Growing Mushrooms "in" the home.


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Old 11-13-03, 01:05 PM
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Question Growing Mushrooms "in" the home.

I would like to grow mushrooms in my home for a reasonable price (read that as cheap). Lots of places sell the mushroom kits that you can use to grow in the home, but they are not cheap when you consider the return in relation to the "Kit" price!
What I would like to know is what do the kit's consist of for growing say Shiitake mushrooms? I know they use "Spawn" (basically cheap, bought easily), a bag or something and the growing media that the mushrooms grow on. That is what I need to know, what is this Media that they grow on? All information would be appreciated very much.
I have contacted several mushroom outlets asking them this question but they don't seem to want to answer, other than to tell me to buy a kit!
Changeling
 
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Old 11-13-03, 10:25 PM
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Buying the Mushrooms is less than the Kits.

Our first experience with the Shiitake log kit was 1972 & we got it from Organic Garding Magazine. I think we got a handfull for $15.00.

I know you asked about inside but, the 4'x4'x4' Popular logs I have log Cabin style in a small area behind a Maple Tree, will produce bushels that we sell for $10.00 per lb fresh.

Everyone we know who has tried the indoors kits say they were rooked. I think the reason you are not getting answers is the sellers know this is not the best way to grow these Mushrooms. Many buy and hope, but Mushrooms need special condition to grow & inside is not it.


Marturo
 
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Old 11-14-03, 11:20 AM
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Marturo, tell me more please. Do you have one log that is 4x4x4? That is a big chunk of wood, or did you mean 4 logs that are 4 inches in diameter by 4 feet long? I will forget about the home kits!
What state do you live in? Please give me all the particulars you can.
Changeling
 
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Old 11-14-03, 05:25 PM
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Hi changeling,

Our setup is using 4' x 4" logs with undamaged bark, popular or white Oak seems to work best in western NC. We placed them in a square like a log cabin but some folks use the TeePee style also.

We built a screen house with screen top, with a mister up top inside, to keep the logs moist. The screen house keeps the Beetles out & moths that lay worms in wood out.


http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-122.html

http://www.mycosource.com/homecult.htm

http://www.mycosource.com/

The above links should give you a good start, many people who live in the City even grow them up on Roof gardens. The secret is out about the health giving properties, & we can't grow enough to keep up.

We also found the plugs with the styrofoam seal is easier than trying to seal the hole with hot wax. It has to be the easiest thing we grow on the Farm & a good return on our labor.

Write these Mushroom people they are a friendly bunch who are happy to help get folks started out right. Once you taste a fresh Shiitake Mushroom, you will never want a dried one again

Over the next few years we want to try some other types like Oyster's, etc.

Good luck on your new DIY Project

Marturo
 

Last edited by marturo; 11-14-03 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 11-15-03, 11:29 AM
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Marturo, sounds very cool. Do you have to mist the logs? I mean nature doesn't necessarily keep things just right and things seem to work.
How many logs are you using and hoy many mushrooms are you getting?
What kind of floor did you put in the screen house?
Changeling

Very exciting!
 
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Old 11-15-03, 12:23 PM
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Marturo, did you develop the idea/plan for the screen house or did you get it from somewhere I can see the plans? I have a pretty good place picked out under an apple tree.
Changeling
 
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Old 11-15-03, 09:58 PM
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Smile Plans

I have been reading more & more about people building screen houses. Some growers want to use less of even the Organic pesticide, one guy did 1/8 acre for Broccoli & since the Moths lay the eggs that make those little green worms, well no worms.

We have 16 logs 4 on 4 etc. The floor has 4 thicknesses of tar papper then landscaping cloth 2 layers. I have the first set of logs on super clean building blocks. I did not want the logs to get contamanated. Yet one guy I know grows his logs 6 logs in a TeePee every 10 feet apart for 100 yards right at the North edge of the forest, next to a farm field. He was getting Pick up loads full LOL.

We got 6.5 Bushels this first year & that should increase each year until the Mushroom consumes the food part of the logs. The rain we had this year all but ruined our Conventionel Produce. The late Summer & Fall were dry so we misted the logs every day to keep the logs evenly moist not drippy wet.

Growing is simple & if you learn one very important thing from this, it is to never use damaged logs, the bark must be perfect. This Mushroom fills the inner log, & then it fruits by pushing through splits in the bark the fruits make when emerging.

