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Kevin Hoover

Ok, Things Are Coming Together

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I have a friend who logs with horses, and he’s bringing me a dozen oak logs in late February. I have 100 count bags of blue oyster plugs, and a 100 count bag of shiitake plugs that my wife gave me for Christmas chilling in the basement fridge. 

Just got my order from Mushroom Mountain. Quick turnaround as I placed it on Sunday and got it on Wednesday. It was another bag of shiitake plugs, and Oysters, one bag each of Brown, Cold Blue, Warm Blue, Phoneix and Golden. And a pound of beeswax to seal the holes. 

Will soak the logs in the stream if it’s not frozen over before drilling.  And have to pick out a spot for them. I have a nice shaded area under Red Pines. Will that work?

Now I just have to get home to start. For the last month I have been helping an elderly uncle who has been having some medical problems. The upside of that is that he’s in the US Virgin Islands. I’ll be home next week. 

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:10 PM, Kevin Hoover said:

Will soak the logs in the stream if it’s not frozen over before drilling.  And have to pick out a spot for them. I have a nice shaded area under Red Pines. Will that work?

As long as they get ample moisture & ventilation (ventilation is important too) should be okay. I usually kept mine in a hardwood area because that's all I have on my property. It was great when there was foliage on the trees but when the foliage was gone I had to water them regularly if we had a dry spell especially in the spring. Since you're doing oysters and shiitake I would probably keep the logs separated just because the oysters colonize faster and once they fruit they give off a fairly heavy spore load and the oyster spores may colonize your shiitake logs if they are nearby.

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Oak is ideal for Shiitake.

It is extravagant for Oysters which prefer stuff like cheap poplar.

If your logs are big enough consider doing Maitake or Chicken of the Woods.

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In reading further, I don’t think logs inoculated with pink and yellow oysters will survive our winters here in central Pennsylvania, being both tropical species. 

But I have plugs for them, and I’d like to grow them this summer on straw beds. I drilled out several 5 gallon buckets to try that also. Can I use the plugs to inoculate straw in the buckets? I think it would take longer then grain spawn but I hate to waste them. Then after they fruit in the buckets, I’d use the bucket contents to the outside beds?

Or do you think they would do better in bottles and sawdust?

Or should I just send them to someone south of me who can use them?

Another question. I’m saving coffee grounds. Should I mix that with straw or sawdust?

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Try out the buckets.

If they fruit by autumn consider yourself lucky.

Then if you have the space, bring them indoors to prevent freezing, leave dormant over winter and then send outside again next summer

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I’m experimenting. I’ve been collecting coffee grounds (and filters, which I tore up) in a plastic coffee container. I put eight pink oyster plugs in it today, hoping to get a head start. If it works, I’ll inoculate 5 gallon buckets with it. Will keep adding coffee grounds daily. 

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I’ve been reading about growing them in quart jars. Started some on millet birdseed in mason jars, using golden, pink, Phoenix, wide range, cold Blue, and cold weather gray dove oysters. Started them with about 5 hardwood plugs in each jar, since that’s what I had. Also filled four jars with coffee grounds and started those too. All these were started 2/22 and all are showing mycelium forming. 

I bought a fifty pound bag of wheat and started 12 jars so far on that, split evenly between the pink and golden oyster plugs, as I’m trying to use them up. Also started two jars, one each, without sterilizing the wheat. All this was done on 2/25. 

So that’s 24 jars so far, and a lot of wheat left in the bag. Also got a load of sawdust. Will probably start a couple buckets with a sawdust and wheat mix. Have sawdust and grain spawn on order. Will wait for that. 

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Now up to 42 jars now. Experimenting with substrates and oyster species. So far I’ve used coffee grounds, birdseed, wheat and a 50/50 wheat/birdseed. First jar is now fully colonized and starting to pin. It’s a golden on birdseed started 2/22. 

 

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Ok. Finished filling jars last weekend. Now up to 55. Just got a shipment of spawn today from NorthSpore. Started 4 plastic buckets today, using soaked sawdust and a bag af their Black Trumpet (a cross).  Will do more later this weekend. 

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