our instructor was the sort of guy you want to sit down and have a cuppa with .... and just pick his brain. i think i went into the seminar expecting a bit of biodiversity and head knowledge on how to start my mushroom mania fetish. what we got ... well, was an amazing amount of information about how to do it .... and some real life demonstrations .... enough to bring it home and do it straight away.
rather than posting the process here .... lets just say that i got the bug for mushrooms. that they have a place in our lives nutritionally and in our gardens for biodiversity. big ticks from me .... and on top of that, well! it's not that hard a process! when we left the seminar, we walked out with shitaki dowels, a log, shitaki spawn in saw dust and king oyster spawn on agar. my challenge was to source bees wax ... once i got that ... well .... it was time to rock n roll!
so the shitaki covered dowels had to be hammered into the log. this log had been predrilled so that the dowels could be gently tapped in. the boys just had to get involved in this part of the process!
then came the arts and craft aspect. lea had to do this of course! the bees wax was melted and each dowel covered with the melted wax. the ends were also dipped in the wax. this is to force the mycellium into the tree bark and provide a damp, moist medium for the fungi to grow.
and then ... well .... put it in a shady place in the yard and see what happens next! i'm excited about the possibilities! our instructor said that the mycellium would start running within a few days ... and that we should see mushrooms within a few weeks. woohoo!
who knows where this will go. it was a bit daunting at first when he was talking about sterile environments and petri dishes. but once he did a demonstration it wasn't too bad at all! the other side too is that mushroom growing is not an exact science and that what works in one environment, might not in another .... but that testing and trial is the best way to learn .... a lot like everything else i'm learning! at the very least it is the opportunity to provide our family with another nutritious food source! and there are heaps worse things in life than that!