Yard Waste Mushroom Experiment
So a few weeks ago I raked up a pile of shrimp plants and dried palm fronds and ran a mulching mower over it a couple of times. The resulting "mess" was stuffed into a clear plastic bag and allowed to ferment in the sun for a month or so. I opened the bag and shook it every now and then to keep oxygen in the mix, and the stuff started breaking down really fast. Instant compost! I divided the resulting material and I tried three different methods of inoculation with mushrooms: Direct spore application from a portobello mushroom cap, liquid mycelium culture and mushroom tissue. As I expected, no activity from the portobello cap. The microbes living in the compost kept the spores from germinating and growing. This is actually a very good thing, since it means molds and other competitors can't get a foothold on the substrate. The liquid mycelium culture didn't do any better. I'm assuming it's because the mycelium colonies living in the nutrient medium were too small to fight off the compost microbes. Now, the last experiment, that's doing a bit better: The yellowish chunks are pieces of dried out oyster mushroom. The white areas are patches of fresh oyster mushroom mycelium. It should fully colonize in another week or so. Once it's done, I can use the resulting material to pack a new mushroom log, or I can just poke some holes in the sides of the bag and let mushrooms fruit directly from it.