Growing your own mushrooms with Spore Plugs

A couple of years ago, I was given a grow your own mushroom kit for christmas. It was awesome! I was super excited to grow my own!

I spritzed my mushroom every other day or so. Then tended the little mycelium to make sure everything was going well. And waited anxiously for my mushrooms to grow.

Just kidding, I forgot all about it, let it dry out and killed everything. Eventually, I just put the fungus block into the compost. Whoops.

This time, I got a little more serious. I purchased plugs from Fungi Perfecti, to grow my own! I’m very excited.

plug-spawn

Plug Spawn

I purchased Phoenix Oyster Mushroom  plugs to grow on a Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) that fell down during the winter.

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Phoenix Oyster Mushroom

 

I followed the directions to drill the log with 5/8″ holes and fill with the mushroom plugs.  Then I covered those holes with beeswax. It didn’t take me very long  to insulate the log and I’m excited for the results. This was all done in early April.

Currently, my log is laying in a shady grove, elevated off the soil where I can spray it with water to keep it damp during the dry summer.

In my area (and most areas), you can inoculate logs with oyster mushrooms in the summer. You can find out more information on the Fungi Perfecti website.

If I’m successful, I’ll be inoculating more next spring!

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Mycelium covered log

 

I also purchased several books to to guide me through my mushroom growing journey. My favorite so far is Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms by Paul Stamets, the founder of Fungi Perfecti. Because I have a book addiction, I also purchased his older book, The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home. My next purchase will be his other book,Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.

To round it off, I purchased Mushrooms Demystified the bible on identification of fungi by David Arora. I have a field guide by him as well, All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms.

I’m gonna come right out and say that mushroom aficionados are weird. Have you ever met a serious mushroom hunter in the woods? I met this crazy man the other day, he was older with white hair, reminiscent of Albert Einstein but crazier. It was July and we were surprised to see a mushroom hunter out at that time so we asked him about it. The slight smile and far away look in his eyes told me how much he loved mushroom hunting. Mushroom people are passionate.

 

 

 

 

All images are from fungi.com, they are not my own and I will remove them if requested.

 

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Wear my Shoes and be a Hippie Too

How to Wear Shoes and Be a Hippie too

I just wanna do good. Be a good person, do good things and feel good about it.

Sure, I’m doing good things now. I recycle, try to reduce my consumption, drive less, buy and grow organic. But, there’s always more good to be done. I could work for a non-profit (believe me, I would if someone would hire me). I could purchase an electric vehicle (if only I could afford it). Even purchase a vehicle with better gas mileage – “but the extra space is so convenient and my current vehicle is paid off.”

In a conversation the other night with BF, we were talking about being fed up society and money. He mentioned that only Hippies have the guts to really get out of society. I exclaimed that we should be hippies! However, he shot back saying he needed his shoes, he needed his Keens, specifically. But that’s not at all what I meant when I said we should be hippies.

I want to wear my shoes and be a hippy too. 

(As a side note, my BF has the nickname Hippie, but it was because of his long hair and because he smoked lots of weed in his younger years. Only one of those things has changed.)

It’s taken me a little while to realize my views of hippies was pretty idealistic. I’ll blame Bellingham and Portland for that one. I never actually thought of hippies as dirty or freeloading. I’ve always thought of hippies as loving, caring, peace and conservation minded folk. Or maybe my view is more correct and I’ve been spending too much time around undereducated, Faux News watching, Walmart shopping sheep. That’s mean, sheep can be good people too.

Often, being good is inconvenient. It’s not the easiest thing to do and can be a burden. We are in this mess because convenience. It’s just easier to live life and not worry about anything else.

So how to do you be Hippie and still keep your shoes?

Just do the best that you can. I get a little be jaded and forget that every little bit counts. I say, keep the idealistic view and create a better world with that view.

Drop in the Ocean