Friday, April 10, 2015

5 week break - Day 14 cultivating oyster mushrooms

Back in 2013 I did a course with Milkwood Permaculture in cultivating mushrooms.  I have neglected it over the past year more or less but hey, as I'm on leave I've had the time to start up my cultures again.

Mushroom science 101:

Take an existing mushroom, cut some tissue from the inside and place in a petri dish of agar (seaweed gelatin and food for the growing fungi).  Leave until the dish is full of fluffy white fungi.  Transfer to grain to let it grow some more, then straw and let the mushrooms, or fruit of the fungi, to grow.  Add humidity along the way.

The course was wonderful. Day 1, I was convinced that I could never learn it.  The science hurt my head. If this was what high school science class had taught me I would have loved the classes.  All the theory in the world is useful if you can see no useful application for it. Please hear that science teachers out there.

Overnight I got determined and went back to the course with renewed vigour.  Some wonderfully detailed notes later as well as some practical experience and yes I can cultivate mushrooms from a tissue sample. See some of my other mushroom stories here.

So I got out my kit today, prepared my agar plates and let them cool. Then I took samples from my fresh oyster mushrooms.

Now I wait. I hope I achieved a suitable level of sterility so no foreign matter contaminates my dishes. I'll let you know when I get to the next stage.

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