March 17, 2010 – “Planting” Oyster Mushrooms

Today was a great day to “plant” oyster mushrooms.

First step is to have a tree in mind.  Oysters do well in soft maples.  It’s best to find a “tree that doesn’t have a future.”  In this case, the scrawny silver maple between the walnut on the left and silver maple on the right meets that definition.  The photo on the left is before the tree was cut down, and the one on the right, after the tree came down.

The tree was cut up into lengths and moved to the yard for processing.

First step is to drill holes about two inches apart all around the log.  The bit has a special collar to drill exactly the right depth into the log.

Here’s the “seeds,” in this case Italian Oyster spawn impregnated on wooden dowels.

The dowels are pounded into the logs with a hammer.

Since it was a beautiful day, and it’s hard not to multi-task, while the wax was melting, part of dinner was on the grill at the same time.  We used to use regular paraffin wax in the past, but heard that beeswax works better, so here we’re melting a bit of both and will see which one works better.

Martin is applying the wax to seal up the log – all the plugs and cut surfaces need to be sealed up to conserve moisture in the log.

A completed log.  I’ll move the logs to a cool, shady place and wait a few months for the mushrooms to pop!

one year ago…”Washer Broke”

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