|three of six buckets filled with soaking straw (the bricks keep the straw submerged)|
|soaked straw, draining on wire screen. oak logs in background awaiting inoculation with shiitake spawn.|
i read about growing oyster mushrooms in nursery containers and since we've got a lot of nursery cans i thought it would be a good way to start---use what you've got on hand kind of thing.
|layering straw and spawn into #3 and #5 nursery cans|
the straw and the spawn were layered (first a layer of straw, then spawn, then straw...) until the containers were full.
|king oyster, Pleurotus eryngii, grain spawn on top of a layer of straw|
when the cans were full i stacked them into a little mushroom tower. i did this for each of the three varieties of oyster mushrooms so i ended up with 3 towers (a total of 6 cans).
|oyster mushroom nursery can tower 1 of 3|
i also decided to try making burlap mushroom bundles because i have burlap and because they seem like a really neat thing to me. i cut about a 4.5 ft length of burlap off the roll and dunked it in a bucket of water to get it damp. i spread some of the soaked straw on the burlap, then spread some spawn and rolled it up.
once i had the burlap rolled up i tied it closed with some sisal twine.
then i rolled it up from one end to the other using the tails of twine to tie it as i rolled.
and i ended up with a cute little bundle of potential mushroominess. i did this for each variety of oyster mushroom so i ended up with three bundles total.
not sure what i'll do with the bundles. they'd be good set into the mulch under a fruit tree in the orchard garden or maybe set into a pot in the greenhouse. we shall see. they were a lot of fun to make. right now i've got the towers and the bundles in a shady spot in the greenhouse keeping the snow peas company. i set the bundles on top of the towers to help keep them from drying out. the greenhouse isn't heated so the temperature fluctuates quite a bit from day to night but it stays humid in there and doesn't get too hot this time of year. if it seems like the greenhouse isn't a good environment i'll look for a more suitable location.
i'm excited to see what happens.