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The Puerto Method v1.2

This is a method for cultivating Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. It's more complicated than the MMGG but it works well and is easy enough for anyone to figure out, although it's not



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The documents In this archive are meant for historical research purposes only. The Shroomery will not be held liable for any failed attempts to cultivate using the Techniques herein. To find updated growing information and procedures please refer to the Getting started and General Cultivation links provided under the mushroom info tab of your home screen.



Teonanactal Flesh of the Gods

It is possible to live a lifetime within ConsensusReality. For some there is a scent in the wind that there must be something more. This paper describes a simple, efficient technique for growing a plant that can help identify what something more means. Consuming consciousness expanding mushrooms has been apart of religious practice in Northern Africa for 10,000 years and in Central America for at least the last 3,000 years. Why? This plant has the ability to help us discover and explore the lost continent of ourselves. Why as a culture have we held ourselves back? We hold beliefs that limit and filter our experience. And, as a corollary, the limited experience we have never challenges our beliefs. Teonanactl can interrupt that filtering process long enough to allow new experience to happen, and new beliefs to form.

As a result of the oppression of Cortez and the Catholic Church, much of the knowledge and history of mushroom practice was lost. The rediscovery of this ancient tradition did not happen until Blasius Paul Reko, and Austrian living in Mexico, wrote an article in 1919 describing the use of mushrooms by Mixtec and Mazatecan people. Richard Evans Shultes picked up the trail in 1937. Gordon Wasson made a trip in the hills of central Mexicoin 1955. He wrote an article that appeared in Life Magazine in May, 1957 that covered the use of mushrooms by the Huicol and Mazatec people. Terence and Dennis McKenna begin publishing in 1970.

When an asthmatic is wheezing hard and fighting to take the next breath, a few whiffs of oxygen can make a huge difference. It suddenly dawns on the sufferer that he can get enough air. He relaxes. Restricted airways open up, and he can breath easily unaided. The grip of Consensus Reality on all of us is a tight one. Habits of perception and understanding that are built over decades of time are almost impossible to put aside. Many of us require a few whiffs of "oxygen" to even imagine the possibilities that exist. Exposure to an external agent is a short term benefit. When it wears off, it is back to business-as-usual unless steps are taken to keep the door open. Finding our way to the Lost Continent is a process that involves three parts. First, invoking unbending will to accomplish the task. Second, building personal power through rest, meditation, diet, exercise, reduction of stress, etc. Third, testing beliefs to determine if they are useful, meaningful, and valid in order to build an open ended frame-of-reference that allows for unending exploration and discovery.

This method is a nearly foolproof way to grow Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. It offers an alternative to the Psilocybe Fanaticus technique (aka PF Tek).The Puerto Method does not grow on cakes, and the equipment and start up costs are slightly more that the PF Tek. However, the quality and quantity of mushrooms resulting from this simple technique are excellent. From start to finish, the whole process takes about a month but only requires 2 hours of work!

Get it all before you start. The equipment here should not cost more than $120.00 to purchase new. You should have most of the necessary equipment laying around in your garage. If you attain all the equipment below, you will be harvesting Teonanacatl mushrooms in four weeks!

Planting
Equipment for preparing the growing medium, inoculating the medium with spores, preparing the spores.

