Hello, I am your farmer Dale
Stepping sideways in time, we have been using a modern way of inoculating our logs. Our way is faster but needs a varmint (any wild animal that eats corn) proof container for protection. The time saved per log allows to offer a lower price.
Inoculating mushroom logs the old fashioned way, there is no smell to attract varmints like mice, rats and squirrels.To compare the speed of first flushing of mushrooms, we are putting this bunch of logs into our heated building with logs inoculated our newish way.
Not stepping so far sideways as to lose power tools we drilled holes every 6” along the log.then turned the log about 1 third of a twist. More holes and then again another final row. I made the mistake of not trading hands to drill half the holes with my left hand. Sure hurt the next day. Thank goodness for our little spaberry hot tub.
After disinfecting a hammer and our hands with a weak bleach solution we Inserted the plugs using the hammer.
Using melted beeswax it was easy to cover over the plugs.
All that was left to do is wrap and staple plastic to keep the logs moist in our heated building. The wrap also protects the log from the wild spores including mold. Our storage building has two hepa filters, one to clean the air coming in and one to continually scrub the inside air. Contamination in growing mushrooms is a very large problem and needs a very mindful approach.
The process of growing mushrooms reads so easy and makes one think, I can do that and it is true but…………. Finding a woodlot where trees can be cut is only the first step. Cutting down the trees and bucking them up into 4’ lengths is fairly easy with a chainsaw. The logs are 6” – 12” around so they weigh about 25 lb each. Sounds not that heavy until you carry a cord of them to your truck. That is about 60 logs or 1500 lb to move over usually rough ground. Then the rest of the tree must be bucked to 16” wood stove length. Even the little 2” branches are used as kindling or for hot fires in a wood cookstove. That means another 1500 lb to pick up and take back to someones farm to dry and use as firewood. To process a cord takes a long day of hard labour or two humans half a day plus time to unload.
Then pick up each log again to inoculate it, turning and spinning lifting until wrapped. Then lift into a wheelbarrow, push to building then carry in. Like most things farmers do the effort lasts only a few days then we move on to a different task. Just when your muscles are getting used to the task it ends. What happens to your body, is described by mixed martial artists, as getting farmer strong. I love the idea of hosting fitness classes doing farm work creating a full body workout. I call it hoeing for health and although I have yet to find a student for this free class, I amuse myself by doing full body workouts in the garden.