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Not really plants, but...

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by l4nsky, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. l4nsky

    l4nsky Arachnosquire Active Member

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    This seems like the best forum to discuss the growing of other things. Does anyone here practice fungi culture, the growing of edible and medicinal mushrooms? I've done it for a few years and I stick primarily to the Pleurotus sp as they are some of the easiest species and my home temperatures are best suited for all stages of their life cycle. Here are a few pictures;

    These are Blue oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus). Its easy to see why they have a cult like following lol. 20160326_193924.jpg
    Sadly, they lose a lot of this coloration as they mature when they are grown indoors.

    These are my favorite species to work with, golden oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus citrinopileatus). They retain a lot of their color, thrive in higher temps, and have a rather spicy flavor in comparison to other oysters. They go great in stir fry. 20160326_193903.jpg 20160330_193110.jpg 20160403_195826.jpg

    These are the most common variety of oysters, called pearl oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus). These are one of the more commonly wild harvested north American mushrooms, right up there with the various coveted morel species.
    20160328_193844.jpg
    Sadly, they like cooler temperatures and due to the heat in my growing chambers, they usually have rather elongated stems and low yields. They look and perform much different when grown outside in cool temps. 20160424_175336.jpg 20160426_154729.jpg

    These are white Elm oysters (Hypsizygus ulmarius). They are my favorite for more robust dishes as they are very meaty.
    20160328_193854.jpg 20160403_195932.jpg 20160403_220456.jpg
    So, anyone else dabble in this highly detail oriented and exacting hobby?

    Thanks,
    --Matt
     
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  2. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnodemon Old Timer

    No,but i am intresting in mushroom both in food and as a plant! and often beeing out in the woods collecting! I would like to grew Shiitake and Oyserskivling!! I live in Sweden and using swedish snut! I have been doing my own snus for 10 years! In snus you have to use a base for nicotine to get free and make it easier for the blood to take it up! Traditionally in swedish snus, kaliumkarbonat has been used! Or potash!! BUT now i have learned that the alaskan eskimå uses something called punkash in their snus! Punkash is the ash from burned Eldticka! I dont rememberits scientific name, but Eldticka is growing on treetrunks in the forrest! I got a friend who send me a can os snus made with punkash (he had made some) and boy! Was it strong and tasty!
    So now when the spring is coming i will go out in the woods collecting eldticka!
     
  3. l4nsky

    l4nsky Arachnosquire Active Member

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    Just be cautious collecting wild mushrooms, especially those that have several look a likes. I did some research on Eldticka (Phellinus igniarius) and it's a polypore bracket fungi. There are quite a few of those and you want to make sure you get the right ones. I'd recommend a very good field guide.

    Thanks,
    --Matt
     
  4. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Yes we have a few diffrent Ticka here in southern Sweden! But my father is a skilled and avid mushroom collecter! He will help me!
     
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  5. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I grew oyster and portobello mushrooms in high school. I keep meaning to get back into fungiculture, since I think it's very cool; I just sort of haven't gotten around to it, and I don't have a lot of space at the moment. I'm interested in growing species that I haven't tried, like Macrolepiota procera; the coolest thing would be growing Calvatia gigantea, but I suspect that would be quite the space issue. If I ever have a garden I'd like to plant a few ectomycorrhizal trees and grow chanterelles, porcinis, etc.

    @l4nsky One question about propagation. Back when I was growing oyster mushrooms, I started with one of those store kits, and then I added more cardboard every once in a while and threw out old stuff when I ran out of room to expand. Eventually, the mycelia lost a lot of their growing vigor. I've read that this is something that often happens. Do you have this problem, and if so, what's your workaround?
     
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  6. l4nsky

    l4nsky Arachnosquire Active Member

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    What you're referring to is called strain senescence. It happens to mycelium when the culture goes through multiple expansions (like 4 +) on the same material. I don't really have this problem because I limit my expansions (petri dish to 4 pint jars of sterilized grain, to 16 quart jars or 4 spawn bags, to 8 fruiting columns) and I dont treat the fruiting mycelium as a perpetual organism, as it's not really their life style. The spores germinate, grow vegatatively, fruit, drop more spores, and the cycle continues. My process starts with a mycelium culture in a syringe. I'll then grow out the mycelium on agar, and select the most vigorous mycelium for cultivation. Then I grow the selected mycelium out on more agar to create my starter spawn. Once I have this starter spawn, I do two things. One is I take the majority of it and transfer the agar wedges to sterilized grain to start the process of exponentially increasing the mycelium for cultivation. The second thing I do is create and inoculate a few agar slants, a test tube of agar cooled on an angle, with a popsicle stick, and a lid a quarter turn loose sealed with Parafilm (to allow air flow and maintain sterility). I let the mycelium grow til it has covered half the tube, then pop them into the fridge. These are my starter cultures. Now, when I finish a spawn run, I place the old blocks outside to try and get one or two more flushes (they have a tendency to contaminate after 3-4 flushes indoors as the mycelium gets weaker and I want to maintain a clean environment) before they get incorporated into garden soil, bring a starter culture back up to room temp, take a little out on to a few agar dishes, then pop the slant back into the fridge. The only time I have to worry about strain senescence is when I've had to remake slants for the same strain. Then all I do is change the nutrients in the agar media and I'm good for awhile.

