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Morel bombs, Growing on ailanthus, lions mane propagation, and more questions...


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#1 hobojordo

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 09:37 PM

Hey everyone - just got out of my probationary period so i wanted to ask everyone a few questions i have to get started growing mushrooms and therby hopefully reduce a couple years if trial and error ))  Really look forward to hearing some answers and thoughts! Im new to all of this

 

1. Has anyone ever tried growing mushrooms on Ailanthus? (Tree of Heaven) ...It grows everywhere here in Virginia and would be an infinite supply of substrate...  I just plugged some logs with oyster, lions mane, and shitake so ill see...but id like to hear other's experience. 

 

2. Its mushrooms season and Morels are about to pop up! Any ideas on what i should do with them besides eat them? Is there a way i can make morel bombs or collect the spores and spread around the woods to hopefully make more morel spots?

 

3. LIONS MANE....i really want to grow alot of it )))   But i cant afford to buy it. So i would be really appreciative of any advice on how to propagate the next wild lions mane mushroom i find! (or one that might grow from my plugged log)  Will it work to just cut it up and put it in a jar with moist dowels??? or do i need to make some sort of a print and put the spores in a jar??   Im new to this please help!!! how do i simply make my own plug spawn?

 

4. My last big question for now is inoculating veggie oil...i dumpster dove a whiole bunch and now I want to get spores into it - so that i can go through the woods and saw some junk trees and kick start them into growing mushrooms...has anyone tried this? i know you can buy the premade stuff but i want to know how to do it myself...  

 

Well everyone, I appreciate the input and thought! looking forward to hearing from you all...

Jordan 



#2 TurkeyRanch

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Posted 14 April 2015 - 11:55 PM

You sound cool!

That is a whole bunch of questions, but we have answers. I don't have the energy to look up the links I need to tonight, but I wanted to respond saying I would compose a better post for you in the morning.

1. No clue I am a left coast boy.

2. To spread morels, I would make spawn on composted straw and wood, and put it in likely places. I will look up links in the morning. Or just make a water and leftover stem slurry in a blender and spray it in good spots.

3. You can totally use a wild mushroom to make a culture. It involves using agar on Petri dishes, sounds hard but it's not. And making plug spawn once you have clean culture is very simple.

4. Just put the spores in the oil, and use it. I have some ideas on how I will post for you, again in the morning.


I will elaborate and provide you some links to read in the morning. You should probably buy a pressure cooker if you don't already own one, sounds like you will be sticking around!

Edited by TurkeyRanch, 14 April 2015 - 11:56 PM.

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#3 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 12:22 AM

I have good morel advice, wish I could get to a patch I know about an hour from here.  If you find yourself with more than you know what to do with, go ahead and flour and season your extras,  put them on a cookie tray and put them in the freezer.  After they are firm, bag them up airtight and freeze them, then if you want morels for thanksgiving heat your oil, pop them in there right out of the freezer, and ouila!  Enjoy the abundance this year, seems to be the best morel season I've never seen ;)



#4 hobojordo

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 06:31 AM

Ha yeah, sorry - i wasnt sure if i should make separate posts or put them all in one...thanks for the replies though, look forward to hearing more...

 

  So im looking at buying some Agar - you cant just do the same thing you talk about with morels? blend a mushroom up (like a lions mane) and spray it in with some substrate? (saw dust or something)?      I guess ill wait for your next post to bombard you with more questions - since your first one answered half my questions  ))   Thanks guys!    its nice to have a chance to talk with people that know about this without having to wait to run in to someone who knows what they are doing...the internet is pretty wild ha



#5 TVCasualty

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:37 AM

Hey everyone - just got out of my probationary period so i wanted to ask everyone a few questions i have to get started growing mushrooms and therby hopefully reduce a couple years if trial and error ))  Really look forward to hearing some answers and thoughts! Im new to all of this
 
1. Has anyone ever tried growing mushrooms on Ailanthus? (Tree of Heaven) ...It grows everywhere here in Virginia and would be an infinite supply of substrate...  I just plugged some logs with oyster, lions mane, and shitake so ill see...but id like to hear other's experience.

 
 It ought to work for any wood-decomposing fungi. And since it's an invasive weed (pretty much) it's an ideal candidate for use as substrate.

