Patrick Bales

+ Follow
since Aug 21, 2018
Patrick likes ...
books fungi kids
Aspiring mushroom farming homesteader's gotta start somewhere.
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Patrick Bales

Thanks Bryant, I was unaware that the remaining hydrated lime would give the fungi a disadvantage. I've done hydrated lime pasteurization in indoor grows with chopped straw and with wood pellets, both with oysters, with success - straw is drained, and with pellets the lime water hydrates the wood so nothing is drained. The technique is used with straw and pelleted wood but it seems that white/blue oyster can handle it better than other species. So I have the benefit of learning something new today.  The bulk of my grows have been indoors using sawdust or straw, and working with oysters or lion's mane.  
1 month ago
I'm guessing that the mushroom bed has been laid by now, but I just saw this. I wanted to mention that there are a couple of different ways you could pasteurize the woodchips without the need to raise their temperature to kill off the microorganisms. I personally would not try to put that pile in a pot and boil it up, it's just too much material for that kind of treatment.

Cold pasteurization can be achieved by a soak in water with hydrated lime dissolved in it (which is the mineral powder that is left after limestone is incinerated). The hydrated lime should be fairly fresh, as it will oxidize and lose effectiveness over time. At least 2 grams hydrated lime per quart of water should be used, and for barrel sized amounts "a big double handful" will work. The hydrated lime raises the pH level to highly alkaline, which kills off the bulk of the serious competitor microorganisms in the woodchips.

Other way to do it would be just a long soak in water, like 2 weeks. You could move the woodchips onto a tarp, prop up the tarp on all sides, and fill it up like a really gross swimming pool. After 2 weeks the water will be stinky, anaerobic bacteria odors are not pleasant. Drain the water and allow to dry out in the sun. The operating theory is that the water creates an anaerobic environment that allows anaerobic microorganisms that colonize the soaked wood, instead of the normal aerobic competition. Once the water is drained and the wood starts to dry, this kills off the anaerobic population, which effectively creates a pasteurized woodchip pile.

I have done the hydrated lime soak method but mostly with wood pellets. I haven't done the water-only 2 week pasteurization myself, but I've read of it being done many times with claims of success following.
1 month ago
Season 4 of "Building Off the Grid" has an episode titled Mushroom House, they have it on Amazon instant video. Description "Sage Stoneman teams up with SunRay Kelley to build a mushroom-shaped house." In that episode, they do use living mushroom blocks in a mushroom-shaped cob material building, a scenic guest house built on a huge cedar stump. The blocks are used whole, as building blocks that are stacked and plastered together using cob techniques. They don't dry out / sterilize the blocks first, and they get mushrooms poking out from the mud plaster on the following day. It's a fun episode to watch, the building site is picturesque, and the folks on the show are pretty charming.

I wonder - about using mushroom spawn mixed directly into mud/straw as cob material instead being used as building blocks. It seems to me that it might be possible to increase the tensile strength of the material if you used the right strain of mushroom to bind it together. Or, heck, use straw that has been inoculated with the same fungus. Honey mushroom (armillaria gallica, a. mellea) has thick, strong, black rhizomes that can bind soil together. Have I done it? No. But I was definitely fascinated by the concept in the "Building Off the Grid" episode I watched. I produce a decent quantity of mushroom blocks and I'm starting to nurture an interest in natural building, especially since I've been on this site.

Regarding a dome house made of primarily mycelium (OP) - I'll bet you could build an "igloo" using mushroom blocks, to be covered by other materials. How strong it would be though, and how long it would last... I don't know. Mycelium is cool stuff but it can be eaten by other organisms that don't leave strong mycelia in their wake (trichoderma contamination). Perhaps that would weaken the structure.
2 months ago
I get most of my food prep knowledge from my wife, who is a certified hot foods chef. She doesn't care for the soft texture of fresh mushrooms that have been frozen, then thawed. I've read that the slow freezing process bursts cell wells and affects the texture - they're probably well prepared to make a tincture, this way. I'm not sure which mushrooms she has tested, freezing from a raw state. She's kind of picky and I'm very married so we cook then freeze.   ;)

I have never personally taken a raw mushroom, frozen it, thawed it, cooked it, eaten it. Food textures are a matter of subjective opinion, I think, up until the head chef says do it over.
2 months ago
Thanks Dee, it's nice to meet you too.  :)
2 months ago
Wayne, I'll contact you via Etsy to discuss.   :)
2 months ago
That's not good, it's like "spots on your apple", and I will replace your kit. You can keep the kit you have, strip the bag off, and place it outside in the shade in a humid spot. It may produce its full capacity of mushrooms or less. The mushrooms it produces should be fine for consumption but avoid any that share the color of the contamination. I'll ship a replacement kit out this week.

