Ben Gerard

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since Jan 25, 2015
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Recent posts by Ben Gerard

Alright folks,
I want to thank you very much for the guidance.
I have some good news and some questionable news.
The good news is that I filled my jars, they fully colonized, I dunked them, and they're PINNING!

My questionable news is that I have gotten two different results so far on the two jars pinning.
As I will show below in pictures, one jar seems to have perfect pins growing and the other had great growth and has now stalled and the pins have not
developed the right color.
I mist them twice a day and kept them in their same jars after dunking (I drained the excess water from them after dunking by tilting the jar).
I also keep them facing a window that gets pretty good light.
I am concerned that the discolored pins mean that there is something wrong with the spawn. I am not sure what to do. Should I cut them off? Should I re-dunk, or re-feed to
reset? Should I wait and risk contamination?

I know the colors at the surface of the spawn seem off, but I can assure you that this is simply a result of misting a substrate of pure coffee grounds.

Any insight yall have would make me very happy.
Thank you,
3 years ago
Also, any leaves from the fell site would go a long way to help identify it.
3 years ago
If you have some time, I would take some wood shavings from the log and do a trial run. If you have innoculated dowels around, it would be a low cost experiment. I would also check the ground around the fell site for identifyable seeds or nut shells.
3 years ago
When I was prying out my oyster mushroom spawn at full colonization, I used a metal butter knife that I boiled and cooled with cold tap water.
If you stay along the edges, you should be ok. You will lose a little bit of the whitish color, but if it is fully colonized, it will make a quick recovery in your fruiting chamber.
What are you using for the substrate?

I also was "dunking" my oyster mushroom spawn to get it to fruit, so the water helped to splorp it out.

Good luck!

3 years ago
Our conversations about solving this problem inspired me to post a blog update about the situation, with brand new pictures of the mycelium
growing through spent beer grains and coffee grounds. A fair amount of darkish, digestive liquid is being generated. I thought I saw a small spot of contamination,
so I tilted one of the jars to pour some of the digestive liquid on it. The spot seems to have disappeared under a renewed growth of mycelium.

I am even experimenting with growing mycelium through the soil of my house plants (also added with spent pop sickle sticks and coffee grounds) picture below with another pic of the spent beer grains being overtaken.
I've found that a natural plant overgrowth (ground cover-style plants) help act as a protective barrier for the mycelium.

Thank you so much, guys!

Please, check out the update and my other amateur experiments with homesteading and permaculture:

4 years ago
Have you lightly screwed on the lids?
I made the mistake of sealing my lids (with Oyster mushrooms) and I opened them after a few weeks with an explosive rush of air shooting out, probably from bacterial growth and expiration.
Since I left the lids nearly completely unscrewed, I saw a dramatic burst of growth.

Also, how much water did you mix into the jars? Or, are you spraying them?

In my other post about getting Oysters to fruit, I forgot to mention that I also steam-sterilized my coffee grounds, by putting them in a steamer for 90 minutes in a bowl with tinfoil over top.
4 years ago

So, I followed some good advice and fed my Oyster Mushrooms. I fed them coffee grounds, mixed with vermiculite and a small amount of water.
I also shredded the blocks of spawn into smaller pieces within the jars.

I am not doing this to the most sterile degree. I am mainly just curious if I can get anything substantial to develop.

Well, I got some promising results.

The first image is from outside one, of the three jars. The growth has been amazing in just 1- 1 1/2 weeks.
The second image is of the inside of one of jars. Is this what is they mean by leap-off ability? It's like a little furry alien!

In a related note, I also have some mycelium colonizing some smaller jars. It's been about two months and the jars are only about 90-95% colonized.
I may have packed the substrate too tightly. Does anyone see an issue with just birthing them at 90% and hoping for the best in the fruiting chamber?
My experience so far is that the mycelium is pretty resilient. However the smaller jars were inoculated with a mail-order spore syringe.

Thanks again,
4 years ago
Thank you all for your time and input.
I was misinformed that multiple flushes could be achieved without feedings.
I will feed it my used coffee grounds and take pics of the results.
Thanks again,

4 years ago
Hey there!
I seem to have found an answer with the species Lenzites betulina.

Let me know if the images from these websites match.

I have an excerpt below:
The other Turkey Tail doppelganger is one of the more unusual polypore fungi, the multi-colored gill polypore, Lenzites betulina. Fungi in the family Polyporaceae are commonly known as polypores, as they have many (poly) pores, which are actually the openings for the spore-bearing tubes that extend from the underside of the cap. The multi-colored gill polypore, as the common name suggests, has what appear to be gills on the underside of the cap (like the ubiquitous gilled mushroom). However, the gills are not the same as the true gills of a normal mushroom in that the spore bearing basidia are not connected directly to the sides of the gill surface. Rather the “gills” of L. betulina are in reality a radial arrangement of tubes and pores. Inspection reveals that the “gills” are very tough and leathery, like the polypore to which they adhere. The real Turkey Tail can thus be fairly easily identified in the field. One need only find a polypore with limbate, concentric rings and turn it over. If it has pores, it is a Turkey Tail.

4 years ago
Hello all,
I was hoping to find some advice to get my Oyster Mushrooms to start pinning and bear fruit.
I have them sitting in 1/2 gallon jars as a fruiting chamber, I spray them with distilled water very sparingly to keep the jar environs moist and I open the jars for about 15 minutes in the morning and evening for air exchange.
The mycelium looks very impressive and it has for at least THREE weeks now. I just don't know what else it could need to starting pinning.

I have attached two images. I also put a few tablespoons of vermiculite in the jars to retain moisture. I also have them sitting on top of the fridge (for warmth ~69 degrees...), facing a window that gets about 7-8 hours of sun.

I should also mention that the substrate was from a grow-kit and I am trying for the second flush.

I appreciate anyone's help, or suggestions.

4 years ago