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ergot fungus grow tips.....??

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#1 Guest_valleyofmushies_*

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 02:18 AM

tips on the the growing part of the ergot fungus ...and the grass of the grain to which to grow it from.....???????????anybody??

#2 greenmeanie



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Posted 04 July 2009 - 03:42 AM

iirc, ergot is a sclerotia-forming fungus. spores land on and colonize rye grains. then the purple sclerotia falls to the ground, forming a fruitbody and releasing spores in the next rain.

be sure to wear gloves and mask when handling to avoid poisoning

#3 ez_goin


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Posted 04 July 2009 - 03:45 AM

Wow! Good luck with that. I would imagine if you are trying this you have done a whole lot of research on the subject. If you have yet to do a lot of research, I hope this thread is the start to much asking around and reading.

Like I said before, good luck.

I would be very interested in a thread showing a picture log of the process that you are going through and the results of your experiment.

#4 Guest_jay pheno_*

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:40 AM

hope you have a full lab , that shits dangerous !:horse:

might wanna google , you dont need to grow it :pirate:

#5 Beast


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Posted 04 July 2009 - 11:47 AM


#6 vork21


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:00 AM

before I jump to any obvious conclusions, what exactly do you plan on doing with this ergot?

#7 weeeeeee



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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:03 AM

if you have to ask how to cultivate ergot then you probably need not be toying with it whatever your reasons
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#8 vork21


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

if you have to ask how to cultivate ergot then you probably need not be toying with it whatever your reasons

The burst capillaries in your nostrils belie the clarity of your wisdom...

#9 5-hydroxytryptamine



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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:39 PM

Seriously, Dont!! Personally I don not want to walk into a purple dustcloud one hazy afternoon because of some 'genius' experiment. If you dont even know what it grows on then forget it and go do something useful. all you're gonna do is poison yourself or even worse, someone else. or cause a plague of ergot on the local agriculture... or give some poor garbage man ergotism....
or put ergot into the water table....

or who knows maybe you'll succeed and become the next Owsley III...but probably not.......


#10 meku



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Posted 05 July 2009 - 12:44 PM

i think the best advice is : get a copy of uncle´s fester book ....
please report your progress....

#11 Lefty


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 01:37 PM

"Uncle Fester" & "best advice" in the same sentence is a good barometer of your wisdom.
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#12 Theodore Blass

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

if you have to ask how to cultivate ergot then you probably need not be toying with it whatever your reasons

only advice i have is-
DONT mess with it

#13 Myc


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:21 PM

......and a final - Don't Mess With It !!

No one here is trying to be rude - so don't take this the wrong way.

This stuff is dangerous - the fact that you're asking about it indicates that you aren't prepared to work with it (ergot).

But I'm never one to shoot another's dreams
Study here with us. Look into mycology specifically - growing mushrooms
The sterile culture techniques and laboratory discipline learned from mycology applies to nearly all biological sciences.
With this training, you will learn - step-by-step - how to handle, contain, propagate, and nurture any micro-organism you might choose to propagate. And I mean any micro-organism.

I encourage you dear friend.
How else are future generations going to unlock the powers contained in that fungus if the science gets stamped out by the establishment?
The next 'easiest' way to synthesize the target chemical may very well be in your kitchen/garage/basement - who am I to say?

The nature of your post gives the impression that you are pretty new to this.
You want to learn this stuff......
You're in the best place to do so.

Please learn with us and share what you know.

