Sunday, May 15, 2016

Jounal May 15, 2016 - This and that

The annuals were placed in the ground yesterday, but they had already begun to bloom while still in the greenhouse.  It was so nice to see flowers after the long winter, that I could not resist urge to take a few photos.  From top to bottom: Zinnia Pulcino, Dwarf Dahlia and just a plain old Zinnia.
Needless to say it is frustrating to wake up each morning to find your garden dug up after you  have put so much effort into planting it.  The trail camera was put to use to find out just who the culprits were, and to no surprise it was squirrels.  I like animals as much as the next person, however, these critters are destructive and persistent; there is just no discouraging them.
 The fox family has kits to feed, so I am sure that they appreciated having the squirrels drop by for dinner. There has been no further damage since the culprits had their unfortunate accident while digging.
Last week while shopping at Home Depot my wife tossed a kit to grow mushrooms into the cart.  She says she has always wanted to try to grow mushrooms, so what the heck?  So far, the kit, seen on the right, has done nothing at all.  After doing some research online I decided to give growing them without a kit a try, so I purchased some mushrooms at the supermarket.

We watched a two part video on YouTube about growing them in used coffee grounds.  It said coffee shops will be glad to give  you their used grounds, and sure enough all  you have to do is ask.  They even provided the bags for God's sake!

The  video guy went through a lot of hoopla about getting mycelium to form on mushroom pieces on corrugated that he has supposedly pasteurized with hot water.  Yeah!

This person was stressing keeping a sterile environment, while rubbing his hands on everything and flopping things around on a table. Yeah sure!

This I could not believe: At the end of the second video there is a notice printed on top of the frame that says the process got contaminated and did not work.  Why the hell did he leave the whole video online?  No wonder it got contaminated the way he was tossing stuff around.

Anyway, I have no idea of whether this is going to work, but I decided to give it a try using the sterilization methods used in plant tissue culture.

Corrugated cardboard was cut into squares to fit a tissue culture vessel.

The pieces were soaked in water and the corrugated separated from the paper backing.

After sterilizing  the corrugated, containers and utensils under pressure, I placed small pieces of mushroom into a vessel between alternate layers of corrugated.  All of the above processes were carried out under a sterile hood.

The used coffee grounds have been sterilized and vacuum sealed to prevent contamination.  If, and when, mycelium forms on the mushroom pieces, I will place them into the coffee grounds, in a container sterilized with alcohol.

All parts of this experiment are being kept under cover, as sterile as possible, while waiting to see if  mycelium forms on the mushroom pieces.  I have no idea at all if this is going to work, but it should be interesting.

It would be nice if it did work, as mushrooms grow quickly, and once you have them going you can keep an endless supply coming along.

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