self-sustainability

Growing Oyster Mushrooms from Wild Grasses

I consider myself to be quite opportunistic, readily willing to identify and take advantage of the potential benefits of any given circumstance, no matter how bleak or uncomfortable they appear from the outside. This being said, I got to thinking about one of the most popular commercial substrates for commercial oyster mushroom (Pleurotus spp.) production, straw, and whether or not the old, dried, fibrous stalks and leaves of various wild or naturalized grass species could be used in much the same way as straw derived from commercial cereal grain crops. So I decided to put on my mushroom cap and put this one to the test myself. (more…)

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Cold Water Fermentation: Pasteurizing Straw Without Heat

Straw is a very common commercially popular substrate for the cultivation of a wide variety of different edible and medicinal mushroom species, and thanks to the folks over at Radical Mycology, I am now aware of an alternative method of preparing the straw for colonization with mycelium. (more…)

Foraging Fun: Lepista personata

Six weeks ago when there was still foliage on the trees outside of the intern house here at the farm I discovered, collected, identified and consumed my very first field blewit (Lepista personata/L. saeva) growing from an old forgotten pile of straw bales: the start of a compost pile which never received new additions or got turned over. Incredibly, I have been able to return to this same patch twice (including today, November 11th 2015) since my initial observation and collect new mushrooms that have been emerging for the dinner table. (more…)