Every Friday we share some snaps from our 333-acres in Kutztown, PA. Our photographers? The staff members who keep this farm chugging along. Enjoy a sneak peek at what’s going on here at Rodale Institute!
Have you ever wanted to learn how to inoculate a log with mushrooms? Well, today is your lucky day!
First, you need logs from a tree that has been dead for at least two weeks, but no longer than six months. Before two weeks, the log may retain some of its anti-fungal properties and try to kill the mushrooms. After six months, the log may already be home to new fungi that your mushrooms would have to compete with.
Volunteer Coordinator Kate Harms shows ASC interns Sima Pirooz and Taylor Adam woodchips and cardboard covered in mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus, that in this case will eventually bear mushrooms. (When two compatible homokaryotic mycelia love each other very much…)
These wooden dowels are also covered in mycelium, and will be inserted into the logs in order to grow mushrooms.
Kate demonstrates how to properly drill holes in the diamond formation while Compost Production Specialist Rick Carr steadies the log and holds a ruler so that she knows how far apart to drill the holes.
Plant Production Specialist Sam Moll invokes the spirit of Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his lesser-known films: The Innoculator.
Kate puts the first dowel into the log.
While Kate gets the dowels into the log, we have wax warming in a water bath. We’ll seal the dowels into the log by applying the wax with a paintbrush.
Kate applies the wax to the log. Signed, sealed, delivered – I’m spores!
Sam celebrates the successful inoculation with a handstand – because he’s a funguy.
Don’t forget… Show your organic love!