This is likely to be close to the last indoor mushroom fruiting, although I still have the bag of sawdust spawn I made and TP roll spawn, as well as 2 pt jars and 1 squat jar that are slowly growing. It's getting a bit too warm inside, plus the sun is starting to reach the WNW window where I set up the Mushroom Room:
I've put the large block of spawn originally growing in the pasta pot insert outside. Another experiment (of course!
) -- broke it up and packed it mixed with wet straw in a largish corrugated cardboard box, which was just the right dimension to fit stacked flakes of straw. Luckily it rained today so the CCBbox was also completely soaked, as was the pile of straw that I covered it with. It's sitting in an area of the garden that I'm pretty sure will remain mostly shady and relatively moist since there was a big puddle there already.
I have to figure out what to do with the spores and clones. I have one of the jars in front of me -- Oyster spores grown on Rice Syrup Yeast Agar -- that has been completely taken over by green mold. The others are still doing well -- some have thoroughly colonized the agar block -- in the original jars inside my "clean room" tub. They need to be "leaped off" to the next substrate.
Things are getting pretty busy around here with spring seed starting and all, but I should really try making some grain spawn, THEN figure out what to do after that. Grain spawn is fast growing and good for inoculating bran fortified sawdust substrate or wooden plugs. Sawdust spawn is good for inoculating logs and stumps (especially if the sawdust consisted of same wood species) though you need proper tools to inoculate logs. Plug spawn is the easy way to inoculate logs -- all you need is a drill and a rubber mallet with beeswax or cheesewax to seal them in.
I still really want to start some Shiitake on oak logs. I have to get those branches cut down and order some shiitake plug spawn. I emailed Field and Forest for strain recommendations and they said if I start them early spring this year, they should fruit next summer. I'm forced to make some budget cuts, so I'm foregoing the H. ulmarius/Garden Oysters this year, but will continue to experiment with the Pearl Oysters since I've got so much growing. (My concern is that the very aggressive nature of these Pearl Oysters that make them relatively easy for a beginner like me, might mean they'll "take over the garden".... or not. Maybe it'll mean they'll survive, despite me and all my bumbling
and become a welcome addition to my garden edibles.