 

However, it's also rather potently "medicinal." Besides the allelopathic chemical it produces to kill/inhibit competitor tree species, it also contains quassin and saponin, both of which are bitter (quassin extremely so; it's among the most bitter substances found in nature) and saponins are thought to be used by plants and trees to inhibit fungi and other microbial pathogens.

 

So IMO experiments are in order. Stamets has recommended not using freshly-cut green wood for growing fungi due to the presence of all the phytochemicals the tree uses to prevent being consumed by fungi. These break down soon after the tree dies, at which point the wood can be colonized. More of these chemicals probably means a longer wait until an inoculation will "take." But that's just speculation and is why experiments are needed.

 

Conversely, waiting too long allows competitors to take hold, so a good experiment would be to do a series of grows on wood of known age (in terms of time since being cut) to find the optimum amount of time to wait after cutting the wood before inoculating it. To minimize the variables I'd cut a bunch of wood all at once and inoculate a new batch from it every couple of weeks or so, storing the unused portion outside (but under a roof and out of the weather). Ideally, test trays or beds would be grown indoors under controlled conditions using an isolate of your chosen mushroom species.

 

Also, if I were growing on it I'd like to know that the various compounds found in the wood that are toxic to humans (there are some) are not going to be drawn up into the fruitbodies of fungi. Unfortunately that means a relatively expensive laboratory analysis of the fruitbodies (i.e. chromatography). Or feeding them to an assistant and watching them closely for a while (as dictated by your budget)*.  This is probably not a major concern once the wood has completely dried out since it's been used in China to make cooking utensils for millennia (and the compounds are either volatile or easily broken-down). But if you're cultivating fungi on it at a stage where the compounds are still present then it may be an issue.

 

I'd guess that the toxicity potential from growing fungi off the wood is very low, but when it comes to things I eat (or that I intend to feed to anyone else!) a "guess" is not good enough.

 

 

4. My last big question for now is inoculating veggie oil...i dumpster dove a whiole bunch and now I want to get spores into it - so that i can go through the woods and saw some junk trees and kick start them into growing mushrooms...has anyone tried this? i know you can buy the premade stuff but i want to know how to do it myself...

 

Old fryer oil is some nasty stuff. Unless you were very picky and knew just where to get it, it's almost certainly got a lot of animal fat in it and is already rancid. Not sure if rancidity would affect anything, but it might. Also, it likely has a lot of funky contaminant spores and what-not in it so you might want to consider heating it to ~300 degrees F or thereabouts for a while to sterilize it and possibly to drive out any residual cleaning products it may be contaminated with, just in case.

 

If nothing else, be sure to filter the hell out of it before running it through a saw (I wouldn't run old fryer oil through mine at all). You might want to consider just cutting the trees and inoculating the wood with a spore slurry or growing a PF TEK style jar using sawdust instead of rice flour, then breaking up the cake and using it as spawn (sandwich-style between a few rounds cut from the stump).

 

Traditional inoculation methods would be easier for such a small-scale project; the spore-infused bar oil seems best suited to cases where growing fungi wasn't the primary goal (it's more like a concession to the inevitability of large-scale logging; if it's going to be done anyway, might as well try to make it a little less devastating to a habitat and use the infused oil).

 

In any case, good luck in whatever you ultimately decide to do...

 

 

 

*Don't really do that. Makes it hard to find decent assistants, among other problems.


Edited by TVCasualty, 17 April 2015 - 11:39 AM.

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#6 hobojordo

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 03:48 PM

Hey thanks for the reply - you know alot more about ailanthus than i ever did! ha... ill do some experements...      And the oil i found is unused - still in gallon jugs, and i was just trying to think of a good thing to do with it...

 

Just found some morels today also - cut the bottoms off ...any ideas to help them spread through the woods? Just blend them up with some water and pour it around in potential places?



#7 Needles

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Posted 17 April 2015 - 10:40 PM

Hey thanks for the reply - you know alot more about ailanthus than i ever did! ha... ill do some experements...      And the oil i found is unused - still in gallon jugs, and i was just trying to think of a good thing to do with it...
 
Just found some morels today also - cut the bottoms off ...any ideas to help them spread through the woods? Just blend them up with some water and pour it around in potential places?

I had someone tell me the best way to spread morels was to tie a string on one and drag it across the ground. If you can clone one and get a good isolate going, morels like ryegrass seed and coffee as spawn. That might work. I never had any luck with fruiting morels from clones, but I do enjoy going out into the woods to find them. Enjoy your harvest.....
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