#14 Guest_valleyofmushies_*

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:33 PM

ok so i have had the uncle festers' book...(3rd edition.)it doesn't answer my questions i need to know how long to grow a rye grain into a grass that has rye growing on it.....a whole grow season....maybe start it in june or july ....uncle fester's book said to find my own wild fungus first so not to raise suspension while getting it thru other then says to get a lil bit of wild fungus from the rye grain grass and keep it over winter. in ur freezer then start the cultivation of the fungus at home -the next year, around the time to get ready for when ur rye plant flowers so u can properly spread the fungus to ur field as it flowers....AND yes i have read alot but not books on growing the rye...i thought maybe one u fine lovely members here might have.....but i need to know when to start my rye in the ground........right now i just need to grow some grain that i have...had 2o lbs but only got a couple kernels now idk wat happen to all those others but i need to grow it and have some to take samples of ergot from...all i found thru reading on ergot so far is to grow it in a semi wet area to keep the chases of wild ergot growth up....or if someone can tell me where to search in phone book or on the web to find the nearest rye field near me....says to walk along the outskirt of the field where the pestisides are not so heavy and i should find ergot...says its easy cause the farmer won't see or care if i walk the fence line....
And it says u can keep ergot for a least a lil while cause the active alkaloid is locked up in plant material and if i store it in dry,mold free area then it should keep untill i can turn it into something or find someone who can.......OR SALE IT........any tips????????? besides the ones that say DON"T TRY IT

#15 Myc


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:42 PM

I can feel your discouragement.
You'll need many acres of ergot innoculated rye to obtain enough fungus - in order to accomplish your goals.
Feel like farming?

You seem a bit agitated.
Search your question using the "search" feature:

Read a few of those and then come back and ask questions.
Be patient - Be friendly - and we'll help
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#16 Caljet666



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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:33 PM

"Uncle Fester" & "best advice" in the same sentence is a good barometer of your wisdom.


To the OP. I hope you don't intend on using UF's methods. Bear in mind the man has never done what he claims to know about in that book. Consider it a work of fiction.

#17 Guest_valleyofmushies_*

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:03 PM

ok but i believe for the most part ...the part about how to grow ur own ergot ...has anybody read it this part true...its in the first like 9 pages ..i think 4 -9 somewhere....

#18 Caljet666



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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:21 PM

I have read it before. The ergot growing method may work. I remember it seeming feasible at the time but that's about where I'd stop paying him attention.

#19 Lefty


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:53 PM

You may note the lack of any safety suggestions, and the sources he credits that he plagiarized the living shit out of word for fucking word, but for fun here it is:

