ross johnson

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since Apr 12, 2013
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Recent posts by ross johnson


Feel free to go with the K-LAB, Id be honored. Go ahead and modify it to your liking. I thinking of experimenting with the ratio of K to LAB and adding kefir to see what works best.

About the calcium and calcium P- There might be trace ammounts of CaP in the eggshell extract, but eggshells are about 95% calcium carbonate, then there is magnesium and protien along with calcium phosphate. So when you mix vinegar (acetic acid)with eggshells (calcium carbonate, you get a solution thick with calcium acetate.

Bone is mostly calcium phosphate, I think about 70%. So if you do the charred bone extract youll have a CaP rich solution but there will be trace ammounts of calcium acetate from the trace ammount of calcium carbanate in the bones.
7 years ago

Triato Vallejos wrote:Molds are fungi reproducing ´´asexually´´, they extend microscopic filaments that produce asexual spores at the top. Mooshrooms are produced when two diferent mycelium ´´individuals´´ with diferent genetic makeup meet, conect their hyphae (like fusing) and from the conection generate a mooshroom fruiting body. A fungus species may exist both as a mold and as a mooshroom, but for some species only one of the forms is known. For example: Metarrizium is an insect patogen mold that under certain conditions is also the cordiceps mooshroom, its mycelium can generate both the mold and the mooshroom, Paul Stamets talks a lot about that species.

Just to clarify, mycelium is the filament (hyphae) ´´web´´, it can exist in many forms and density. It is like fungus tisue, all reproduction structures grow from mycelium.

Mushrooms are created when two primary myceliums of the same variety with different genetic make up form a dikaryotic union to form a secondary mycleium. The secondary mycelium is a dikaryon made of two compatible nuclei; a mating pair of hyphae cells.

The secondary mycelium's hyphae has two seperrate nuclei ,but exchanges nutrients etc. Once the secondary mycelium has formed a mycelial mat, and the conditions are right they form a fruitbody. At the point where the spores are formed the dikaryotic cell exchanges genetic information;meiosis, and a new, geneticly unique spore is formed containing genetic information from both pairs of hyphae.

Again, mold is an informal term (usually with a negative conotation)for certain mycelia, and even some bacterias like slime molds. Non fruiting myceliums whether primary or secondary will not form a mushroom.
7 years ago
Right on Matt. Are you cultivating your own EM and LAB? I cultivate LAB and mix it 50/50 with kombucha which is kinda like EM minus the photosynthisizing bacteria. I call it K-LAB

The method I use for making FPJ's is basicly Master Cho's method, but I've altered it a bit. Sometimes Ill add the K-LAB mix to it depending on how dry.

The method is to harvest the plant matter to be used, chop as finely as possable then mix with about 1/2 to 1/3 the weight of the plant matter with unrefined sugar.

The ammount of sugar varies based on the water content of the plant matter. More water content equals more sugar.

Once the sugar is mixed with the plant matter, the mix is then packed down and a weight is placed on top for about 24 hours. I use a trashbag full of water as a weight. When you but the bag of water in the bucket with the mix, the water will evenly distribute the weight across the surface of the plant/sugar mix and ensure that there is no air space.

When the mix is packed, the concentration gradient from the plant matter to sugar creates ozmotic pressure which extracts the plant juice into the sugar. The result is a syrup containing all the phytochemicals, nutrients and hormones contained in the plant fluid. Clorophyll and thylikoid molecules as well.

The key is to make sure the plant you use has been watered well and that it has not had its leaves watered or rained on for at least two days. If the leaves have not had running water on them then they should be covered in micro-organisms, mainly LAB and yeast who will ferment the extract.

After at least a couple of weeks, but up to a year is ideal, the syrup is filtered out from the plant materiel and bottled.

It is best to pick the plants when they have dew on them. Some times its dry, in the case of dry materiel, (not "dry", but low moisture content), I will add the K-LAB.

I also use some of the stuff you listed, like fish amino acids. I just made some and I made another out of waiste from the sea urchin industry here in my region. Ive made an N fert similar to the FAA except using garden snails. I gathered as many snails from my yard as possable and bashed em up in a stainless steel dairy pail, mixed with sugar and stained a month later. All the blood and guts frpom those destructive snails went right back into the plants they were parasityzing.

I also use the eggshell calcium, but that is NOT calciumm phosphate. If its made with vinegar, its calcium acetate. The same method can be used to make a liquid calcium input by using oyster shell flour or abalone, or any kinda shell powderr really.

Soak shell in vinegar. A reaction takes place, the solution foams, pieces float up and sink down. The reaction ends and the calcium solution is filtered from the shell powder.

I've since altered this by using kombucha in place of vinegar. I brew a batch of Kombucha, let it ferment for several weeks till its so acidic that it burns your nose when you get the slightest wiff. Then I add 1 part abalone shell powder to 9 parts highly acidic kombucha. Poor of the komboucha then add fresh kombucha. Repeat til no more reaction takes place.

For calcium phosphate the same procedure is followed, but instead of using shell powder, I use charred and powdered bone meal.
7 years ago
Nice work!

Great way to deal with all that cardboard for sure. After the cardboard/paper substrates are spent they'd probably make a pretty good feed for pigs too. Turn all that trash into gourmet food.
7 years ago

Jennifer Jennings wrote:Thanks for an exact recipe, Ross! I was just going for the taste without the alcohol and all the goodness of probiotics, but the real McCoy you posted sounds tempting to try, especially since I favor the darker types like Guinness.

