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humble beginnings - eq lc, whole grain rice, straw pellets, no verm

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#1 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:13 PM

i purchased 4 spore syringes from the good spore last june
and promptly made use of 2 of them,
but it was necessary to abandon that project midway
due to a move i had not foreseen.
the 2 unused syringes went into a storage unit with no climate control
until i was finally able to put them to the test again a full year later...

pending viability of the remaining spores,
i set for myself two clear goals to achieve within two months' time:
to take at least one print for self-sufficiency
and to grow a magical experience for two
to prove that all the study, effort, and patience is worth it.
i'm pleased to announce success on both counts.

it remains to be seen what other lessons come of my experiments,
so i invite you all to examine the process with me.
i will post here what i've been working on
in the order in which i started each project
and/or the order in which they produced.
i hope that it will be of some interest, assistance, or amusement to someone.

for the knowledge i have acquired and employed here,
heartfelt gratitude and credit is due to
and many many more.
you'll recognize your influence as i update this,
may it please you. :bow:
your contributions are precious to more than just me.

#2 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 09:25 PM

being limited as i was on spore solution,
i determined that liquid culture would improve my chances at reaching my goals.
just to make sure i had enough eggs in enough baskets,
i made 3 lcs, and prepared substrate jars for multispore as well.

the first liquid culture was 1 tsp light karo in 100ml of tap water in a halfpint jar
with 2 self-healing inoculation ports in the lid for hippie's airport tek.
i sterilized it at 15psi for 20min in a 4qt pc,

once cooled, i released the jar's vacuum with an airport
and inoculated with 1ml of spore solution.
this is the result after a week or so:

the second liquid culture is 10ml vanilla in 500 ml purified water.
i placed dabs of rtv silicone on the surface of a store-sealed bottle of water,
and the same on the plastic bottle of vanilla.

after the silicone had cured, i used the airport tek to aspirate a syringeful of vanilla
for injection directly into the water bottle, without opening either.
i did first have to use a syringe and airport
to remove some of the water from the bottle,
making room for the vanilla as well as filtered air for the myc to breathe.
once prepared in this way, i inoculated with 1ml of spore solution.
what it looks like now:

the third liquid culture is 1 tsp light karo in 100ml of distilled water,
sterilized and inoculated in the same manner as the first,
only without any caramelization of the karo, thanks to the distilled water.

though not made at the same time,
all were incubated at the same room temp (85ºF)
and showed growth within a few days.
i was surprised to find that the vanilla water was the fastest,
even with its alcohol content and lack of sugars.

i have only used the first lc so far,
as this egg was safe and sound in its basket
and has hatched well enough to keep me busy since.
i intend to start a second round of jars very soon
in which to test the other two.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 05_karo_lc2.jpg
  • 03_vanilla_lc_bottle.jpg
  • 04_vanilla_sealed.jpg
  • 02_pc_small.jpg
  • 01_karo_lc1.jpg

#3 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:18 PM

the substrate jars are whole grain white rice.
why white rice?
it's what i had on hand.
why whole grain?
i have a strong aversion to glitter.
i've always found it exceedingly messy,
and if possible would prefer to avoid using it
anywhere near something i intend to eat.
perhaps a noob error, but i'm willing to try and see...

i cooked 3 parts rice to 4 parts water in a rice cooker,

filled the jars, capped with polyfil lids, and pced for 60min at 15psi.

here is a jar of the rice after sterilizing.

the following day, 6 halfpints were inoculated with multispore solution,
2 halfpints and 2 pints were inoculated with the first finished lc.

waiting to see if anything would grow at all
was the most difficult part of this undertaking.
i regretfully have no photos of the jars colonizing,
but i assure you it was nothing out of the ordinary.
only one jar did not colonize successfully,
this one apparently got no spores
since i forgot to shake the syringe :eusa_doh:
this is what the first two to finish (from lc)
looked like right before birth.

and this is to be their new home:

since i deviated from the conventional recommendation
of the pf tek for first time growers,
i found a substitute for vermiculite
to try as a double-end casing.
here is the bag:

and this is what it looks like:

i rolled one cake in dry soil conditioner,
placed both cakes on top of a little moistened pile,
and then sprinkled some more on top.
the dry portions were then hydrated with distilled water from a syringe.
here they are in their fruiting chamber:

all fuzzed up:

...and knotting a few days later (i had started misting by now):

at seven days, my first pin!

can you find the pin in this picture?

things were looking really good to me

but i think i should have stopped misting,
very few of those pins matured.

first harvest off these two cakes was 15g wet,
not enough for more than a taste of magic.

but i have fruit!
can't cry about that...