To grow ergot successfully, one must have some knowledge of the
life cycle of the Claviceps fungus. The kernel of ergot seen growing
on the rye plant is the form this fungus takes to make it through the
winter. In the wild state, the ergot falls off of the rye plant when the
grain matures, and lays there on top of the dirt until the following
spring. Then, when warm weather returns, the kernel of ergot sprouts
off a bunch of tiny growths that look for all the world like so many
minute mushrooms. In the head of each of these little mushroom
growths are millions of spores. These spores are the fungus equivalent of
When the mushroom growths have reached a length of about 20
mm, they are mature, and the head of the mushroom explodes,
sending the millions of spores floating through the air. These spores,
either by luck of air currents or by hitching a ride upon insects, find
their way into the flower of the rye plants growing nearby. The flower of
the rye plant is nothing spectacular. Rye is a grass, and its flowers look
like most other grass flowers — just a filamentaceous dab of color
scattered over the head of the plant which soon grows into seeds.
Upon being deposited into the flower of the rye plant, the spore
germinates and takes over the flower. The fungus then grows by
sucking nutrients out of the rye plant, until a new kernel of ergot has
been formed to repeat the process again next year.
The biological sciences are made to order to take the hit-and-miss
aspect out of the process of rye flower infestation. Instead of the
random action of air currents or insects to bring spores into contact
with their new home, one may germinate these spores in a sterile
culture medium, grow them until they have multiplied a million-fold,
then spray them onto the rye plants just as they are blooming to ensure a
heavy infestation with ergot. This method has been in use since the
1920s with great success in the commercial production of ergot. See
the reference by Hecke (pages 1921-1922) in the back of the Ergot
and Ergotism book mentioned above for complete experimental
details. Yields of ergot using this method average a few hundred
pounds per acre. A couple of acres could supply most of the United
States with high-grade acid.
To put this plan into action, the few dozen kernels of ergot are kept
cool and dry during the winter, then as spring approaches they are made
ready to germinate by putting them in the refrigerator for one month to
six weeks with the temperature held steady from just above freezing to
3° C. This will make the ergot think that it has gone through winter, and
works better than actually freezing the stuff. Without this treatment, the
ergot will not germinate to form the mushroom stage of its life cycle.
After our artificial winter has passed for the ergot, we must make it
think that it is at home in the dirt. To do this, a terrarium is thoroughly
cleaned out with bleach water and several rinses. Then a layer of clean
sand about an inch thick is put in the bottom of the terrarium, and the
ergot is sprinkled on top of the sand. Finally, a little more sand is
sprinkled over the top of the ergot until they are each just covered up.
The terrarium is kept at room temperature, with an occasional misting
with water to keep the sand moist but not soaking wet.
After about a month in the terrarium, the ergot begins to sprout. In
the case of ergot, sprout means to grow a bunch of the little mushrooms
mentioned before. They grow towards the light, starting out short and
fat, and becoming increasingly thin as they grow. The heads of these
mushrooms will be covered with what appear to be warts when they are
ripe. Misting with water must be continued during the sprouting of the
ergot to keep it growing.
When the mushrooms sprouting from a particular grain of ergot are
ripe, they should be harvested. The individual grains will not all sprout
or ripen at the same time, so this is a harvest one-grain-at-a-time
operation. The ripe grain is carefully scooped out of the sand with a
spoon, and the sand is then dilute-bleach-water-misted away to leave the
bare grain covered with mushrooms. Care must be taken when handling
the sprouted ergot, as rough handling will cause the ripe heads of the
mushrooms to explode and spew forth their load of spores.
From this point onward, best results are going to be had using
sterile-culture technique. The next objective is to remove the spores
from the heads of the mushrooms growing out of the ergot, and put
them into a sterile culture medium made from diluted malt extract,
where they will grow for a week or so producing a culture broth
loaded with germinated spores which can be sprayed onto the
blooming heads of rye, yielding a heavy infection rate of ergot in your
patch of rye.
I have some helpful observations to share on the matter of home
sterile-culture technique, based upon my own experiences. It has been
my observation that keeping one's cultures free from contamination by
freeloading wild germs is often considerably more difficult in the
kitchen than it is in a biology lab. The typical university lab is
supplied with filtered air from the central heating and air conditioning
unit. The amount of dust particles and animal dander floating in the
air is much smaller than usually seen in the home. This is especially
true if your housekeeping is bad, like mine. The threat from wild
contamination is most severe if you live in a warm, moist area, like the
eastern half of the US in the summer. When doing home cultures, the
sterile transfers should be done in an air-conditioned room with an
effective air filter.
To begin the sterile culture portion of ergot farming, a series of
2000 ml conical flasks are filled about one inch deep with nutrient
broth made by diluting malt extract with 5 volumes of water. Malt
extract is found at stores and outlets catering to the home brewer. It
comes in cans, and is a very thick liquid. Avoid the crystalline version of
malt extract. The tops of the conical flasks are loosely plugged with
cotton, and then sterilized in a pressure cooker at 15 Ibs. pressure for a
little over l/2 hour.
When they have cooled down to room temperature they are moved
into the room in which the sterile transfers will be done. The spores
from the heads of the mushrooms are sterilely transferred into these
flasks for growth. This is done by taking a microscope slide cover slip,
and while holding it with a tweezers, passing the cover slip through
the flame of an alcohol lamp. Then, when the cover slip has cooled
down, it is impregnated with spores by holding the cover slip over the
head of a mushroom with a sterilized tweezer and lancing the
mushroom head with a similarly sterilized needle. Remember that the
heads of these mushrooms are ready to explode when ripe. The spore-
impregnated cover slip is then dropped into the conical flask, and the
cotton plug replaced. In this manner, a whole series of flasks can be
seeded with Claviceps fungus from a single ergot grain.
The spores germinate shortly after landing in the nutrient broth.
From there they grow into a slimy film floating on the surface of the
broth. The best growth is obtained at a temperature of 25-30° C. This
fungus needs oxygen to grow, but a few days of growth in the 2000 ml
flask will not exhaust the supply there. Longer periods of incubation
would require that some fresh oxygen be supplied to the flasks.
Best results are obtained when the fungus is actively growing
when it is sprayed onto the rye plants. This means that the whole ergot
sprouting and culturing operation must be timed to coincide with the
flowering of the rye plants. In my own state of Wisconsin, the rye
comes into bloom in early to mid-June, depending upon the weather.
The blooming of rye lasts for about a week, so timing is critical. It is
possible to spray a little before the onset of blooming, but spraying too
late is mostly a waste of time.
The spraying is a very simple operation. A metal or plastic hand
pump sprayer with a capacity of about 3 gallons is filled about half
full of water. The contents of one of those conical culture flasks are
then put into the sprayer, and mixed around thoroughly by shaking.
Then more water is added to fill the sprayer, and the solution is then
sprayed onto the crop. This is best done early in the morning, while
dew is still on the plants. The aim should be to get a fairly light
misting over the entire crop. This can be repeated every day for the
week that the rye is in bloom.
From here nature takes over, producing kernels of ergot identical to
the ones harvested the year before. There is general agreement that the
most potent ergot grows during very hot summers. No farmer has
control of the weather, but if there is a choice as to where our ergot
farmer sets up shop, it would then be best to choose a state with very
hot summers, or at least the southward-facing slope of a hill. It is also
generally agreed that the ergot is at its most potent about a week or so
before the rye grain are fully ripe. This is when the rye crop should be
The harvesting of the rye (ergot) crop should not be done with a
combine, as these machines pass the grains through a sieve. Most of
the ergot would then be lost, as it is much larger than the rye kernels.
Rather, the rye plants should be cut down using a hand or mechanical
sickle, and they should then be gathered up into shocks as seen in old
time pictures or paintings of grain harvesting. Next, the grains should be
beaten off the rye plants into a container such as a bushel basket. We
are talking about old time farming here! The ergot is then
separated from the rye kernels by dumping the bushel basket full of
grain into a tank full of saturated salt solution in water. The ergot
floats to the top of the salt water, while the rye sinks. The ergot is
skimmed off the top of the water, rinsed, and immediately spread out to
dry in the sun. The ergot must not be allowed to get moldy, as this ruins
its potency.
This procedure is the preferred source for the lysergic acid
amides. It is preferable both to growing morning glory seeds and
Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds because the alkaloid content of the
ergot is about 10 times higher, and also because the ergot has very
small amounts of the clavine alkaloids contaminating it. The case can be
made that the simplicity of the seed growing operations as
compared to growing ergot argues in favor of using that method.
There is an excellent alternative source of ergot for those living
close to the Gulf coast, the Atlantic coast south of New York, and the
Pacific Northwest's Puget Sound. In the saltwater marshes along the
coast, the marsh grass Spartina is subject to a very heavy infestation
with wild ergot. Yields of wild ergot in the range of 150 pounds per
acre are pretty common in areas that have been disturbed, such as by
ditches or in "spoil areas." (See Mycologia, Volume 66, pages 978 to
986 (1974) for full details and pictures.) Harvesting the ergot in this
case would probably be best done in a manner similar to that used by
Native Americans to harvest wild rice.

