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Recent posts by Christine Wilcox

Hi Eric,
I'm pretty certain you are describing a pollination problem. Even with lots of pollinators in the area, if the correct pollinator isn't there, the pumpkins and squash won't get pollinated. Temperature also affect the predominance of male vs female flowers, adding to the complexity of the dance. In the past two years we have had a significant drop in appropriate pumpkin/squash pollinators in my area, despite having lot of bees and flies. I had to hand pollinate essentially all of my pumpkins and squashes last year in order to get any fruit.
2 weeks ago
Eric-Glad you're growing these babies. I love that here we can have our cake and eat it too: make awesome compost and eat the mushrooms. We now have wine caps popping up on all our paths after a good rain. We inoculate the aged wood chip pile with SRA spawn, then apply wood chips on all the paths. As long as we add fresh wood chips about yearly, the SRA mycelium continues to grow. Periodically we harvest the compost produced in the paths and continue the process. It does make great compost!

Steve-the SRA mycelium will eat the oyster mycelium given the chance.
3 weeks ago
Joe, the really amazing thing about wine cap mycelium, it it's ability to out compete all the other fungi. It eats them. So no need to pasteurize the area to be 'planted' with wine cap inoculum. We use well aged wood chips from anything other than pines of spruce. The wood chips have lots of other species of fungi, but, no problem. We get lots of wine cap mushrooms, sometime some other species fruit, but it's not an issue.  
1 month ago
Oysters grow on many substrates. We use sterile grain jars to maintain and transfer spawn. We grow oyster mushroom on straw mostly. Cheap and easy and local. We also like alternating fresh coffee grounds with hydrated cardboard and a high spawn rate in buckets with holes. Some people use hardwood fire pellets. Agricultural waste produce are used worldwide. Oysters grow on almost anything.
3 years ago
Shaggy mane are delicious. They should be great in your area. Should also be wild. They are often in disturbed areas and in lawns.They are very watery, so need lots of cooking to evaporate the liquid, but are the best in cream of mushroom soup or in stroganoff. We also failed to get blewits to grow from spawn.
3 years ago
Love to see some pics Steve. Here are a few from our garden last summer. Wine caps are pretty sneaky, found them a long ways from where they were "planted", but we have wood chip paths and mulch almost everywhere and now all mulch is inoculated with wine cap spawn (just add in the well run wood chips). Also phot of the oyster added to the straw mulch in garden beds and the shaggy manes in the compost that pop up every fall when the temps drop and the rain comes.
3 years ago
That's great. We too have spread wine cap spawn throughout the garden. Mushrooms everywhere. We are also using a well run bed of wine cap mycelium as a treatment for the road runoff.
3 years ago
Hi Corey,
We grow Pleurotus ostreatus, primarily the gray variety. It does well in the temperature ranges we have during the summer/fall and does well in indoor cultivation as well.
3 years ago
Wolf spiders can be effective predators of anything they can catch including my honeybees but there are other common spiders that seem to specialize in eating their arachnid kindred. I have issues with spiders and sharing space with them but when living years ago in a decrepit farm house on the Colorado front range infested with black widows and occasional brown recluse, I came to tolerate the Skytode genus or ‘spitting spiders’. I am not sure which species we had but we nicknamed them the “whirling dervish spider” for the habit of spinning wildly in the small webs they made when alarmed. Our population flourished from good habitat and tolerance but apparently others take this relationship to a more active level as the video shows. A few of the gang followed us up to the Great North, probably on furniture but the population gradually disappeared. The video also shows how they managed to subdue much larger spiders, which was always a mystery at the time we shared space with them.
3 years ago