Please give me a shout directly at my email address, or message me via my Etsy page with any additional concerns Wayne - thank you.
2 months ago
I'll share my stats. This is what I've received so far. My ad was posted on August 29 and it's September 17th today.

#1172 DX5
Impressions: 22,725
Regular: 8,450    Mobile: 14,275
Clicks / CTR: 732 / 3.221%
Regular 536 / 6.3424% Mobile: 196 / 1.3729%
Unique: 98 Solo: 59

My ad(s) have been seen 22,725 times and clicked 59 times. This traffic matches up to what I'm seeing reported on my Etsy site. My ad runs in 5 states of the USA according to my settings.

According to an explanation that I have received in correspondence with Paul, which I'll likely botch in the paraphrasing, the "Regular" and "Mobile" numbers for Clicks/CTR can be disregarded, more or less. The "Unique" and "Solo" numbers represent something like an upper and lower end of the actual human clicks my ads have received. The discrepancy, per my understanding, is due to factors largely beyond the control of, and is attributed to scripts run by advertisers that appear to exist in order to inflate the number of clicks any site receives.

Solo = approximate "number of human people who have clicked the link".

Unique represents same group as Solo but allows for some counting of multiple clicks from one person on the same link.

Other advertisers should know that I have received substantive, helpful replies to the few concerns I've shared regarding my ad, which were mostly about my regional settings and stats.

Minor Points:
*   I do notice that each time I have edited my ad, the ad no longer runs until approved by a staff member (which is acceptable practice). After a 3-4 day wait for someone to approve the change, however (including weekend) I do contact permies staff directly with the same request, after which my ad begins running again.  My edited ad is currently in need of approval...!   So maybe I won't edit an ad on Friday if I'm hoping to get clicks on same Friday, unless I hear differently.

*   I just edited my ad to include the lower 48 states, and received an error after submitting the change. My changes didn't save properly.

Lastly, just for comparison, I'd like to mention that clicks on Google's various ad services cost around $0.60 per CLICK, and by comparison I feel I'm getting a better deal and a more targeted audience. Also, I don't know who all these other advertisers are, but I like and I personally have been hanging around.   :)
I have not had good luck with lion's mane on any logs myself, plus the timeframe from inoculation to harvest is long for me (I do indoor lion's mane grows that generally start to produce in 45-60 days). If I went back to using logs outdoors, I would probably go with "totem stacks" to speed it up. They are 1-2 inch rounds of log, sandwiched with mushroom spawn, tied/stapled together and kept moist. I've heard some say to store a totem stack in a plastic garbage sack, tied shut, but that seems like a recipe for contamination to me. I know cherry can be used, but I don't think it's a high volume producer due to high lignin content in the wood.

Asheville fungi has a good resource on log inoculation. They do say that it'll be 1-3 years before fruiting.

Mushroom Tree chart - seems like nameko mushroom is a strong match for cherry wood.

Good luck! Log cultivation will build your muscles, for sure.
2 months ago
That's great Wayne, I'm glad to hear it's going well. Sure, I have smaller kits that I just rolled out actually. The smaller kits weigh 3 pounds each, and will each put out up to 1.5 pounds of mushrooms or more. The big kits wil produce 4 pounds or more each. They're all listed at

The best way to store excess mushrooms that I've found is to saute them all in a pan, and then freeze them. Freezing RAW mushrooms will affect their texture negatively, but if you cook them well first, they freeze up just great. I like to let my kits grow until they fill up the sealed bag all on their own (puffs up like a pillow) and then open it to get the fluffy mushroom mass out (everything above the block) and fry that - the texture gets a nice crispy bite.
2 months ago