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Brian Campbell

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since Aug 11, 2015
Ontario, Canada
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Recent posts by Brian Campbell

I only have a short time period of the last year and a half to share to this topic. Probably not statistically significant! We started with only guinea hens on our 14 acres of forest. Only a small clearing for our house. The guineas stayed close to the coop on the edge of the forest after their adjustment period(locked up) of being trained to know where home was. We had 7. Still after the guineas were let free to forage, we had ticks on us and ticks all over the dog. The guineas would often go to the neighbours and raid their birdfeeders, often staying the night.
When we realized that we had to make peace with the neighbours and that the ticks were still everywhere, we switched to chickens. This spring and early summer so far I have not seen a tick from walking in the chicken area. Beyond this area I have had a tick on me. We only have 3 chickens right now on patrol. They keep close to the home and forest edges where we most frequent.
I have no bias between species, just a short personal experience. This does not take into account the different weather from year to year. However, this past winter being mild, I would have suspected more ticks this spring. I suspect the best results come with a varied flock that is trained well to stick close to home(easier said than done) and by tossing feed in the areas that you wish the birds to forage so that they will scratch and be attracted to these areas for food source. I hope this helps. Everyone has such a different experience based on the various factors of your land and the personalities of the animals as individuals and as a flock mentality.
All the best feeding whatever tick eating machine you decide.
3 years ago
I like the sounds of that setup for the drill and fill logs. I inoculated 70 shiitake logs this spring and have them laying in the forest under full shade(while leaves are on) propped up on small diameter scrap new wood. I like the idea of pallets on top to throw a tarp over top when needed. Do you then remove the tarp when you see forecast for rain?
3 years ago
Thanks for the link.

I will give a listen tonight. Look forward to this.
3 years ago
Hi John,

Thanks! The totems are in the shade and covered with garbage bags to keep the moisture in during the spawn run. I am not thinking that maybe I should remove the bags to let the logs breathe better now though. I have attached a couple pictures from the setup. At the time, the leaves were not on the trees, so I had covered all of the logs with a thick light colored cloth sheet to prevent the sun from overheating the black plastic. I was so very surprised to see this small fruiting that I had missed. I had read that it can take years for these to fruit if they even ever do. By no means is this a spectacular fruiting, but it tells me that something is going right.

Thanks for the comment.
3 years ago
Hello all,

I wanted to share what I observed last night while peeking in on how the spawn run is going on my hericium totems that I currently have in black plastic in the forest. I inoculated and built the totems about a month and a half ago. Spawn run looks to be going well. In this one spot it looks like a small fruiting.... Or is this a normal part of the spawn run? Any one seen this so early? I am new to mushroom production, so every observation is a new one for me.

Thanks
Brian
3 years ago
Hello All,

I have read and read and read some more, but I can not find anyone else who was written about the same damage that I am finding on brand new inoculated logs. I inoculated logs last weekend, then I went to admire the beautiful potential that is the colonizing logs when I noticed that some critter(bird, insect, mammal?) has "drilled" right through my wax that is capping each hole. Some holes have almost completely been excavated of all sawdust spawn, while others have only a hole the size of a finishing nail. For me this rules out a curious woodpecker. I do have chickens that free range, but I don't think they could create a hole as small as some that I have seen........or maybe there is more than one pest...?

Does anyone share this experience? I re-waxed the holes immediately and put cloth over all the stacks of logs.....then realized I should have taken a picture. I will post a picture should this happen again.

Any thoughts would be very appreciated.

Many Thanks

Brian
3 years ago
Thanks Peter for the information and the link to that video. I cannot believe my eyes with the quantity of spores produced from those reishi mushrooms!
One last point of clarity....If going with the nursery pot in a small hoophouse, would go recommend a drill and fill approach, or a totem approach?

Thanks
3 years ago
Hello Peter and All,

Last year I started a little hobby mushroom venture by inoculating shiitake and oyster logs/totems.
This year I am continuing with those species, but also expanding to Lions Mane(H. erinaceus and H. americanum), Reishi, Wine Cap and trying my luck at some Hen of the Woods.

I have read quite a lot online(including Cornell studies) and also in books including Paul Stamets work and Farming the Woods by Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel.

From all of the literature, I have decided the species of wood, the timing of cutting trees, inoculation techniques, log maintenance etc....

However, there is still one question that I am left scratching my head with. That is: what is the best innoculation technique for my northern climate in Ontario, Canada for growing Resihi? I know in moist southern states, laying logs on the ground directly is good enough. Some people bury the logs. Some put small length logs in nursery pots with soil or sand. The challenge seems to be keeping Reishi humid enough.

Could anyone help me to decide both the inoculation technique(drill and sawdust spawn fill) or totem(with sawdust spawn) then into nursery pots? Or then buried?

Peter, perhaps you have suggestions in your new book, in which case I also need to add to my library. Congrats on the release.

Thanks very much
I appreciate the experience.

3 years ago
Hello All and Sergei.

I have recently been tasting at some prickly ash roots after reading about old recipes making bitters with prickly ash. I take bitters daily for digestive health and love eating foraged dandelion greens on my walks. Has anyone made tinctures or anything else out of prickly ash for a digestive tonic? If so please share anything on the topic including parts used.

I thought this could give some positive vibes to the general negative opinion of prickly ash in my area.

Thanks
Brian
4 years ago