The evening of the program was one of those stormy wild nights with lots of lightening. Unfortunately his Power Point program got zapped. He was prepared, though needed to go to the car to get other materials, to go on with a slide show. It ended up being a longer than usual program but we were all riveted. There is cutting edge research in the benefits of mushrooms in health, in environment, in food sources and soil health. The volume of information was a lot to take in. I would love to visit his farm in Liberty, SC to learn a more.
Lucky for us, he brought some spore plugs for us to buy. My friend Ann and I bought different kinds of mushroom plugs and then split the bags so we both went home with two kinds of mushrooms to grow. We have Shiitake wide range and Oyster mushroom spawn to grow.
|Baskets of mushroom plugs|
Once home, it was time to acquire some logs to inoculate with our plugs that are sitting in the refrigerator, waiting to go forth and grow. Ann is friends with a man who has a tree cutting business. He was going to be cutting some hardwoods and we were welcome to come and get the pieces of tree! He was kind enough to find the 6-8 inch diameter logs, cut them to length and had them ready to load into our truck. How fortuitous. There were enough logs for five of us to have enough hardwood for our mushroom farms.
|See the split in the tree?|
He offered us both oak and sweet gum....the bark made it easy enough to tell which was which. I was surprised how heavy the load of wood was in the back of our truck.
On Tradd's website there is a video showing how to plug the logs. Time to gather materials, I needed some logs (check), plugs inoculated with spores (check), paraffin (check), mineral oil to thin the wax (check), drill with 5/16" bit (check)...ready to go.
Remember to melt your wax in a double boiler -- I used an old peanut can and one of my enamel pans filled with water.
Add a couple spoonfuls of mineral oil to prevent the wax from cracking later.
Time to get the logs and bring them around to the shade of the patio. I used my wagon and off I went to the backyard.
Apparently this was of interest to one of the dogs.
|Skyler checking out the logs.|
Charging the drill, at one time we had two battery packs, but one no longer held a charge. Found an old watercolor brush to paint the wax on the plugs after they are placed in the logs.
The plugs are wooden dowels that are spiral cut and the spores are embedded in the cut grooves. Make sure to mark the drill bit for the correct depth.
Time to begin.......
Drill the logs
Hammer the plug into the hole
Paint the wax over the top of the plug
Measure the distance (about 4-6 inches) apart, spacing the plugs along the log and around the log
Two done, see all the wax plugs....this took longer than I thought it would.
But wait.................I have the Shiitake still to do. The drill died. We recharged it, it still didn't work.
Leaving the mess and the no longer working drill, we went off to the hardware store.
We bought a new CORDED drill. Now I needed to find the extension cord and get back to work.
You know, it is amazing how quickly a proper working drill does the job. The last log was done in a snap! I reloaded the logs and headed into the lower part of the yard for the logs to be in the shade. The fruit of the mushrooms will take about 6 or more months to be ready to harvest. I leaned them against a tree at the edge of the area where many of my ferns are growing.
I will watch them and keep you updated with any changes and new growth. This is a new endeavor for us....looking forward to eating my first homegrown mushroom!
©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.