Whoops! Im sorry, I must've misunderstood but Im glad you appreciated the derail. Im drinking some kefir beer right now! Good stuff, Like an IPA but probably with a little less alcohol. I dont have a hydrometer to check but it definitley worked.
7 years ago
Im not sure about research Jennifer, Id like to get an NPK test kit to check the nutrient levels myself. I do know that through various methods of extracting and fermenting, many of the high dollar organic fertilizers are essentialy FPJ's or FPE's, whatever you want to call em. Proofs in the pudding tho so if it works well for you then continue to do it.

I've never heard anyone who tried FPJ's saying that they'd still prefer to spend 20 bucks on a qt of store bought stuff instead of the homemade stuff.
7 years ago
Im thinking you innoculated the BRFcakes with a spore or liquid culture syringe? Looks like you have a pretty good technique and set up.

To me the attraction of growing oysters on cardboard is only that it can be done without using sterile technique and that the cardboard itself can theoreticaly be used as spawn. I Would say that the mycelium you have and the mushrooms its producing are gaining their nutrition, streangth and vigor from the BRF & coffee. If you pasteurized straw and supplemented with coffee or bran your yeilds, nutritional content, and medicinal quality of the shrooms would go up.

Cardboard supplies cellulose but there is nothing else really, but the thing is mushrooms need a little more nutrition to synthesize protiens and medicinal compounds to their full potentiel. Supplemented straw or sawdust provides that, plus it has the bonus of a biological community that will break down nutrients from the substrate for the mycelium plus synthesise benifical compounds for the mycelium directly and also indirectly by contributing antibiotic compounds to the substrate that act as an immune system for the mycelium.

The difference between sterilizing and pasteurizing is that when pasteurizing a in hospitable tempreture is held for a leangth of time in order to kill off certain organisms but it does not get hot enough to kill of certain benificial organisms.

Sterilization obviously is when all life forms are killed off.

When something is sterilized it is incredibly vulnerable to colonization from competitive organisms because the substrate is defenseless unless you ensure that they remain sterile until its innoculated and colonized by the innoculum like you did with the BRF jars. When something is pasteurized it is still colonized by the heat tolerant organisms and so will not readily contaminate in open air conditions.

Cardboard doesnt generally contaminate and is a selective substrate because its lack of nutrients dont facilitate growth in most fungi species and doesnt offer simple sugars for bacterial growth. It can contaminate though.

Oysters tear through it because they are a primary decomposer and can break complex things down that have not been previously broken down by another organism.

Portabella on the other hand needs a substrate to have been previously broken down and would not thrive on card board, and coffee unless in minute ammounts would probably be too nutritious for ports which would slow the growth.

Sorry for rambling and I hope this post doesnt come across as offensive or discouraging. Im pretty impressed seing your project and am just thinking that if youd done the same thing using straw youd be pretty happy with the results. So Id like to encourage you to use your skills to their full potential.
7 years ago
There was creosote in the soil here from the same thing. That was before I livved here but appearently it would burn your skin if you were working in the soil. Appearently Paul Stamets himself (and his crew) came out here and used oystermushrooms to rehabilitate the soil.
7 years ago
Biochar is similar to charcoal but its different. What it is is carbonized organic matter. If you have a heat source and put something on it in the presence of oxygen then the materiel will catch fire. If you put materiel in a heat source but have it cut off from oxygen, the materiel will smolder and char. Many of the compounds contained in the materiel, will not burn off so the biochar will be a little richer then charcoal.

If that doesnt make sense heres an example-You have a fire outside burning like a normal fie. You fill anything from a dutch oven to a steel drum with organic, cover it so no oxygen can get in and place it in the fire. The heat will tranfer from the fire to the materiel but the materiel will not catch fire because there is not enough oxygen for it to catch fire but the materiel will smolder and turn to char. Carbonized organic matter.

I've got tons of rice and beens that were in a trailor I picked up . Its been sitting in a box outside and is not something I would eat at this point. Carbonizing it would be the most practical use for it.

Once you have biochar or charcoal it is a good idea to soak it in water if not compost tea or something. I soak mine in lactic acid bacteria personally but the point is to moisten it because otherwise it may never really get wet depending on the climate etc. Once it is wet and in the soil, whether its biochar or charcoal it will be colonized by micro-organisms.
7 years ago

So the mushrooms would not come from the mycelium right?

Im not sure I understand the question.

Mushrooms do grow from mycelium. They are actually made entirely of mycelium; stem, veil cap everything EXCEPT the spores they produce are made of mycelium.

I think the mycelium growing on the surface of the leaves exposed to open air and sunlight was a phenomenon facilatated by the snow covering. A bio-mass of that size likely reaches even further then you see and a bit deeper too, so its activity more then likely generates enough warmth for it to colonize the fallout over the winter, but-being exposed to light and air, mushrooms would not likely grow off the surface even if that is a mushroom mycelium. They'd probably grow below the leaves at the interface of soil and duff and pop up through the leaves.

I dont think that that is a mushroom mycelium but it could be. If you pick up a wad of that you may see spores on the mycelium and that would be an indication of whether it is a fruiting mycelium or not.

BTW Im jealous too.
7 years ago