Austin Eschenwald

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since Jun 08, 2017
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fungi hunting food preservation
York County, PA
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Recent posts by Austin Eschenwald

Hello everyone!  We just bought a piece of land outside of Centralia and plan to move in the Summer.  We are building a house/bed and breakfast with natural building methods surrounded by a forest garden.  We are moving to the area with my in-laws to be closer to my wife's siblings and their families.  We currently live in Pennsylvania so we don't know anyone else in the area but are excited to make new friends!  Laura do you mind if I contact you by cell too?
2 months ago
Alright that makes sense.  So if I were to inoculate a 10x10 bed of wood chips how much mushroom mass and water would I need to blend?

And would it be best to cover the bed with another layer of chips to better maintain moisture?
1 year ago
Okay yea that is easy.  Do you have an estimate for your ratio of mushroom/gill mass to water to sugar?  I watched one video where if I remember correctly the guy said 1 cup or less of honey (or other sugar source) to a 5-gallon bucket of water and just one small to medium size mushroom is all that is needed.  And how long do you wait for the spores to multiply? 24 hours or less?
1 year ago
That is great to hear!  Do you have a "recipe" and procedure you follow that you could give?
1 year ago
Hi Kelly! Thanks for answering all of our questions!

What do you think about building a 4 ft earthbag "fence" around and small farm to protect livestock?  We are looking for a way to build a solid fence to keep predators out that we can construct ourselves, without fossil fuels.  Recycled materials would of course be fair game.  We are looking at fencing at least 4 acres, probably more though.  I know it would be a lot of labor but that is much less of a concern.
1 year ago
Thanks a lot both of you.  That book sounds awesome. I will definitely get it!

Have you tried Stamets' spore mass slurry method?  If so, did it work well?
1 year ago
Can anyone direct me to any information on early methods of mushroom cultivation?  I have read Paul Stamets’ books.  I have built an indoor, climate-controlled mushroom farm with a lab, but in spite of using reusable buckets instead of plastic bags, I don’t like how much energy/fossil fuels and other plastic and paper products I need to throw out and re-purchase.  My goal is to grow mushrooms in a closed loop system on a homestead with the lowest tech methods possible.  The only information I have been able to find so far is that the Japanese would sit new logs next to fruiting ones and let the spores from the fruiting mushrooms inoculate the new logs, and that you can take mycelium from a wood chip bed of king stropharia and put it in a new bed.  Zero-waste, no electricity/fossil fuels and complete self-sufficiency are higher priorities than maximum yields.  

Does anyone know of any other sources I could learn from?
1 year ago
My wife and I are actually starting a mushroom farm and will be in production by next month.  We have the same feelings about disposable bags so we decided to look around and found some other mushroom farms are using plastic food grade buckets with holes drilled in the sides.  I found a grocery store manager who sells his used bulk buckets on Craigslist.  He sold me 80 4-gal buckets with lids for $60 and he said anytime I need more I can just call him.  $60 at Home Depot will get you $10 5-gal buckets.  Below are what two people suggested for hole placement (we aren't going to use kitchen trash bags though, we will sterilize each bucket after use).  The downside to buckets are that you cannot see how far along the mycelium is during spawn running.  You have to watch closely for them to just start to pinhead and then take them into the grow/fruiting room.  If you want any more advice on starting a mushroom farm please feel free to ask!

Suggestions for hole placement:
For oyster mushroom hanging bags, I put 1/4-1/2" holes. I did 12 holes.
I did 4 evenly spaced holes in a circle at the top, middle, and bottom of the substrate.
So three horizontal circles. Space the center circle so its holes are below the empty spaces between holes in the top circle.
Place the bottom holes similarly below the empty spaces left by the center hole.

I have been using these for oysters for a bit over 5 yrs.  5/8" to 3/4" holes seem to work just fine.  
I use white kitchen trash bags to line the buckets and poke a small hole in the bag at each hole in the bucket.  
The bags do several things for you. Having just small holes in the bag will help the bucket maintain moisture and drastically reduced the amount of exposed substrate and possibility of contam.  
The bag also aids in the stuffing and compacting the straw in the bucket. Before I poke holes in the bag, I like to give the whole surface of the bucket a good wipe down with a bleach solution and allow them to dry.
2 years ago