Mushroom Inoculation

I think this isn’t going to work. But that’s never stopped me before.
innoculationtools
I was ordering rootstock and strawberries from Raintree Nursery, saw these lion’s mane mushroom dowels, and just couldn’t resist. If you’ve never had lion’s mane ‘shrooms, imagine a sea sponge-shaped object that tastes like meaty forest, and there ya go. I didn’t know they were “domesticated” so I splurged and spent $18 on 50 dowels inoculated with the mushroom. When the rootstock and strawberries and mushrooms arrived, I promptly potted up the trees and planted the strawberries. The mushrooms sat around for awhile. I found the instructions daunting. I had to find some big pine logs or stumps and a drill before the whole process could happen. Luckily Billy had a drill at his shop, and brought it home. A few days later, I encountered some big logs at my favorite log dump off area on Hearst in Berkeley (that frontage road west of the fancy 4th street shopping area).
drillinglog
After I drilled what seemed like 50 holes, I tapped the little dowels in…tap
with a hammer, then sealed them with wax. I melted some beeswax I had lying around the house, and just daubed that onto the filled holes. I guess you have to do that because other spores can get in and take over the log instead of the lion’s mane spawn. Of course I dropped the hot pan of wax and ruined my kitchen floor first. innoculated
Here they are, all inoculated. Now I just wait. The instructions said it’ll probably be a year before anything happens. In the meantime, I think I’m going to put these guys under my outdoor produce washing sink so they keep good and wet this summer. Fingers crossed, but not holding my breath.

7 responses to “Mushroom Inoculation

  1. Virginia Babasa

    Two things….
    First, I am not familiar with the log dumping location you mentioned. Do you know for certain that it isn’t infested or treated?
    Second, to clean the wax off the floor apply a layer of newspaper or a barely damp rag to the surface and then IRON (on highest setting) over it. The wax will transfer to the newspaper or towel. Repeat as needed to remove all of the wax.

  2. I did shiitake like this once. After the several months required I was still only getting a mushroom once in a while. Then I spoke with a mushroom supplier at a farmers market and she asked if I had a pond. I did have a small one. She told me to throw the logs in there for a day or two and then take them out. Within a couple of weeks I had a big flush of shiitake mushrooms.

  3. Novella, I just finished your book. I’ve never read a non-fiction book and had it be such a page-turner before. I laughed just as much as I do when I read Evanovich. I was so sad it ended I had to look you up and make sure you were still out there. I’m so glad you are. I’ve been sharing your adventures with my six and eight year old sons. They want to come see your urban farm. We’re hoping to come the 19th. You are an inspiration.
    Tricia Willis

  4. Don’t give up on your logs too soon. We’ve got shiitake mushrooms going in some logs, and we started them maybe five years ago. They still are not exactly yielding a bumper crop but they pump out an omelet’s worth every month or so.

  5. I haven’t heard of this pellet idea before – we have been thinking about growing mushrooms and will give this a try. Will follow your progress with interest.

  6. It’s going to be finish off mine day, except before end I am reading this great paragraph to improve my knowledge.

  7. Chicken Pimp

    Whats so daunting about drilling some holes, tapping some mycelium infused dowels, and sealing? http://www.shroomery.org/8701/Psilocybe-azurescens-cultivation for some daunting mushroom growing…lol Cheers

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