ashley bee

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since Jul 06, 2018
Skagit County, WA
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Recent posts by ashley bee

Happy summer everybody!

Just stopped in to catch up on some of the topics I've been following and saw Marlo and Cats' comments on my own topic here so I grabbed a few quick photos to share.

Marlo - I'll PM you and we can see about setting up a bamboo harvest time, it'll be at least into September, but I'd love to meet more permies in the area!

Cat - on the land search front, oh gosh there are a lot of things I could say, you'll figure out what's right for you but here are some things that come up in my search:
11 months ago
I do love Shitake but you aren't the first person I've heard comment on an after taste, I must be missing a few taste buds hah.

I probably should have clarified I've been growing mushrooms in closet/basement grow bags for years, this is just my first time with outdoor cultivation. I've also been debating about rent/buy for wood chips and chippers, if anybody ends up here in the future there is a thread I started about it and another thread I'll link below. It seems like every option can work well it just depends on personal preference and what things cost in your area.
1 year ago
Thanks Eric, I appreciate the reminder that we rarely have ideal circumstances, but I was really hoping to figure out why nobody recommended using wood cut in the spring - and I think I've finally found it!

This link:

"Trees should be cut while they are dormant, preferably in the late winter or early spring before bud break, for two important reasons. First, the shiitake mycelium requires carbohydrates for growth, and carbohydrates in the wood are at their highest levels when the tree is dormant. Second, the bark of the logs must be intact and must adhere to the logs well. If the trees are cut after the sap begins to flow in the spring, the bark will have a tendency to "slip" and can be damaged easily."

Aha! That last little tidbit about sap flow and bark slippage was new to me and makes a lot of sense. So I'll check a few limbs and if they aren't too slippery yet assume that they'll make good mushroom logs, and if they are super slippery I might still try a few but I'll know not to invest too much time/money in it (or just find a different use for the wood).

I do hope to try a garden giant patch someday, but without a chipper on hand my best bet is the inoculated logs for now. Perhaps I can be careful to collect the chips and sawdust from this felling and make a little patch!
1 year ago

I have a few large maple trees that need to come down and I was thinking to use as much wood as possible for mushroom logs. However further reading indicates that I really should have cut the wood before bud break. Can anybody comment on success with inoculating logs (especially maples) that were cut later in the spring?

The tree needs to come down this year regardless (it's shading the whole front yard and greenhouse by about 3pm) and I'm just trying to find the best use for it. I'd love mushroom logs but don't want to go to the expense and trouble if it's doomed to failure.
1 year ago
Alright I'm uping, those are some extra tasty treats at the $200 level. The normal cost and travel constraints of a PDC has always been out of my reach so this footage is pretty thrilling!

Question: will I be able to watch the PDC stream as many times as I want? I can't imagine absorbing it all the first time through.
1 year ago
Thanks Mike! I do actually have a small trailer, I don't know if my neighborhood has a free pickup option like that but I'll look into it!

I'm also feeling thoughtful after reading through Paul's post on the other thread (, I had not considered trying to use clippers to make my mulch - it seems like it'd be pretty laborious but I'll certainly give it a try this weekend.
1 year ago
Oh geez, I should have searched better before posting! I was immediately pointed toward this similar thread:

If a mod wants to delete this feel free, I may do so myself in a bit if nobody else has any suggestions.
1 year ago
I'm guessing plenty of people will say don't buy either of these things, but I'm not able to take advantage of chip drop (my land is semi-remote and I'm unwilling to leave the security gate down 24/7). So that leaves three options: buy in wood chips, rent a chipper and make my own wood chips, or buy a chipper and make wood chips forever (or until it breaks down). There is a 4th option, cut and inoculate with mushroom spawn and spread the spent wood after it has broken down - I'm looking forward to being able to do this in 3-10 years, but I want a chip supply sooner as well.

My research so far:
* Purchased chip prices vary, but generally fall $10-$30/yard and a ~$80 delivery fee (low end is mystery chips mixed with some sawdust from the local mill, higher end is from a landscaping nursery place that will guarantee the tree in the mix).
*$500-$1500 to purchase a chipper that can handle up to ~3inch diameter branches (the price range is vast, lower end is harbor freight, higher end is craigslist and other stores)
* $140/day to rent a 4 inch diameter capacity chipper locally ($560/week)

And of course the bigger chippers are *way* more expensive, I'm seeing used ones on craigslist for upwards of $3000. That said, I'm not interested in a big chipper, they're just too dangerous for my liking. Not that I wouldn't treat the smaller chipper with healthy respect, but the smaller ones aren't capable of eating an entire person the way the big side loaders are (sorry for the morbid imagery).

I think that I could chip just my branch fall with one of the ~3 inch capacity ones and get all the chips I could ever use, but of course then I have to go out and gather and chip them, I enjoy walking the woods anyway but I shouldn't discount this time spent when figuring out my math. Then thinking of time spent gathering materials I circle back to the convenience of delivery - how much is it worth for the wood chips to just show up? I'm not sure yet.

Anybody else who went through this thought process I'd love to hear what you decided on! I'm leaning toward buying a small capacity chipper, but trying to make sure I don't waste the money and haven't missed some obvious alternative.
1 year ago
Greetings! I've been having a blast getting things planted and prepped these past few weeks, but I haven't been doing a good job with my pictures because muddy fingers and the smart phone don't mix.

So I'll try to find a couple nice images for y'all, but here is the gist of recent developments on the land:
* I learned right here on permies that Wasabi might consent to grow along the shaded creek banks! This was thrilling, I acquired 10 little plantlets from Oregon Coast Wasabi and split them into 3 groups to test out different conditions. Can't wait to see how they do over the coming months and years. My creek temperature has been a pretty steady 46 degrees which is a touch cold but still at the edge of their tolerated range (if you're interested in wasabi this is a helpful pdf -> )
* Added many trees: figs, jujube, apricot, nectarine, mulberry, persimmon, and azara
* Added many shrubs: seaberry, jostaberry, elderberry, silverberry, siberian pea shrub, aronia
* Other perennial things: started an asparagus bed, a strawberry bed, and another raspberry bed

Just this past weekend I saw the first of the spring mushrooms, there were some huge Verpa bohemica (an early false morel) and many other small mushrooms. It has been wonderful watching the forest transform so fast with just a few days of rain. There are carpets of bleeding hearts over huge sections of the trails right now, and they're so beautiful I wish I didn't have to step on them.

This is my first spring on this land and I've loved getting to closely observe the older established trees, watching first the plums, then the pears, and now just the beginning of the apples coming into bloom. The mason bees and bumblebees were out in the drizzle and even a couple hummingbirds came around (not sure if they consume fruit tree nectar or were just flying by).

I've also been giving some thought to how I want to organize and share my various learnings and experiences. I think this journal is a nice place to put pictures and give a sense of what I'm up to, but there are so many
random things I'm learning or experiments I'm running that I don't get around to including because I'd rather be doing them than writing about them. So I've got a little side project to make organizing my photos and notes simpler and hopefully more easily shareable, more on that later in the summer I hope :)

p.s. Hi Johnua! Welcome to the weird acres journal! I am indeed already thoroughly addicted to plant ID, but I have not read that particular book so I'm looking forward to checking it out!
1 year ago
Hi Marianne, what a wonderful project! I hope folks don't mind the thread resurrection, I'd just love to hear how you're design evolved over the years.
1 year ago