The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Two Methods of Inoculating Mushroom Logs

Pounding shiitake plugs into a logTwo methods of inoculation

So now you've got spawn in some form or another.  What do you do with it?  This stage is called inoculation --- getting the spawn into its new growing medium.

The dowel spawn can be pounded into logs and stumps just like we did in February.  I suspect that cardboard or broth spawn could be turned into dowel spawn by mixing the two and waiting a while.

Innoculating oyster mushrooms with spore oil in a chainsaw.Another inoculation method which looks like fun is the spore oil technique, which works well for innoculating oyster mushrooms into logs.  Immerse your spores (from a spore print) in canola, corn, or safflower oil and use this spore oil in the chain oil compartment of your chainsaw when you cut new logs.  The spores are spread from chainsaw to logs, innoculating as you cut!  By my math, Paul Stamets recommends using about 20% of the spores from a single spore print to innoculate one liter (about a quart) of canola oil.

Of course, you can innoculate a log using both dowels and chain oil, which is supposed to be even more successful than using either technique alone.  Just be sure to use only one type of mushroom --- all shiitakes or all oysters.  (Or, if you're forest gardening and just want the decomposition powers of the fungi without eating them, some random mushroom you found in the woods!)

This post is part of our How to Cultivate Mushrooms for Free lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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