Its been while in between posts I know.....
Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from Arts Sa to attend workshops at Fungi Perfecti in Washington State, USA.
These workshops were held at Fungi Perfecti farm which is owned and run by Paul Stamets and a team of educated mushroom enthusiasts. I attended two of these workshops, the first being Mushroom Cultivation where we were taught basically how to grow and culture mushrooms. The second workshop, Mycorestoration is about the use of fungi to help repair and restore ecologically harmed habitats.
The two days of each workshop were intense, but so inspiring and well worth the long hours of travel to get there.
The first mushroom siting was outside of my hotel room on the first day, waiting for my lift to the farm.
The growing rooms at Fungi Perfecti.
Paul Stamets addressing the class.
Here we were being shown how to inoculate different substrates for growing mushrooms in bags, as in the first images of the growing rooms. This particular mixture is of sawdust, millet and shitake mushroom spawn.
This is then put in bags of 5kgs, put on trolleys and wheeled in this large autoclave for sterilization. If doing this on a smaller scale you could use a large pressure cooker to sterilize the bags. After sterilization the bags are taken in to the labs to grow the mycelium and then to the growing rooms to grow the mushrooms.
Another way of growing mushrooms is to inoculate plugs with mushrooms spawn and put them in pre drilled holes in logs. This is shitake.