The Oyster mushroom "roots" (mycelia) have colonized both toilet paper
rolls now and are sprouting Mycelia in a circular pattern out the sides!
:-) Two of the tufts are looking rather thick, so it looks like I may
have Oyster mushrooms pretty soon. I forgot when I planted them so I'm
not sure how long its' taken.
Had a brief problem, I have them in a large ice chest out in the
greenhouse and I thought there was really too much water in them a
couple of weeks ago, so I propped the lid up for a few hours to let some
of it evaporate.
Big mistake. :-( Fruit flies!!!! Little damned fruit fly maggots all
over the grow chamber. <sigh> I sprayed lightly with liquid sevin since
sevin biodegrades rather quickly, especially when exposed to water.
Killed the little suckers, but the protein from the maggots inspired
some light green mold growth at the base of my substrate!
So, this was just about a week ago. I bought a package of bedding pine
shavings and sprinkled them heavily all over the bottom of the grow
chamber to soak up more moisture, and stuffed some down inside the
toilet paper rolls as well.
Seems to have stopped the growth of the mold, and accelerated the growth
of the mushrooms. :-)
So I fixed it. Yay!
Will update again if and when the "tufts" organize and become tasty
In your original post I could not avoid noticing that you started your
culture after cooking the mushrooms somehow. I was wondering if that
is something that helps by killing the bacteria (while the spores
survive). I have found on the web a site that shows how to make
mushrooms (cut a bit out of mushroom, put it in an agar dish, then the
dish in a jar of boiled grains, then the grains in a few gallons of
sawdust, be paranoid about being clean all the while), but your method
seems to go directly to step two.
No no! I did not cook the mushrooms I used for planting! :-)
I cut off the stems and bases, and cooked the caps and ate them! I used
the raw stems and bases for the original puree... They are not as tender
as the caps, and they were the basis for my spawn.
I poured boiling water over the media (toilet paper rolls) and let them
cool prior to putting the "pureed" raw, fresh stems into the holes. The
puree comes out about the consistancy of corn meal, and it actually
decomposed a bit once the mycelia got started. That is why the holes
were then empty enough for me to stuff pine shavings into at this point.
Did not use spores. At all. Just the mushroom tissue itself.
You see, all the fruiting body of a mushroom is is "organized" mycelia.
When it's all ground up like that and placed into the proper enviroment
in the proper growth media, it reverts back to basic mycelia.
There are a large variety of mushrooms and different ones need different
media. Psychedlic mushrooms, (yes, I've read those websites also out of
curiosity ;-) ) need a grain based media and won't generally grow on
paper. The exception to that is P. cyanescens (or however it's spelled).
The common mushrooms in the grocery store can be grown in a similar
fashion, but need compost. Same with Portabellos.
The culture plate media is recommended for store bought composting
mushrooms so that you can start out with a sterile start as more
contaminating organisms will grow in compost or grain based medias than
on paper. Paper/wood eaters are simply easier to grow because there are
not that many contaminants that will digest clean or sterilized
It appears that Oyster mushrooms are less complicated to grow than some
of the others, hence my success even with my little accident with them.
And yes, I bypassed the culture plate altogether. There are a lot of
mushroom growing techniques now that also bypass this. The PF Tec
website shows one method of using spore or mycelia syringes to directly
innoculate sterile mushroom growth media for direct colonization and
growth. Sterility is imperitive in growing any mushrooms with a rich
growth media requirement. It's just not as important with paper/wood
eaters as I stated above.
Or at least it is working for me..... :-)
Hope this helps?
Thanks. I have some experience with commercially available spawn, but
none with homegrown. I suppose this will work with all the fungi which
can do without much N, and that of course includes oyster. But even
they enjoy the addition of boiled coffee grounds (which also provide K
and acidity). If you are willing to sacrifice one of the rolls, you
could try to break it and spawn a few gallons of a coffee
ground/grains/straw/woodchips mixture (choose any of the first two,
any of the last two, duly boiled ahead, easy to do if you have
beermaking equipment), and then you would be able to harvest a few
pounds of oyster. But I think I will try your blended stems trick,
make a pile outside (coffee makes both oyster and green molds go very
fast, but the mold usually wins indoors, loses outdoors), see what
Did you bleach and rinse the stems to sterilize the surface before
blending? I wonder if UV would work also, since I have access to a UV
It should, I was going to look into more cellulose consumers such as
Shitake. Any mushroom can be grown from tissue cloning. You don't really
need spores and can induce your own spawn it seems.
I think that is why they suddenly REALLY took off with the addition of
the clean pine shavings. Pine is a bit acidic. :-)
The spawn is rapidly growing into the damp pine shavings off of the
toilet rolls. <G> They seem to like it.
Well, I do have two rolls and one is doing better than the other, but
the way things are looking, it's taking off into the pine shavings that
I put on the bottom of the grow chamber so I ought to have lots of spawn
to play with shortly. :-) I intend to experiment and appreciate the
suggestions very much!
Any hints on how to sterilize small logs?
I have a rather large woodpile and do not grill a lot and some of the
bottom layer is already rotting and growing it's own wild mushrooms with
all the rain we have been having. <G> I'd like to try innoculating some
Okay, let us know! :-)
No, I was just careful when I handled them to have clean hands, and
rinsed them off with hot water. I did, however, bleach the food
processor that I used to grind them.
Careful. UV kills tissue too. :-)
Heaven knows I got enough contamination into the colonies with the
darned bug invasion, but they seem to be resistant enough so that they
are not being significantly damaged, or so it appears at this time.
I think you lost rotting logs. There are fungi down the food chain
that will use them if you grind them into chips and inject them.
fungi.com sells a triple, succession spawn in which oyster are the
higher ranked, then there is ink cap and then those red-capped
things... sorry, not my day to remember names.
check their website.
I suppose one can accept some killing of surface tissue if
sterilization is good.
I've bookmarked the site.
I was not going to use the rotten logs, they are already well
fungicized. <G> One of them was sprouting a beautiful little golden
yellow cap mushroom this past Sunday. Pretty!
I have plenty of other logs that are in good condition.
You are right. It probably would not hurt it since the sterile interior
would still be good and alive. :-)
It came to me that the best way to avoid surface contamination is to
peel the stems with a sterilized knife (place blade on open flame,
peel using bleached latex gloves on bleached plate, immediately toss
peeled stem into bleached blender). As you can see I got my education
from brewmaking. Do you add water when blending stems? And why fill
the toilet paper core, when, say, tossing the mush with sterilized
straw would very much increase the contact surface.
No, they stuffed into the holes just fine.
And it's working.
'cause that's the instructions that I got. ;-)
And these grow out the sides of logs. Sterilized straw might work, and
so would sterlilized shavings, but you'd need to stuff them into a
burlap bag or something so that they could follow their normal
horizontal growth pattern.
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