Attached Thumbnails

  • 23_first_harvest.jpg
  • 22_first_mycoporn.jpg
  • 21_first_harvest_coming.jpg
  • 20_pinset2.jpg
  • 19_pinset1.jpg
  • 18_2nd_pin_hiding.jpg
  • 17_first_pin.jpg
  • 16_knotting1.jpg
  • 15_fuzzy2.jpg
  • 14_fuzzy1.jpg
  • 13_birthed_cased.jpg
  • 12_soil_cond.jpg
  • 11_soil_cond_bag.jpg
  • 10_monobucket.jpg
  • 09_halfpint_colo.jpg
  • 08_pced_rice.jpg
  • 07_pc_run.jpg
  • 06_jars_packed.jpg

#4 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:22 PM

additional jars were birthed once fully colonized
and cased with a mix of coir and soil conditioner.
these were multispore, some fruited more and sooner than others.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 28_4cakes5.jpg
  • 27_4cakes4.jpg
  • 24_4cakes1.jpg
  • 26_4cakes3.jpg

#5 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:38 PM

the 2 colonized pint jars were crumbled

and spawned to 1.5pts of critter country and 0.75pt coir
hydrated with 1.5pts distilled water
and spread between 6 small take-out trays.
these were incubated at 85ºF for several days until run through with myc,

then placed in their own fruiting chambers.
one was left uncased, 3 were cased with a mix of unpasteurized coir and soil conditioner,

and because i ran out of perlite,
2 were spawned to more critter country and coir
and placed in the bottom of another bucket.
this bucket showed trich after a few days,

as well as one of the cased trays that i kept too wet,
but the remaining 3 ended up colonizing and fruiting
well enough for my purposes.

second harvest was 60g wet between 3 trays and 7 cakes.

some fine prints were taken.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 42_first_prints.jpg
  • 39_casing_fruits.jpg
  • 41_2nd_harvest.jpg
  • 37.5_uncased_fruits.jpg
  • 38_casing_1fruit.jpg
  • 37_contamed_bucket.jpg
  • 35_cased.jpg
  • 36_casing_colo.jpg
  • 34_spawnrun5.jpg
  • 31_spawnrun2.jpg
  • 32_spawnrun3.jpg
  • 30_spawnrun1.jpg
  • 28_pints_colo.jpg
  • 29_pints_crumbled.jpg

#6 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:47 PM

with this 60g, we made tea.
freshies were cut with scissors into a cup and covered with boiling water.

the brew was blended with an immersion blender,
(which, due to the downward orientation of the blades, doesn't pull air into the mix),

steeped for 15 minutes, then strained
steeped for another 15 minutes, strained again and imbibed.

we have taken much acid over the years
and small amounts of mushrooms when we had the chance,
but we never would have guessed that this gray liquid
drawn from those brown mushrooms
could unleash so much color and laughter.:dance::dance:

Attached Thumbnails

  • 45_tea_for_two.jpg
  • 43_tea_steep.jpg
  • 44_blender_tea.jpg

#7 pareil


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Posted 09 August 2007 - 11:49 PM

i was so thrilled
with the first breakthrough trip on homegrown
that i lost track of the grow log a bit.
sometime between the second harvest and now,
i harvested another 100g wet,

brewed more tea, :rolleyes:
dunked each cake and tray,
and sprayed all perlite with h2o2.
the uncased tray got trich within a day after dunking,

the two cased trays are pinning again,

one of my cakes froze solid in the back of the fridge during a dunk

but is fluffing up nicely with the others after thawing out
(it's the one in the top left),

and i am ready for some input
on how i might have made these beginnings
less humble... :meditate:

Attached Thumbnails

  • cake_clusters.jpg
  • 4cakes_again.jpg
  • 3cakes_again.jpg
  • frozen_cake.jpg
  • 40_cased_fruits_again.jpg
  • 46_contamed_tray_after_dunk.jpg
  • 47_post_dunk_pins.jpg