Marturo
 
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Old 11-16-03, 11:47 AM
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Marturo i am definitely going to try your idea using the screen house. How did you dry the mushrooms or did you? I have heard that you can string them on a thread and just hang them up, but I don't know?
If you bought any books, what book did you find most worthy of purchase?
Changeling
 
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Old 11-16-03, 06:25 PM
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Shiitake

I would have to say my hobby hunting the wild Mushrooms helped me to most understand this interesting plant (The Mushroom).

We have an Excalibur 9 drawer dryer that dries things with a gentle flow of warm air. Stringing them can result in poor storage life & color loss. A pilot light in a Gas oven does a good job also.

Growing Mushrooms is no harder than growing any other plant. You must provide food the logs, moisture the mister, & the right tempature that's up to Mother Nature.

You can sell some to make a little extra $$ & have fresh & dried Shiitake for yourself. Once people taste the fresh taste of Lobster & fliet Mignoin they will be back. We picke one of the most tastless white button Mushroom( Agaricus Bispora) as our standard for many years here in the US.

There is a lot more info on the Internet, like www.google.com
You can use 2x2s for your screen house & 2x4s for the frame for your sturdy sealed screen door.

Marturo
 
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Old 11-20-03, 06:20 AM
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The kits consist of mushroom compost and soil. You have to mix the compost with water and smear it over the top of the soil, then keep it in a cool dark place like the basement. Make sure the surface is kept moist, not wet, and the kit will produce mushrroms for you for about 6 weeks
 
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Old 11-20-03, 03:05 PM
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Marturo do you like the "Excalibur", does it do a good job? The most important question i have is hoy do you use the dried mushrooms? I do a lot of stir frying and spaghetti sauce making. Will the shaiiteke be a good mushroom for this. Will reconstituted mushrooms be great are only so-so for complementing a steak?
Changeling
 
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Old 11-20-03, 09:40 PM
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Smile Food Dryer

Hi Changeling

Let me start by saying if I was going to build a Food dryer. First thought would be for the taste & inorder to keep the taste of Garlic out of my Peaches when drying.

The "Excalibur" has up to 9 shelves all with a large slow fan blowing through a star shaped electric heating grid from behind. All the smell is blowing from back to front with 0 taste contamination to the most delecate fruits.

Even though you can buy large plate stackers the produce taste is mixed & the bottom get's to dry while the top never tastes quite right. We saved 7 gallons of dried Raspberries the first year we got it. It dried fast enough to keep up with what we had as surplus out of 25 to 30 pints every other day & we sold at least 15 to 20 pints. We had quite a few to dry & they were dry, when we picked again

I think the fresh Shiitake is delicious as is the dried, you may want to discard the stems when you dry them. It is very hard to find dried Produce that does not have Slupher Dioxide in it at the stores, so you have to dry it your self. The Excalibur is made so well, I think we will enjoy it for many many years & you can make your own fruit leathers also .

Marturo
 
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Old 11-21-03, 12:47 PM
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Marturo thanks for the reply. Once again you have been a big help. You obviously put in a lot of research in before buying the Excalibur.
Changeling
 
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Old 11-21-03, 03:18 PM
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Hi Marturo. When you load up the Excalibur how long does it take to dry the mushrooms and how do you store then (Personally).
Changeling
 
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Old 11-21-03, 10:45 PM
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Question When you load up the Excalibur how long does it take to dry the mushrooms

Somewhere inside a day if it's not a rainy day. Vac seal them in 1/2 pint bags we make from the roll of special plactic. 1/2 a pint bags of dried mushrooms is a fair amount & a pint may get stale before you eat them.

We have wanted the Excalibur for a long long time & just found a great deal & got it. 1/2 price, new in the box they were to lazy to cut the produce up. I guess they never heard of a feamsters slicer it cuts everything the same thickness with out power

Marturo
 
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Old 11-22-03, 01:08 PM
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Marturo, what kind of "Vac Seal " did you get, I know dam well you got the best and probably investigated them before purchase (LOL) ?

I'm stupid, what is a "feamsters slicer"?
Changeling
 
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Old 11-22-03, 05:52 PM
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Food saver Profesional II is the one we got. I wish I could just grab a charge card & buy all this high dollar equipment Poof. Even though we must save for all our equipment, I was raised in the US ARMY. I learned good was not good enough so it must be best.

