a superuser's unpopular take on mushroom cultivation
this is gonna get me tarred and feathered...
after 4 or 5 years, this is my first post... first, let me say: thank you shroomery!!! i have spent many hours over the years on this site, and you guys have been incredibly helpful. i have much love in my heart for this community. i genuinely appreciate the effort it takes to share your knowledge with the rest of us.
having said that, i do have a bone to pick with the mycology community, in general:
i will never, ever, post pictures. at the end of the day,
given ultamatums, any website like this will share your contact info, ip adresses, whatever, if
they have it, with law enforcement. that is a fact.
the contam nazis. where do i begin? i have grown hundreds of thousands of shrooms in boarded up houses filled with canines, and dope plants, and holes in the floors, and busted toilets, and drafty everything, and every type of mold imaginable, somewhere in the house. i try to keep dogs seperated from the grow rooms, but you know how it is. i have only ever had contam problems a couple dozen times. i think big, i grow big, and i am willing to share with you my own personal take:
1. cobwebb mold. not a big deal. usually shows up on the casing layer when i accidentally have the press'n'seal wrap completely pressed on, when in an isolated growspace. can be removed by scraping it off with a fork, if you catch it within a couple days.
2. excess water in grain-spawn jars, who knows exactly what it is w/o a microscope, and you don't even want to open scary jars. especially at 85 degree and up temps, this is a problem. when you use houses in the extreme ghetto that you can outright buy for $10k, that were built in the 40's, your gonna have temp issues, it just takes some trial and error after basic experience with bulk-straw. contams can be kept to a bare minimum, easily, by washing your hands with soap/water and rubbing alcohol.
3. i don't know how many times i've read that you need to remove sunflower seeds and floating/cracked white millet from birdseed. you don't. the first time i had to get up close and personal with plumber's fish tape, the day after, because i can't call a plumber, i had to experiment. it's true that mycelium doesn't colonize sunflower seeds as well, but who cares. it's not a pf cake, it's spawn.
4. worm castings are great, and don't smell. the residence i actually reside in, is in the country, where i can fish and grow a garden. i love to use horse/cow shit for outdoor patches, but when i am at work, i use worm castings and straw wreaths you can buy at hobbylobby. they are dirt cheap and are less of a hassle, since they are already loose and workable w/o having to break up a dried pattie and work in a cloud of shit-dust, or have to wipe everything clean afterword. i like to cut straw in 1/2 inch and 1 inch pieces. i like to add quite a lot of vermiculite and about three quarts of oyster shells and one handfull of lime for every 4x8ft by 3in deep "pallet" that i make. 3in deep before compressing, anyway. a lot of the times i am too lazy to case, but when i do, i usually try something different every time.
i like to use 2x12inch boards along the floor, forming a box, with walkways in between. i use one 4x2ft heating pad for each one. even in the cold months, this does fine, even on wooden floors in an old shitty house on blocks. i pasturize the substrate in huge pillowcases in the biggest brewpot that acemart sells, with a gas cooker, like you use for frying fish. i found some creform sheets at a local warehouse, sort of cell-foam type things about 1/8 inch thick, that distribute weight really well, that i trimmed a little, and line the boxes i made on the floor with 6mil plastic and mix the substrate in the boxes, put duct tape along the top 2in of the boards(so the syran wrap will stick) and simply put the creform sheets on top of the substrate and walk around on them so as to compact the substrate. then i just lay out some 25kg freeweights i found at a junk yard on to the creform. compacting the substrate "really" does make the mycelium colonize more quickly. then all i do is use normal 12in wide press'n'seal plastic wrap and drape it over the boxes in strips. i don't bother trying to make the all of the 4 or 5 sheets of wrap stick to itself, i let those gaps, be the vehicle for gas exchange. i have had great success using 8ft flourescent fixtures with 4 tubes, for an entire room. i use 2 cool white bulbs and 2 grow bulbs. i tried using only cool-light for it's blue spectrum, but the mix seems to work better. it might just be the brand of bulbs i use, though, either the grow or cool white, i just don't know. i set them on a 12/12 on/off cycle. a couple layers of aluminum foil on the windows is a must, for me. light can get in and escape through particle board, or whatever, more than i would have thought. to dry them after harvest, i use kitty litter as a dessicant, sometimes i squish the shrooms. some people like them compact...that's about it, except for aborts. you need to keep an eye out for aborts. those things can be dangerous, although i've been lucky, i guess.
i have a few suggestions for anyone thinking about making a career out of this, i know a lot of people get dollar signs in their eyes when the realize how easy and simple it is to grow these things, and it's amazing when you can use a drug and wake up the next morning with more money than you had before you took that drug, but:
before you go buy a cadillac, set aside enough $$$ to bail yourself out on a $200,000 bond. go ahead and save up some more, it can't hurt to be a frugal and prodigious accumulator of wealth...
the sentences are pretty light, compared to contract killing or cooking meth, but these evil motherfuckers running shit, making lots of money, killing for nothing, and running the country, will put you in the same cell as a meth cook or contract killer.
i like to grow in the ghetto, the real ghetto, where 1000 black people get together at 2am in the local city park and drink and smoke, because it's wednsday, and naked prostitutes wander around at 2pm, the kind of places where i am the only white male i see, ever. i live in the south, btw. i like it like this for a couple reasons. it makes it a lot easier to see law enforcement coming. any law enforcement sticks out like a sore thumb, and you can just tell if something is not right. ghetto-ass black people are scared of dogs, and keep their mouths shut, and will not cooperate with the police. and do not, by and large, take hallucinogens, therefore, they are less likley to steal your harvest than your neighbor in the suburbs. also, it is easier to pay a tax to your local thug coalition than to worry about unknowns. you might be suprised how much love and respect you get and the relationships that can flourish. don't approach them, though, at least not until you have a first flush to show them. they will think you are a cop. the dogs just keep the crackheads from breaking in to sleep in the house. i recommend akitas, because they don't make a peep until they have something to bark about, ie: they won't piss off the neighbors by barking all day long, they will just bark at something that ain't right, and they will tear a new asshole in anyone they confront, they will mind you, to a point, and they are just awsome animals. akita > pitbull. i came in one afternoon and my puppygirl, chloe, whoe died a while back(she was the most feminine dog i have ever met, she had such a beautiful personality) presented to me, placing on my lap 2/3 of a human nose. some motherfucker had litterally stuck his nose in through a busted window in the back door, and lost it, when my dog bit him. you can't buy that type of advertising. motherfuckers will know not to fuck around. where i come from, though, that shit ain't even close to shocking.
the main thing i wanted to get across to the n00bs, in this post is that contams can and will happen, but to read this website, you might get the idea that it is some daunting fucking task to grow these things. it is not.
i grow cubensis, by the way. if i am trying to get closer to god, i eat pan/cyans. if i am just trying to party, i take lsd. i am also a huge fan of the weed strain, romulan. i suggest you check out this hardy and potent indica, if that's your thing.
farewell. please don't burn me at the stake. this will prolly be my first and last post. i just got sick of the contamination fear mongers. they are working too hard, IMHO.