Jamin Grey

pollinator
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since Sep 15, 2018
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duck forest garden chicken cooking building
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Recent posts by Jamin Grey

I have some quart mason jars of innoculated mushroom substrate that developed mold, but also are growing the mushroomy white fluff.

Can I use the jar of mold + mushroom-stuff to innoculate a 4-gallon bucket of sterilized wood shavings for human consumption (me and family)?
1 month ago
My free-range ducks go under the underbrush of trees often. (I'm not in a forest, but have midwestern tree-lines on my property)

I can't think why it wouldn't work. They've tried to sleep under trees on many occassions, until I taught them to go into a secure pen at night.

The only real issue with raising ducks, compared to chickens, is they need larger bowls of water to stick their entire bills in and shake around, and the water must be relatively clean.

Basically, ducks like to stick their entire bill in mud after rains and push the bill through the mud to find bugs (and they do the same with dry poultry food). But their nostrils are on the bill, and get clogged, so it's a requirement that (relatively) clean water is available for them to dip their entire bill into and shake around vigorously to clean the nostrils.

Basically, we replace their water once or twice a day, and we only have seven ducks. It's shocking how fast they dirty it, compared to chickens.

Also, for mating, they need to be on top of water (something like a kiddie pool is sufficient).


Ducks are also infamously hard to pluck unless you catch them in the magical window when molting, and even then it's a pain. But they are sooo sooo delicious.
1 month ago
Thank you very much for helping me bite the bullet. I went ahead and ordered some after your post, and now have had some inoculating four logs (two totems) for about a week. I look forward to some mushrooms in a year or two.
1 month ago

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:Or, I just remembered, there are UV light sterilizing lamps available.



I actually got a brand new one of these, unopened, lying around here somewhere. Humana sent me one a few months ago due to the whole COVID panic.

These things are fairly cheap - about $25 online. I have zero idea how effective they are.

@MikeKenzie I would trade you my unused UV wand in exchange for two new species of edible/culinary (non-psychodelic) mushrooms I can grow on logs.

(I'm already growing portobella, winecap, lion's mane, and yellow oysters. I'd like two new ones)

I don't have any preference to the format you send it in (e.g. syringe, log, pegs, mason jar).
1 month ago
Hi, I started Winecap and Portabello last year, and just ordered some Yellow Oysters.

I want to order Lion's Mane, and got some nice old Mulberry logs just hanging around that would serve well for Lion's Mane, I think.

My fear is that the Lion's Mane might over time spread to the trees around my yard. I have a small fruit orchard I've started, and I also have a large old Mulberry tree that's probably twenty years old.

Is there a risk of Lion's Mane attacking my trees and doing harm?
2 months ago
Certainly a good point about oxygen degradation.

However, I work *far* faster than 1 minute per bucket. I have everything ready to go and get them knocked out fairly rapidly.

Also, I don't do the whole package at a time. I open the package, take out the number of oxygen absorbers I need, and re-seal the bag with a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. All the ones still in the package barely degrade at all - they're open for less than 30 seconds. Repeatedly doing this would accumulate degradation, but I use probably 1/3rd of the package at a time, so it's not a real issue for me.

Plus, I freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw all my stuff first, which should kill all the bug eggs, so as long as I keep oxygen *minimal* I don't think I need to eliminate it all - but I'm not sure.

What's everyone else's thoughts? If I freeze and thaw rice well enough, do I even need oxygen absorbers at all, if just in a food-grade 5-gallon bucket?
2 months ago

Em Bracken wrote:

  • Vacuum sealing creates a lot of waste plastic that mostly gets thrown away after a single use



  • I should clarify, I was referring to vacuum-sealing half-gallon mason-jars, which works fantastically. Even the metal lids can be reused over and over when vacuum sealing.

    Great reminders, though!
    3 months ago

    Anne Miller wrote:Probably the cooking method has a big impact on how they turn out.  Did the blog say if they pressure cooked them or how long they were soaked?  I am betting they used a pressure cooker.



    The blog says they typically soak them overnight, but for the test they only soaked them for four hours using one tsp of baking soda.

    To cook them they used five different methods, and all five worked and softened the beans, but pressure cooker softened them the most.

    They tried:
    Slow cooker ("most the day")
    Thermal cooker (5 hours)
    Instant pot
    Pressure cooker (10 mins)
    Dutch Oven on a propane stove

    All worked well, but pressure cooker seemed to have worked best: "The greatest success in cooking old dry beans is found by using a pressure cooker.
    In my experience, the best texture and flavor when cooking dry beans is achieved by using a pressure cooker and allowing the pressure to release naturally.

    Wait to add salt, sugar, and acidic foods (i.e. tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice) until after the beans are tender. They will harden uncooked beans, but add great flavor to tender beans.
    "

    A different blog shows the extreme difference warmth during storage makes the beans harder: a very visible color difference if they aren't stored someplace cool.

    Two five gallon buckets of beans were stored in two different ways: 11 years in a warm garage vs 11 years in a cool crawlspace.

    The beans that were stored in a warmer situation were more bitter.
    3 months ago

    Nick Kitchener wrote:Ideally you are storing bulk food as part of your lifestyle, not a doomsday scenario and so bulk storage goes hand in hand with managing the warehouse so to speak.

    If you have 100lb of rice and you actually eat rice then instead of squirreling away 100lbs, you cycle it through your regular consumption so you are always eating the old stock and replenishing it with the fresh stock.



    My family uses a moderately decent amount of rice and beans. I've been routinely cycling some through our pantry for about five years, though have stored and consumed some rice for as long as nine years in vacuum-sealed half gallon mason jars without any degradation in taste.

    Most beans we store pressure-canned and ready to eat, but I'd like to store alot more than I have jars to hold them in, and have free supply of 5 gallon buckets and alot of PETE bottles.

    My thinking was that in-addition to the usual cycling of vacuum-sealed rice and cooked beans, I'd like to store extra quantities of rice and beans long-term since rice especially stores well long-term.

    Thanks for the heads-up about beans getting hard and nearly inedible when old. I wasn't aware of that!

    This blog claims they ate 18 year old pinto beans that was sealed in a #10 can, and the beans softened well-enough, though they used some baking soda to ate the soaking process.

    I wonder if this is the exception to the rule, or if other methods of storing beans will have equivalent results. Anyone know?
    3 months ago
    Also, if I'm storing in mylar with sufficient oxygen absorbers, I can skip the freezing, right?
    3 months ago