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Turkey Tail


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#1 scott_1971_h

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Posted 27 May 2022 - 09:10 AM

Friend of mine has had a cancer scare, which started me thinking of growing Turkey Tail.

My previous attempts have been unsuccessful (gone green) or have fruited, but minimally. I had hopes because it is one incredible coloniser of grain, not not much happened on sawdust. Another friend has had more success growing it on an apricot tree (or cherry tree, I can't remember) do I need to do a totem with real logs?

If you have grown it successfully, what have you done? Or what am I doing wrong?

 

Thanks,

Scott


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#2 MushLuvR

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 08:58 AM

I have grown TT as an Open block, which takes longer to fruit, and slices are pretty quick to get started and much easier to harvest.  Either way, TT isn't too difficult to grow in bags, never tried logs.  I know TT can be grown on pretty much ANYTHING.  I have fruits dehydrated if you're in need and would gladly donate them to a worthy cause.  All the Best and I hope all is well with your friend.   :meditate:

 

MushL



#3 TVCasualty

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 11:41 AM

I managed to propagate the hell out of that species almost by accident.

 

An oak tree fell along a logging road near where I lived at the time and I thought it was a perfect candidate to try the low-tech outdoor approach Stamets mentioned involving taking sporulating caps, which were easily acquired from the same patch of woods in my case, and floating them (pores/gills facing down into the water) in 3-4 gallons of clean, non-chlorinated water that I'd added a tablespoon of molasses and a pinch of salt to according to the instructions.

 

The molasses is to trigger the spores to sprout and the salt is just enough to inhibit bacteria long enough for the mycelium to get going (apparently).

 

After letting the caps float for ~6 hours, remove the caps and then let the bucket sit overnight. The next day put the mix into a garden sprayer and spray it on any suitable substrate you can find (recently -but not TOO recently- downed trees, stumps, logs). Ideally this is done in weather that's not too hot and dry.

 

A few weeks after I did this a neighbor decided that that tree was easy pickings for firewood so he cut it up and stacked it (unsplit) on the covered porch of his cabin. Well damn. Fast forward a few months and I went to the neighbor's place to talk to him about something and noticed that his stack of firewood was covered with turkey tails. Like it was a commercial growing operation. Turned all that firewood punky long before he could use it. It kind of blew my mind how successful it was.

 

Anyway, it worked beyond all expectations for me so it might be an approach worth considering. It's hard to beat in terms of time, money, and effort vs. results.

 

 

The short version:

 

Put ~3-4 gallons clean water in a bucket. Or go crazy and use a full 5 gallons, but it's harder to stir in the molasses.

Add tablespoon molasses and pinch of salt. Mix well.

Float caps for ~6 hrs. gills/pores down.

Remove caps, let bucket sit overnight.

Spray the spore mix on suitable substrates.

Wait a few months.

 

 

I also did this (with turkey tails) with a brush pile. It eventually colonized the pile and for ~10 years (until I moved away) I'd keep adding brush to it and once the pile got about 5 feet high it never got higher no matter how much brush I piled on it. The mycelium ate it up amazingly fast and the pile kept settling.

 

It acted just like how a campfire acts; it takes a minute of care and feeding to get a self-sustaining core going but once you get that started you can just toss more sticks and logs on and they 'catch' right away. After this went on for a few years I pulled the top layer of brush off and there was a big pile of the richest garden soil you could ever hope for under it.

 

It was like a bottomless pit in my yard that ate all the yard waste I tossed into it. No need for chipping, burning, or hauling further than to the pile. And it produced lots of turkey tails.


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