Monday, June 28, 2010

Oyster mushrooms

The latest super cool addition to the Algarden is the Oyster mushroom towers.

We used two strategies, one is a wire cylinder and the other one is just a waxed card board boxes with holes on the sides. you can see both of them next to me.

I got the mycelium from Kengi at Sunnyside Organics, who had gotten it for free from BTTR Ventures  
"a 100% sustainable urban mushroom farm founded in Berkeley, CA  by two 2009 grads from  UC Berkeley.  BTTR grows its gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds from Peet's Coffee & Tea and is currently diverting over 7000 lbs a week from the landfill.  Fresh, local, and healthy food for the community" - from their web site 

The mycelium that I got was spent, meaning it had consumed all the nutrients in the coffee grounds, the bags were completely white, the mycelium completely covered the coffee grounds. Basically it was past its prime and could no longer be sold, so we got it for free.

I got the idea to grow mushrooms from my permaculture class. I had a few bags of pure Ash and Walnut wood shaving that Rob had saved for me from his shop. I asked one of my teachers what would be the best use of that material for the garden ans he said: grow mushrooms!
I was wondering how to get started and where to get the mycelum and on my last visit to get plants at Sunnyside Organics Kenji just handed it to me, a lot of it -Ask and you shall receive.

I watched a few videos on youtube on how to do this, most videos had very complicated steaming processes to secure a sterile environment, but since the mycelium was ready to grow we just went for it. This picture shows the wire tower with the mycelium sandwiched in between the wood shavings. I also added a cooper ring at the base because slugs were loving the moisture and eating the mushrooms.

This images shows the waxed cardboard box with holes on the sides for the mushrooms to grow out.

This one mushroom growing on the side of the cardboard box weight 1 pound!!!
So many mushrooms, how do I convince my boyfriend to like them?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Foodscaping 101 class at the Algarden

 This summer I'll be teaching an organic gardening with permaculture principles class: Foodscaping 101

The class will be 10 sessions on Thursday nights from 6 to 7:30pm. starting July 15th and going till Sept 23rd to celebrate the Autumn equinox. (no class on Sep. 2nd)
 The class will be hands on gardening and a fun space to share. I want to leave this class ready to convert your strip of weeds into a food forest or whatever you want.

The class space will be limited so sign up soon and tell your friends.