Foaraging & Cultivating

bloodrootMy bloodroot is up as well as twin leaf, and trout lilies.

I believe last night will be the last of the cold weather. The forecast is for warming with highs near 60 and lows approaching high 40’s or 50 over at least the next five days. There is predicted rain for Friday and Saturday as the warm front moves through. Therefore, I predict great conditions for the annual AMC morel foray next weekend. I will be scouting, and maybe picking, beginning Sunday. Right now vegetation, including trees like poplars, seemed poised on the brink of popping out leaves. You can see a slight green tinge to distant canopies. In the meantime . . . . .

chickenlogI’ve always been a fungi forager and not a mushroom grower, BUT we have to stay flexible in life. Right? Now that I’m work at Everything Mushrooms I figure I need to learn the products. So, I’ve started a few projects at home. Thought I would share a bit. About 2-3 years ago a scarlet oak fell in back of the house and bridged a low area so that a long section in the middle of the tree has been off the ground. This year I plugged it on shitakelogone end with shitake skipped about 8-10 feet and then plugged it with Chicken of the Woods.

I also plugged two shitake logs. This picture shows how I have them off the ground using the wire inserts for election campaign yard signs. Since I’m running for re-election I have extras. This way, I can rotate the logs as well as make more fruiting surface avaible vs. “ricking them”.

The next project was to use a wood and wood chips to make a wine-cap Stropharia patch. Around July, we should see how it works. The pictures that follow chronicle the steps I took.

chipsSoaking chips for three days to kill off aerobic bacteria and juice up the substrate

 

 

 

 

strophariaframeThe frame . . . .

 

 

 

 

wc1

The frame with a bed of chips, along with a bag of spawn made using wood shavings and poplar chips

 

 

 

 

wc2The spawn is sprinkled around the chip base fairly evenly

 

 

 

 

 

wc3The left side of the frame shows another layer of chips was then added.The right side shows the chip/spawn mix covered with wet, rotting leaves from the bottom of my leaf compost pile. It also serves as camouflage from the skunks that love to forage in my wood chip paths.

pearl1

 

 

 

 

Pearl oysters on the back porch. The bag has been hanging all winter. I dipped it in a 5 gal bucket of water and hung it up. A few warm days started a flush.

 

phoenix

 

Also some Phoenix oysters.

 

 

 

THE END (for now)  Morels are coming :-) !!!!