    As for what I want to grow, well I'm a dreamer. I want to be the first to crack Ophiocordyceps sinensis for commercial cultivation. I also want to find a more reliable method for inoculating ectomycorrhizal mycelium to healthy trees for Tuber melanosporum cultivation. The amount of research I've done on both topics is.... extensive.

    Thanks,
    --Matt
     
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  7. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I’ve wanted to grow some mushrooms for a LONG time. You all May have just motivated me enough to finally attempt it :)
     
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  8. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoking Active Member

    Close enough to plants lol. This is a fascinating thread, I hadn't thought about trying to grow mushrooms before.
     
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  9. l4nsky

    l4nsky Arachnosquire Active Member

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    Give it a try. It's rather easy to start at first, as they have kits available that take the vast majority of the work out of it ( like the ones that @schmiggle has used). You'll get a chance to see the complete life cycle and reap the fruits they sow without diving as deep as a pressure cooker, laminar flow hood, parafilm, petri dishes, and scalpels.

    But where to after that? I mean the kits are easy, but the species available are rather limited. What is a budding mycologist to do? PF Tek. When you google it, don't be alarmed. While the technique was originally created for "magic" mushrooms, it is possibly the single most important advance in amateur mycology to date. Using just a pressure cooker, some jars, band aids, envelopes, RTV silicone and a commercially supplied sterile syringe full of mycelium, you can create spawn for virtually any species you want, just vary the substrate under the dry vermiculite layer to suit (if anyone takes it this far, I know a few really good tricks for using this technique, just message me). After you have the spawn, you wont be able to do spawn expansion without a clean environment, but you can go right to the pasteurized fruiting substrate (for oysters, I use straw).

    From here, the skies the limit really. Get a few good books, look into making a glovebox or laminar flow hood, invest in more jars, bags, an impulse sealer, petri dishes, test tubes etc. Find the species you want to grow and research. Keep reading, keep learning, and keep experimenting.

    A parting note, in this hobby, attention to detail is very important. A simple mistake introducing a contaminant can destroy months of work. It should go without saying, but cleanliness is akin to godliness.

    Thanks,
    --Matt
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  10. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I worked with a mycologist a few years ago who thought fungi had enough protein that they should be stored like insects, to which they're phylogenetically closer than they are to plants. Lest anyone forget their lowly, bottom feeding origins in the tree of life...
    Thank you, this is really good information! You sound serious indeed. Can you switch strains more or less indefinitely?

    Re: Ophiocordyceps: have you been trying to grow them on caterpillars or on an artificial medium? Seems to me the major things to keep in mind would be a. low temperature to induce fruiting and b. limited amount of space for any individual mycelium to grow if you're growing on artificial culture. A lot of the fungi that grow on space limited resources only fruit when they have nowhere else to go, and an insect is a very space limited resource.

    Even if it's an option, I probably wouldn't grow on grains and such, because the fungus may not produce all the chemicals you're looking for.
     
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  11. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

  12. l4nsky

    l4nsky Arachnosquire Active Member

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    More or less. I try to bring the cultures back online and make new slants once a year or so. Even under refrigeration, they still grow albeit at a much slower rate, and need new media. Every now and then, I'll have a culture that will crash for unknown reasons or just doesnt display the same vigor anymore. Usually when that happens, it's not a big deal. The hobbyist level mycelium syringes I use are like $30 at most. To circumvent this problem, the big boys with the high dollar strains like culture banks and large scale commercial growers actually use cryopreservation with liquid nitrogen. There is also another method for storage, one that I haven't tried. Its storage in sterilized, distilled water. I've looked into it a little because there are some major pluses, like storage at room temp and virtual indefinite storage as the culture goes into a sort of suspended animation with access to water but no nutrition. The only downside is nothing's visible. You wont be able to see contamination until you streak some of the water across a petri dish.
     
  13. The Mantis Menagerie

    The Mantis Menagerie Arachnosquire Active Member

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    I grow two type of fungi currently, and I am trying to get a third to grow in my culture. I have bioluminescent Panellus stipticus and Pleurotus eryngii growing quite well on wood chips. I am trying to get Trametes versicolor to start growing from the fruiting bodies I have collect, but I have been unsuccessful so far. The Pleurotus eryngii and Trametes versicolor are for making kinishi to feed stag beetle larvae, and the Panellus stipticus is just for the glow.
     
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  14. Galapoheros

    Galapoheros ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    I'm interested in fungi/mushrooms. I've collected giant puffballs and Boletes from my yard. Slice them up, garlic butter, salt ...weeeeedoggy!
     
  15. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoknight Active Member

    Very cool! I would love to keep some of the bioluminescent fungi in a jar and just have it glowing at night; @The Mantis Menagerie, where did you get your Panellus stipticus?

    Thanks for sharing,

    Arthroverts
     
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