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Amara

Success with agar but not wood

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So coming back home I found a small amount of mycelium growing on the agar solution for elm Oyster, blue Oyster, and wild shaggy manes. I also got good prints of the king Oyster and fall Oyster. I have a liter of spore solution for shaggy manes left, so if it colonizes well, I may have to focus on the shaggy manes.

However I'm not sure if I should be disappointed or if something is wrong. I had a lovely chainsaw day and got oak sawdust, sterilized it, and was hoping to start elm oyster and shiitake, but there appears to be nothing happening after 5 days on the elm oyster, an three days on the shiitake.

I sterilized the medium. Cooled it, bagged it, and added the spores from a print on paper (mixed in shredded paper). The bags have an air vent, are at room temp in the dark. Don't appear to be accumulating water at the bottom. Am I doing something wrong? The spores in Agar are from the same batch except the elm oyster spores on glass and was added with distilled water to carry.

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Today I got the smallest white fuzzy bits on wild oyster bags from a few days ago. Some of the oyster I collected and wood bits stuck to the base with mycelium on them, so I mixed them in with fresh wood chips and also raised the humitity 5%. I also tried starting some logs outside. The agar solution did do okay until a point, but I think I need a pressure cooker to sterilize them. Or can a spore culture be contaminated straight from the mushroom?

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The oak bags are still growing. This would be after a dozen trials of failure to get anything to grow.

I kept a couple bags of fresh mushrooms, or once were fresh mushrooms, in the fridge to eat, but a week went by an I ran out of Oyster mushroom receipes. I tried really hard to get those sterilized chainsawed woodchips to grow to a quarter size now at each site of contamination of spores, but where it really did well was at the bottom of my fridge....

I feel like for one, I tried too hard. Secondly I still have no concept of ideal temperature per mushroom species other than what I gauge from wild behavior, and I'm not really sure why some spore prints are viable and others do nothing at all.

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I just want you to know I am very interested reading this and eagerly await more results!

I remember when I tried to casually brainstorm some simple, but important experiments on fungi I could conduct one of the first to come to mind was seeing what I could get to grow on agar plates then testing what conditions (most notably temperature) are ideal.

You're getting me those results without any investment from me. Thank you! :)

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I got Oyster growing the same way I get all my food items to gain fuzz; put in paper bag, put in bottom drawer, forget about it:p

in all seriousness the agar eventually failed.ill be redoing the agar solution now that i have more receipes and new spores. I had whole mushrooms in the fridge in a paper bag to grow mycelium (I tried wood chips, in the log, agar, cardboard, ect), but I'm getting little button looking things before the bag is totally over grown. I'm trying to figure out how to make mycelium grow faster, and how exactly I stimulate it to grow fruit and how to prevent premature fruiting. I don't know what temperture to grow mycelium or fruit at which I think is part of the issue

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I have attached a photo from a more recent trial (wild oyster, grown in refrigeration, started with spores) which smells fine, in growing a nice color and texture and seems okay to use and move on to a cardboard getup to expand the mycelium and hopefully get it to fruit. I tried growing spores at room temp, but found it got moldy despite going through the same sterilization process as the fridge trials.

The second photo is of a trial started with stem pieces, which grew little mycelium, but appears to have a button like growth, which might be bacteria but could be baby mushrooms. Except it was in the fridge so I don't understand why it would be fruiting. If it is or isn't, ill take the speculation. I'm trying to learn on my own, to get a solid grasp on the whys of mushrooms, so this is all trial and error

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So since my last post I divided out my mycelium and started them in different apparatuses.

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The one is Styrofoam with breathing holes. It was done with cardboard medium. It is boiled, pulled apart, wrung out, and crinkled together (the cardboard)

A big issue I had was previous mycelium would die outside of refrigeration. It was found that despite distillng the tap water, the water was still a culprit. The bottled water seems to be working.

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The cardboard apparatus is started with two 1x1cm pieces of infected paper started since last post. Had a mild kill off when my husband upped our home temp 1 degree and the top layer lost hydration :(

I also added two 1x1cm infected paper samples to oak distilled with bottled water. Last time I used oak to start spores it just went moldy. Starting it chilled seems to be working.

Will be moving on to agar soon with Enokis.

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It's amazing that something found in nature living under harsh circumstances is so hard to grow with purposeful help. You are making lots of progress and showcasing it well. Great! I'm still eagerly following.

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Well, the mycelium I grew from wild oyster, which from what I have noted is slow growing. It is very difficult, as I have several strains of bacteria and fungus in my home and the risk of cross contamination is fairly high. Cross contamination is a big time killer for the fungi thus far at startup. The other thing that held back some samples was tap water. where I live, it's not just chlorine, but nickle and endless loads of crap. so I wasn't surprised.

I had several containers full of mycelium, around a pound of cardboard material in total after transferring the mycelium spread on paper. took around 2 months to spread out on cardboard. It took well, spread nice and white, the biggest danger I noted was water logged material, and dehydration.

Having the material being "deep" (4"x6"x6") worked less well than material that was spread thin (1.5"x6"x4.5"). the thinner material was harder to keep hydrated, but in the right setup, was more consistent throughout and grew around 25% faster per weight of material.

It grew better in general in a cooler area. Room temperature apparatuses may of grew a bit faster, but the amount of damage caused by bacteria in the environment, dehydration, general unknowns made it less successful.

It would almost be better to hang it in mesh or something, with a plastic bag around it like a tent. There is an issue with this layout, but it would solve a problem. All I want to do right now is pin out my danger zones, and figure out what helps it. I know what kills it, I have killed tonnes of trays now. I'm assuming the best course of action to get fruit is not to kill it. Once I can grow it flawlessly, it will be scaled down to single serving, so I can start some mushrooms every time I eat mushrooms. I want to make the setup as care free as possible. Different start times will hopefully give me rotation, because I don't want big batches; I collected pounds and pounds of oyster mushrooms.... I've been eating them for as long as I've been growing them, and the encouragement factor is diminishing.

Half the material that was grown was placed into slots in prepared oak logs that are being grown by my outdoor shower. The weather warmed up, I checked the material on one slot, and it appears stable. The containers inside began to form little fruit (containers that contained stems fruited, but not spore started).

Now, about a serious warm-up in February. I'm always surprised I never read about this threat, in cheese making, mushroom growing, sprouts..... but everything I had inside was attacked by little fruit flies in the middle of a warm winter and my mycelium cultures were decimated within a couple of days. I can show a picture but it is awful.

So I have king oyster to start tonight, and will be going for a long walk to get more wild oyster mycelium, which I realize now can be frozen to start cultures potentially, unless someone wants to correct me. I might sneak a peak at other people's experiences tonight with oysters to see how the work I did matched up.

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This is today's layout. I am using mycelium samples from king Oyster on hardwood, over to brown paper to expand and fruit.

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I haven't worked much with king Oyster. today I am also testing a very diluted citric acid solution.

Paper is boiled to sanitize. Wrung out well. It shouldn't drip.

Mushroom mycelium is spread on the paper, the the paper is rolled up.

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I am looking at single serve size containers to grow many in smaller portions so it works better for a self sufficiency layout. The coffee filters are working well so far to keep moisture in. Hopefully it will keep fruit flies out

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If it is consistent with previous prototypes, it should take under a week for the mycelium to spread out to a notable amount

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