#8 Sunstar


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Posted 10 August 2007 - 02:01 AM

Awesome pics man:eusa_clap

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 06:12 AM

nice mushrooms!
very nice write up and log :bow:

#10 eatyualive



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Posted 10 August 2007 - 11:46 PM

what are you doing to extract the binder out of the cat country? i read that if you take a pantyhose full of it to the local laundromat, you can run a soapless load and it extracts all the binder very quickly. im not sure how you prepped it but this may help. ive used eco straw litter.

do you find that the cat litter is a bit clumpy? if so you may want to try this. also, i boil the eco straw litter. but this shit has a really gummy binder and is quite an annoyance.

good stuff btw!

#11 Mermaidia


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Posted 11 August 2007 - 12:45 AM

:bow:Excellent write up pareil. Yes you are correct about the misting. You can mist the sides of the fruiting chamber but misting pins directly can cause them to abort.
I am so happy for your success. Nice big prints too. :cool:

Glad to hear you and Ram had a fun trip!

#12 pareil


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Posted 11 August 2007 - 02:33 PM

thanks for the friendly feedback,
i'm glad at least a few people read and enjoyed this :)

eatyu, i remember reading about the binder
in one of your earlier reports on strawnet.
i know you've switched to eco straw
and i don't know if it's the same formula as critter country,
but based on golly's comment here:,

all i did to prep my sub was combine dry pellets

with dry hand-shredded coir in a ziploc,

added water, kneaded until hydrated,
then mixed in rice spawn.

it was clumpy but not gummy,
and all 6 trays colonized without trouble,
even the one i opened for the above photographs,
until i started messing with them (excessive misting, superspawning).

the pellets sort of turn to mush if too much fluid is added.
i think the coir helps to keep them somewhat fluffy.
my rabbit loves them,
and his litter box doesn't get like cement after he uses it.

i can't tell from the manufacturer's website
Home - Mountain Meadows Pet Products,
but i am thinking there may not be a binder in this brand of pellet.

Glad to hear you and Ram had a fun trip!

it's been fantastic. this hobby is so good for me right now. :heart:

here is how the cakes are doing:

and this is what's on the horizon for me...
6 pint jars of white rice ground in a coffee grinder

mixed pf-style with soil conditioner and water
and inoculated with the last of the first lc
are almost ready to spawn (they took forever – won't do that again).

i would like to make up another bulk bucket or two
and am wondering if lime or oyster shell
might help prevent the trich that my earlier attempt fell prey to
and give the sub enough time to colonize.

also, fresh substrate jars for the other 2 lcs are on the way! :D

Attached Thumbnails

  • 6wrfpints.jpg
  • wrf.jpg
  • 3cakes_again_mature.jpg
  • critter_country.jpg
  • eco_earth_coir.jpg

#13 golly



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Posted 11 August 2007 - 04:21 PM

A fine presentation Pareil ..:bow: And a very nice example of white rice culture..
Is that soil conditioner made from expanded clay..?
I think the only binder used in Critter Country straw pellets are the naturally occuring resins in the straw formed with high pressure...Never noticed any gummyness durin hydration...

#14 pareil


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Posted 11 August 2007 - 05:09 PM

thanks golly :)
other than "natural minerals",
the bag doesn't say what it's made of,
and i couldn't even find this product on the manufacturer's website,
but the soil conditioner does seem like crumbs of pottery.

i'm not yet certain whether my modest yields are due to
inferior materials or my own inexperience or both,
but i will continue to explore this approach and hopefully improve.
i'm just glad it's working so far.

did you pursue critter country at all after that pan grow i cited?
except for what you and eatyu have documented,
i haven't seen very many trials of it.

#15 golly



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Posted 11 August 2007 - 08:26 PM

The brown rice does have significantly more nutrients than white and would be more productive imo...
I still use the pellets, i often mix with coir/verm/poo for Cubes..It is best when mixed with larger fibers to help fluff up the texture...

#16 Freaky


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Posted 11 August 2007 - 08:43 PM


This grow log is wonderful stuff! Very nicely documented!

That soil conditioner works great on the cakes for DEC. Looks like the mycelium really loves it. I'll have to check some of that out sometime.

keep up the great work Pareil

Happy funging :)

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