I took out one sentence where he shamelessly pimps his books.
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#20 Lefty


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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:59 PM

More sources that fester pretty much photocopied:
Ann. Rep. Takeda Res. Lab Volume 10, page 73
(1951); and Farmco, Volume 1, page 1 (1946); also Arch. Pharm. Berl.
Volume 273, page 348 (1935); also American Journal of
Botany, Volume 18, page 50 (1931); also Journal of the American
Pharmacy Association Volume 40, page 434 (1951); also US patent
2,809,920; also Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Volume 3, page
55 (1957), and Volume 4, page 611 (1958) and Volume 6, page 355
(1960); also Journal of the American Pharmacy Society Volume 44,
page 736 (1955).
Gulf Res. Rep. 3(1), pages 105-109 (1970), "Observations on
Claviceps purpurea on Spartina alterflora." Canadian Journal of
Botany Vol. 35, pages 315-320 (1957), "Studies
on Ergot in Gramineous Hosts." Pharmacognosy (1965), pages 321-
327. Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales Vol. 52, pages 571-
(1941), "Artificial Production of Ergot." Pythopathology Volume
35, pages 353-360 (1945), "The Field
Inoculation of Rye With Claviceps purpurea." American Journal of
Botany Volume 18, pages 50-78 (1931), "The
Reactions of Claviceps purpurea to Variations in Environment."

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