Monitoring of the three sites that we included in our study concluded in September 2018.
We had good results with the Redwood Park, Oakland site of nineteen stumps with all stumps being sprout free since October 2017. In Tilden Park, Berkeley, we monitored sixteen stumps and fourteen of them were sprout free and two had diminished growth from our very earliest records.
The Orinda site is still a bit of an enigma in that of the twenty-nine stumps, fourteen are sprout free, some are greatly diminished, but about four have shown extreme vigor. We’re still questioning what it is about these four rogue stumps that has allowed them to still prosper while other inoculated stump growth is declining.
We realize that of the parameters we set on this early test some important variables were not accounted for and that overall a more detailed study on a larger scale is still called for. We hope to do this in a collaboration between East Bay Regional Parks Department, UC. Berkeley, Cal State East Bay and ourselves. Hopefully, this coming year.
Currently we are gathering new eucalyptus loving fungi and testing each one’s efficacy in the lab. Because of the diversity of the fungi found at our sites we hope to select the best performing two to work with in this future project. The candidates to date are Laetiporus gilbertsonii, Trametes versicolor, Stereum hirsutum, Chondrostereum purpureum, Crepidotus mollis and Phellinus gilvus.
Other variables to consider: slope, aspect, runoff, diameter, exposure, and precis measuring of sprout removal. We’re looking forward to it.
Now that you’ve built an oyster mushroom bag you’re probably wondering what to do with it? Follow these simple steps:
● Store your mushroom bag somewhere clean and temperate with little to no light for the next couple of weeks. Check on its progress periodically and allow for some air exchange if storage area doesn’t have good air flow.
(examples: closet, cupboard, shed or storage tote)
● Once the sterilized straw has turned white with mycelium, it has colonized and soon primordia (baby mushrooms) will form which is known as a “flush”.
● Find a nice spot outdoors to proudly hang your mushroom bag – any shady, wind protected, humid area where slugs and snails don’t have access, like under the canopy of a tree or on your covered porch. If that is not an option then try hanging it in a bathroom near the shower and by a window or in the kitchen area near the sink and by a window.
● If the environment is dry, create a micro-greenhouse by suspending a loose fitting opaque or transparent plastic trash or dry cleaning bag over your mushroom bag forming a tent. Try to create some space between the two bags by using some chopsticks or bamboo skewers with corks on the end. Make sure the tented bags are never in direct sunlight.
● At this point you will want to allow some air exchange and raise the humidity levels by occasionally opening up and spraying water into the tented mushroom bag chamber/micro-greenhouse once or twice a day.
● Harvest the mushrooms when they have reached the size of a sand dollar or about 2-4 inches in diameter as they tend to toughen up as they grow larger.
● After the first flush of mushrooms your bag will seem to go dormant, this is normal. Your mushroom bag will continue to produce mushrooms provided you rehydrate it between flushes. This is easily done by cutting a slit in the top of the bag and watering with a funnel/turkey baster where it hangs or by submerging your mushroom bag in a bucket of water overnight (4-12 hours) and hanging it back up.The first flush is always the most productive, each subsequent flush will produce about half as much as the previous.
● Sadly, all good things come to an end. Your mushroom bag will start to lose the battle with molds and mildews but there is still hope. Break it up into your compost heap or amongst a pile of woodchips and you may find a pleasant surprise at a later time!
Share your D.I.Y. Oyster Mushroom Bag photo’s and experience with us!
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