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

First spring mushrooms

Oyster mushroomI'd been watching a wild oyster mushroom budding out of a fallen snag in the floodplain for a couple of weeks, but something ate it before I thought it was big enough to pick.  So I was thrilled to find an oyster mushroom growing on a stump on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Asheville during the Organic Grower's School.  I broke the oyster loose and put it in my coat pocket, where I surprised myself throughout the day by putting my hand in the pocket and touching a damp, slimy object.

Easy way to propagate oyster mushrooms at home

Bowl of oyster mushroomsHome at last, the mushroom was a bit battered and dirty from its long ride, but I figured it was in good enough shape to start up my cardboard propagation again.  After soaking cardboard, separating the corrugated center from the flat outer layers and layering the mushroom butts between the corrugated cardboard sheets, I wandered outside to think about our cultivated mushrooms.  And there I found yet more oysters ready to eat!  Both Pohu and Blue Dolphin had sent out several fruiting bodies.  I used up our last container of frozen mushrooms two weeks ago and was just wishing for more to go in our lasagna --- good thing our mushroom logs came through.

Our homemade chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.

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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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