I needed my own spot here on Topia' so this is like my (thread)Home away from Home. I didn't know where to post, but I'm new to the site, but not to growing mushrooms. A little bit about myself, my first step towards growing the Magic was back in 97(ish) early 98 maybe. I was in my early twenties and of course, reading High Times every chance I had, I ran across that old school Homestead Kit with Spores/Agar combination. Of course I Failed, I had NO idea about anything, and FUBAR'd the Agar and that was that(should of ordered more AGAR, but again, GREENhorn). I had no patience back then, partying all the time(lost my best friend at 19)... chasing women, and generally not giving AF. Selfish, Stubborn, I can Go on and on about myself, but I won't(self reflection... takes time). So a few years pass, didn't even think about that old Homestead Kit, had a shroom hook up of Cubes and Liberty Caps from up north so it was not an issue and growing them didn't even cross the mind. A few more years pass on and it gets a little harder to find decent mushies, had a trip that was bunk(little body high if that) and stomach pains which were excruciating(you could imagine the intensified situation, another friend hurled). Anyway, I didn't do any for awhile after that nonsense, and I decided to get back to researching getting spores and I was able to find syringes this time. This is around 04/05 when I started growing Cannabis indoor and had been growing outside for some time(half a decade or so). Back on track, so I picked up two syringes, one was Creeper and the other I believe was Palenque. I went a different route early on than most people do, I went straight to WBS and bought a pressure cooker right of the bat. I was shopping one day for groceries with the wifey and they had a Presto 16 quart bobber style only(no gauge) for 39.99(that has SO many runs on and I still use it to this day, no change of gasket yet either) during the offseason of canning on sale discounted from 49.99(I bought a tiny PC back in 97/98, but it was small and LONG gone). Now I have a big piece of the puzzle, now it's time to put it all together. I commence making some old school Tyvek lids with some permatex(already had in the toolbox since I've done plenty of water pump swaps, timing chains... MOPAR Hot Rods for Life) for an injection port. Ugly as Sin those lids were, but functionality wise, worked like a charm(for one cycle, Tyvek is a patch or temporary, next step, Polyfil). So, I finally get the syringes, I have the lids and WBS with the pressure cooker, it's a GO. I prep the WBS(soaked/simmer which later I realized is overkill) and PC for 100 minutes, I don't have a gauge and I wanted to make sure I get a full 90 minutes(nervous rookie) or more with Grains. So I get the grains cool to shoot some spores and hit all 7 jars with the Creeper. Again, in these days, I did shit my own way and found a still room and flame sterilized the needle and went to work. I do everything now in a SAB, but you can shoot open Air, it's just not something I promote. Keep in mind, I had NO expectations of what this was going to turn out like or into. Low and behold, the syringes were clean and I went 7 of 7. I expected to lose a few or maybe all of them from inoculant contamination or maybe my sterilization procedures, but that never crossed my mind since 100 minutes is a long time and I know people go 60 with success. At this point, I run out and buy a big tub, drill some holes in it and pasteurize some Coco/Verm(not a fan of the bucket "tek" or even the word "tek"... and I feel like it enables new growers to learn the wrong way, but that's my opinion, have I done CVG in a bucket, of course, it's the scientist in me... always down to experiment). Nowadays I go against the grain, I get H Manure for nothing and always have leftover Straw from a bale that costs maybe 11 bucks. Side tracked again, damn Lemon Kush, so I mix up the CV with the 7 quarts and just throw it in the closet with a blanket over it(hiding from wife... SHHH). The holes are taped and the lid provides GE so I literally just forget about it for 6 or 7 days. Something triggered me to check on it, but I can't remember what(which is weird since my memory is Amazing) so I remove the blanket and she is fully white and colonized. At this point, I'm amazed to get this far with the tub and now I have to figure out where to fruit it. So I find a spot in one of my closets and I had a 5000K bulb at the time starting seedlings and grabbed a timer and set it to 12/12. I realized pretty fast that the Air holes I drilled aren't enough, so I had to manually fan a few times a day. Small holes too tight of Poly equals NO bueno. Knowing what I know now, I would of just flipped the lid or left it off for awhile, but when your nervous nelly and it's all on the line.... just didn't have the experience to make that call. Not quite a set it and forget it, but it worked out and I ended up with almost 6 zips(more than I ever expected to have) from the 7 myco quarts of WBS which isn't stellar for 7 quarts, but at this point, I'm a young man that just grew his first fruits and couldn't be happier. I personally, didn't like the Creeper, weird (anxiety come up) and generally just different. I put everything up for about a year or so and go back to normal life stuff. I get rid of some, do a few and it's time to break out the Palenque syringe. Lather, Rinse, Repeat... things go well and 6 of 7 WBS jars are good, 1 didn't look right(again, knowing what I know now it was just slight bruising) and do it all over again. At this point, I get just over 6 zones and I'm over the rest of that Creeper and I dump them(I've done this a few times over the years). This round, I go about 2 years or so, again, just shooting spores and not backing up anything, NO prints, just a slacker squirting his Load.
Fast forward many many years and I finally decided to step up my game and tackle some edible blocks and start working in a SAB along with AGAR work and LC experience. Now, I'm organized and I back up everything on AGAR or Prints for long term. I haven't done any slants, but I'm not at that point where I want to keep it for a longer period of time. I'm working with PAN AGAR and many PE's(too many edibles as well) just having a blast at this point. I always tell people who are first jumping into growing, get a harvest first(don't do too much micro managing and follow directions when following someone else's success) and then start experimenting or continue your experience, once you have a jar full of mush, if you lose, you still have some FUN(gi) in a jar waiting to be played with. That's my intro, time to go check on the two jars pasteurizing for casing.