It must work now & it must work under the worst conditions is the mindset left over from my ARMY days. I found a New in the box Juiceman juicer @ a flea Mkt for $20.00, I think it goes for near $200.00. The old lady who bought it died before she opened it

Buying cheap saves you nothing, the Vac sealer is 1 season old & we had to save for 8 months to buy it. I believe it will last us a long time not only because it's well made, but because we take such great care of our equipment. Quality & care is the key to getting the most from your tools.

Marturo
 
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Old 11-23-03, 02:18 PM
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Marturo, those are very "wise" words! I have always followed that strategy myself and have never been sorry. I am lucky in being rather well off so it doesn't bother me to spend on the best. However, I know so many people that just have to have "whatever" right now and don't care about "down the road"! My training came from being raised on a farm. Actually this strategy will put money in your bankin the long run, but you have to really investigate all majour purchases,
Changeling
 
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Old 11-24-03, 09:01 PM
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Smile Down on the Farm

changeling said:
My training came from being raised on a farm.

I do understand that you can take the Farmer from the Farm but you cannot take the Farm from the Farmer.

Having Married a Farmer 30 years ago come Dec 10 I found the virtures I desired in a Woman & a team player. We now spend many relaxing hours producing Earth Friendly Gourmet Fruit's & Vegetables for very demanding paletes.

This next year we plan on producing the Aracuna Chicken for their multi colored eggs & their lean sweet meat. A fellow Farmers already grows Rabbits, a good seller in our 2 very interesting Mountain Cities.

I'm always happy to see someone DIY & grow some of their own food. It was one of those special rights our Forefathers took as a right from God. Today our own Government will not let us know what & how much of the food we eat is GMO or pumped full of dangerious hormones. Grow your own was my calling many Moons ago. I see that I am not alone in feeling that way, as many others are trying their hand at it also.

Keep us informed on your DIY project & start gathering your logs now, just don't let them dry out or become contaminated by other Mushrooms.

Marturo
 
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Old 11-25-03, 11:23 AM
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Hi Marturo, I sure wish someone around here would start growing rabbits for sale. I would rather have rabbit than chicken and day! I just have to many irions in the fire right now to consider any more projects, plus I broke my left hand and it's in a cast. This has pretty much shut me down for a while. During the wait untill healing I have been buying parts for everything that needs fixing, truck, Gravely tractor, tiller, etc.
Getting the logs now is probably a good idea. How long will the "plugs keep in the refrigerator? Do you have a source for them?
Changeling
 
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Old 11-25-03, 01:21 PM
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Hi changeling,

Sorry to hear about your hand, it could be worse & be your foot Ouch!
Try the Strofoam covered plugs in the molds. It's easier than using the hot wax.
We get them @ http://www.mycosource.com/



Mycosource says:
Order spawn (fungal mycelium grown out of hardwood sawdust medium) during winter months. We prepare spawn only in January to March for delivery between February and May.

Marturo
 
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Old 12-01-03, 01:34 PM
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Marturo I went to the web site you gave me but was unable to contact the people (error messages)! My question to them was this: They specify a 12 mm to 12.5 mm bit for the plug spawn with Styrofoam backing! Well which is it, I make my own tools (drill bits) and need to know what the "actual" size is, not a guess. I don't want to order the plugs and start drilling logs to find out the holes are the wrong size!
Do you have any idea what the exact drill size is?
Changeling
 
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Old 12-01-03, 06:54 PM
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Smile Drill bit size.

Changling asked:

Drill bits for the above plugs are 12 or 12.5 mm (1/2 inch)wood bits. They are available as hardened high speed bits (requires a diamond file to sharpen) or regular (carburundum file to sharpen), with or without a depth stop. Holes should be drilled a little deeper than the length of the plug so a depth stop is useful and can be made using a collar. Check our catalog. When drilling, especially at high speeds, it is advisable to dip the bit in some water after each row of holes. This will cool the bit and extend its life. Sharpen the bits often to make drilling smooth and effortless. Drill bits for the above plugs are 12 or 12.5 mm (1/2 inch)wood bits. They are available as hardened high speed bits (requires a diamond file to sharpen) or regular (carburundum file to sharpen), with or without a depth stop. Holes should be drilled a little deeper than the length of the plug so a depth stop is useful and can be made using a collar. Check our catalog. When drilling, especially at high speeds, it is advisable to dip the bit in some water after each row of holes. This will cool the bit and extend its life. Sharpen the bits often to make drilling smooth and effortless.

They also reccomend a high speed drill to get the job done quicker, I agree. This is a time comsuming job with a slow drill.

Marturo
 
 

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