Mushrooms

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Chris64
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Mushrooms

Post by Chris64 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:30 pm

Apart from being a baker, ex farmer and a few other things, I also grow mushrooms.

I know there was some talk a while ago about mushroom growing but no real excitement on the topic. There are various kinds of mushrooms that can be grown, from illegal to edible to medicinal and they grow on various mediums. Some, like Shitake grows on wood, some like Oyster mushrooms grows on straw,husks or sawdust.

Chopped straw is pasteurized using heat or chemically using quick lime. Then it is packed into plastic bags and innoculated with oyster spawn that you can make yourself or buy. Close the bag and let it develop. 2 weeks later: Oyster mushrooms!

A mushroom called Lions mane, grows on/in the same medium as oysters. Its medicinal ( contains something thats good for the brain ) and tastes like lobster...

Oyster mushrooms will eat anything: newspaper, soy husks, sawdust, old trees... Some of the Exon-Valdez oil spil in Canada was cleaned by feeding the oil, sand and seagrass mix, to oyster mushrooms (I hear!)
I have not done any research about growing oyster mushrooms on rice straw but have grown them on rye straw. A Google search or a site like shroomery.org will have all the answers! Depending on the kind you grow, you don’t need a lot of space or a very expensive set-up.

You would also need a seperate “ clean room” where you do occulation and grow the mycelium to inocculate the straw with. Sounds serious but it is actually simple. Getting hold of spore is also not a problem. There is a way around that - buy some of the mushrooms that you want to grow fresh and clone them! Quite simple and easy.

Oysters, growing in straw bags can be stacked on shelves and ambient light is adequate. Higher humidity and temperatures are prefered - a closed shed is perfect. Lower temps slows down growth until it stops and becomes dormant. Not a lot of water is needed although the sterilisation of the straw use the most energy and water. Simple setup: all thats needed is fire and a big pot!

There are many other kinds of mushroom that might work just as well as oysters if not better, on a small farm. The only waste produced is a commodity- compost!

It sounds as if there might be quite a good market - according to some of the earlier posts. A kilo of mushrooms should sell at a better price than a kilo of cabbage in any case!

What do you guys think?

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Chris64 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:36 pm


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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:00 am

That's a fantastically informative post, thank you very much for sharing.

Mushrooms are really appreciated here, you can buy quite a good range at most supermarkets, more than I was used to in the UK (although that may have changed since leaving) and you can buy kits and inoculated dowels at most home centres if you want to try growing those varieties at home. Plus you can order wild mushroom boxes online at the right time of year.

Importing mushroom spores from abroad can be somewhat problematic and quite likely your package will get seized and destroyed by plant protection service, I had a couple destroyed and was told not to attempt it again. I wouldn't suggest importing spores for any of the recreational mushrooms, drug laws here are very strict indeed and you'd likely end up serving prison time and having your visa revoked afterwards.

You mention cloning mushrooms you'd like to grow. How would one go about collecting spores from Porcini mushrooms ? I'd like to give it a go as they sell for a very good price here.

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Chris64 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:24 pm

The porcinis are one of the species that have no grow tek ( thats mushroom grower speak for technique!) yet. Maybe someday.
Collecting spores: pick a fresh mushroom, cut the stem right under the “head” and put it stem side down on a piece of paper or foil. Cover with a glass and leave a day. Remove mushroom and the spores are in a neat print. Also useful to identify the kind of mushroom. Spores comes in different colours.
Spores are not the only way to propagate mushrooms. You can actually use a piece of fresh mushroom to make clones.


But.

The process does not stop there. There are a few options on how to proceed. You have to germinate the spores in a sterile spawn medium like rice flour, agar (best) or sterilised grain. The spores turns into mycelium ( white “roots”) that eventually covers the spawn medium (colonization) Takes about 2 weeks. Then the mycelium covered grain is introduced to the grow medium - sawdust, straw... or used to colonize wooden dowels.
All of the above have to happen in sterile conditions to prevent contamination of the enery supply ( the spawn medium ) by other fungi and bacteria.

Also important to know what your mushroom’s grow medium is. Some like compost, some like manure or dead wood, some grows well on wood chips...

Here is more info on grow mediums or substrates : https://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/g ... rooms.html

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:31 am

As it's an ectomycorrhizal fungi I'm thinking of inoculating the roots of our chestnut trees and some of the other hardwood trees we have growing in our forest. Unfortunately we don't have pine trees growing locally or I'd try them but according to Wikipedia it may have been introduced to New Zealand on the roots of beech, birch or oak trees.

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Chris64 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:26 pm

I am seriously looking at doing king oyster muskrooms as my way to enter the simple life. I think one would do well by picking a spot close to a sawmill of furniture factory to supply the grow medium and maybe even the energy source ( waste wood) to run a boiler for sterilization.

You can use the worst land, which should be cheap, to build a grow room or simply recycle an existing structure. Some storage and packing space and you are in business!

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:48 am

To grow shiitake mushrooms here you just need a small patch of forest, stack your logs up outside and let them do their thing. Virtually no infrastructure investment needed and they will sell day in day out. We have a couple of mushroom farms nearby that grow shiitake, shimeji and maitake using hoop houses but instead of using plastic sheeting they cover the frames with shade netting and some use large wood burners for heating during the winter.

Here is a sweeping generalisation but as a grower of what are considered foreign/unusual vegetables (like broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onions are all native to Japan :angry-nono: ) I have noticed that quite often Japanese folk are reluctant to try something different. It's doable if you are at an event and can explain how to use something as bizarre and unusual as a kohl rabi or romanesco cauliflower but if it's sitting on a shelf it often just won't sell whereas the huge pile of shiitake next door will sell out day after day. Now obviously there is huge variations in consumers tastes region by region but I've seen young farmers get all fired up and start growing 'western' veg and then fail to sell them and switch over to ordinary varieties that actually sell in their locality. What can sometimes work is growing plenty of 'ordinary' varieties that you know will sell and then mix in small amounts of the unusual so that customers can give them a try when they are feeling adventurous and you can slowly build up a market in your locality for them.

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by gonbechan » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:06 pm

alternatively you could sell weekly or monthly box veg and include recipes in the box.

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Chris64 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:57 pm

Are king oyster mushrooms or regular oyster mushrooms unknown?
Maybe they have a different name?

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Re: Mushrooms

Post by Zasso Nouka » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:22 am

I don't often see oyster mushrooms for sale around us, that's not to say they aren't popular somewhere else and if you were in an area with lots of high class restaurants you might have a good business opportunity supplying them.

Visually maitake mushrooms look somewhat similar so you might be lucky and customers could be willing to give them a try based on looks. I think Maitake mushrooms might be called Hen of the Woods outside of Japan so not exactly Oyster mushrooms but might be similar enough.

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