Beau M. Davidson

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since Dec 20, 2015
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Beau Micah Davidson is a permaculturist and natural builder, lo-tech mycologist, herb farmer, acoustical and audio engineer, homesteader, tradesman, artist, husband, and dad. Prior to homesteading and permaculture, his experience included a successful career in the Nashville music industry, a painters and fine finishers apprenticeship in Melbourne, Australia, and an analog recording studio in the urban core of Kansas City.  This is where he met his wife, Kristen, and together, they fell in love with soil & microbes, started a family, and moved to Beau's 6-generation farm in South Central Kansas, where they now specialize in growing and wildcrafting culinary and medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and woodland goods.  Beau and Kristen serve on the Leadership Team for Estuaries, a ministry seeking to incite a cultural ecology that fosters spiritually holistic, emotionally healthy, and intellectually rich believers who are capable of engaging meaningfully with culture.  He holds a B.S. in Recording Industry Management: Production & Technology, with minors in Mass Communications and Film.
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Recent posts by Beau M. Davidson

Mushroom fruiting bodies require moisture, and moisture impedes insulative performance, so yeah, they are a bit mutually exclusive, at least within the same time frame.  At this stage of research, my goal after installation is to quickly initiate the drying out process.  Fruiting bodies can be harvested from substrate prior to installation.

That said, the door we did at Wheaton Labs did produce mushroom fruiting bodies and it didn't pose a huge problem - just poor insulative performance.  When it eventually dries out, I hypothesize that insulative value will achieve its characterisitc high marks.
5 hours ago

Rachael Cart wrote:Thanks for the quick reply Beau. Yes, I had considered sheeps wool too, but wrong time of year again for finding any, but love the idea of testing out the mycelium in this application. I do like to tinker with stuff I did wonder if it might be too cold to grow in the winter, then it might get going itself in the spring?

It might bond together just fine.  Oyster is pretty active in low temps, relatively speaking.  I would be a little more concerned with how long it would take to dry.  In an ideal scenario, it has enough moisture to coalesce, but the conditions are such that it will begin to dry out shortly thereafter, reaching stasis as close to 10% moisture (or lower) as possible, as quickly as possible, to deter competing microbial activity.

The project as you describe is not unlike what we've done at Wheaton Labs - but those are experiments, with mixed (if educational) results.

Or I wonder if I was to wait until next year, whether I could still clad it for the winter, then I could take the top board off in spring and tip lots of loose substrate in the empty cavity and seal it back up again, whether that could work?

That's what I would do.  Clad now, stuff in spring.  Though you may consider stuffing incrementally, rather than all at once.  
11 hours ago
Evidently now Johnny Appleseed day is September 26.  (Today.)
12 hours ago

Rachael Cart wrote:Hi Beau,

I just got caught up and watched the webinar. Thank you for that.

I live in the UK in an old static caravan (mobile home) that I'm renovating, but it has very little in the way of insulation, just an inch or so of polystyrene between the interior wall and external sheet metal skin. This will be our first winter, and I have a stack of larch boards ready to clad the whole structure with. I hate the idea of putting in 'standard' insulation from both an ecological point of view and for the cost. Could I fill the gap between the exterior metal wall of the caravan and the larch boards with this mycelium insulation? Could I fill it as I board with the loose substrate so it solidifies in place? Could this be done at this time of year with success? I'm in the North here, and it's wet most days and although still fairly warm, soon we'll be below freezing, so I don't have time to wait 6 weeks to grow panels.

Any ideas or suggestions that you may have?

Many thanks

Hi Rachael!  If you have access to 2nd flush bags or other pre-colonized grain spawn, you could give it a go. But it would be an experiment, with some considerations.  Within your time-constraints, unless you really like to monitor and tinker with stuff, I'd consider installing sheeps wool.  Or nothing for this winter if you can handle it, and going for mycelium beginning in the Spring.  Time is your friend with mycoinsulation.
13 hours ago

r ranson wrote:Number 2, I think.  

I wonder who got first place.  

Someone named Saara.
1 week ago
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1 week ago
I think that when the emails are good, people like them. Different angles and points of interest. I think that occasionally, when we have a lot of cooks in the kitchen, and they're just churning them out, fatigue may set an a little bit.

1 week ago