  • 10 cc Syringes - 2" needle. Cut off tips for safety. (Qty 10)
  • Petri dishes - use-once sterile plastic or glass - 100mmW 15mmH. (Qty 20)
  • Cardboard box - 18"L 12"W 12"H - varnish inside to protect from moisture. Cut out two arm holes - Tape a baggie over each arm hole on the inside to make a flap valve to stop air movement when your arms are withdrawn.
  • Clear plastic top for box. Available at hardware store in window glazing area.
  • Spray bottle - small plastic. Set for very fine mist.
  • Clorox bleach - small bottle
  • Pressure cooker - Presto 500 Preservation - 17 quart - 16.2 liter
  • Pyrex baking dishes (brownie dishes) 8 inch square. (Qty 2)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vermiculite - Peter's or Fisons - 1 lb
  • Organic brown rice flour - 1 lb
  • Organic brown rice - 1 lb
  • 2" Clear plastic packing tape
Gestation
For storing the spawning medium until the fungus has permeated throughout.
  • Cooler - with latch top 22"L 12"W 13"H
  • Jar - 2-4"W 8" H
  • Aquarium heater
  • Thermometer - small plastic household - as lightweight as possible.
Growing
Equipment needed to induce the spawn medium to fruit into mushrooms.
  • Aquarium - 10 gallon 20"L 10"W 13"H
  • Clear plastic top. Do not use glass. Available in the glazing section of a hardware store. Drill and bolt on 1 inch by 1 inch aluminum angle to prevent warping. Use the outside width of the Aquarium for the aluminum angle. Drill (2) 2" holes so they are inside the Aquarium and located in each corner of the long dimension.
  • Use one piece of tape and a baggie to make a flap valve over one 2" hole.
  • Ultra-sonic humidifier - Douglas Sonic Mist.
  • 2" flexible hose - 24" long
  • Funnel. Cut off the funnel so that it fits in the top of the exhaust of the humidifier. Cut the other end so that it fits inside of the 2" hose with the widest possible hole. Super glue the funnel and the hose together.
  • Humidifier Control Timer - 20 seconds on - 20 minutes off - plans provided - Radio Shack has a 4 on/4 off timer - Catalog #61-1060 @ $25.00 adjust it for 60 seconds on - 6 hours off.
  • Grow Lamp Timer - 24 hour - set for 12 on / 12 off - Radio Shack has several.
  • Full spectrum grow light 50 watt bulb holder with a clamp.
Harvesting
Equipment needed to harvest and store the fragile fruited bodies
  • Food dehydrator - air only - no heat. It may be necessary to unplug the heating element. Damark has one for about $30.
  • Coffee bean grinder - Braun
  • Small glass jars - like Spice Islands jars.
  • Silica Gel bags or capsules. Find them in jars of vitamins.
  • CO2 cartridges. They can be purchased from a sporting goods store (they are used in air rifles), or from a cooking utensil store (they are used to make sparkling water). The cartridges fit into the oxygen side (green valve), of an oxy-butane micro torch from Radio Shack part number 64-2165 for about $28.
Planting

Preparing the growing medium
In a large bowl thoroughly mix together using a fork. Try keeping the mixture light and fluffy.

  • 5.3 cups Vermiculite
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 0.75 cup brown rice
  • 2.66 cups of water - use non-chlorinated, bottled drinking water.
  • Fill each brownie dish to 1" from the top with the mixture.
  • Don't compact it.
  • Cover with 1/2" of dry Vermiculite.
  • Fully cover each dish with aluminum foil. Wrap it around the sides.

    Prepare the Syringes
    Fill 2 syringes with a few cc's of non-chlorinated, bottled drinking water. Place the protective caps on each syringe. Wrap the syringes in aluminum foil. Fill a small jar with bottled drinking water and cover the top with foil. The water will boil out of the syringes during sterilization. They will be loaded from the jar of water when all have cooled down.

    Sterilize everything
    Sterilization is the most important part of growing mushrooms! Heed every word of this step!

    • Fill the pressure cooker with 1" of water (about 1.5 quarts)
    • Gently place the brownie dishes in the pressure cooker.
    • Place the bottom of the second dish at 90 degrees to the first dish (allow steam to escape).
    • Place the foil wrapped syringes on top of the 2nd dish.
    • Put the cover on the pressure cooker and place it on the stove.
    • Leave the weighted steam escape valve off.
    • Put the stove on high.
    • Wait for 2 minutes after you see steam coming out the top of the vent.
    • Put the weighted steam escape valve on the stem.
    • Wait until the pressure builds to 15 pounds.
    • Start a 20 minute timer.
    • Once the timer is started the stove can be reduced to medium or medium high (as long as the pressure remains at 15 pounds).
    • When 20 minutes are up, turn off the stove.
    • Don't touch the pressure cooker.
    • Let it sit until it is cool and all of the pressure is gone. About 2 hours.
    • Remove the weighted steam escape valve. Wait for all remaining pressure to drop.
    • Slowly open the top.
    • Remove the items from the pressure cooker.
    • Wait until the brownie dishes are at room temperature.
    • This is very important! Don't be in a hurry! Heat will kill the spores.
    Inoculate dishes
    • Prepare a mixture of 1 oz of bleach with 10 oz of water.
    • Put this mixture in the small spray bottle.
    • Put the wrapped syringes jar of water spore print petri dishes spray bottle in the cardboard box.
    • Put the plastic lid on the cardboard box.
    • Reach inside the box and spray 2 or 3 times to lightly fill the box with the bleach/water mist.
    • Wait two minutes for the mist to settle.
    • Place a spore print in a petri dish. (Or, use a previously collected spore print already in the dish.) Use (2) water filled syringes to squirt the spore print.
    • The idea is use the water stream to scour the spores off and get them in suspension. They are microscopic. Millions will go into suspension.
    • Suck the water back and forth a few times with the syringe to encourage maximum mixing.
    • Load each syringe with the spore/water mixture.
    • Place the protective cap on each syringe.
    • Plan on using all the liquid in one syringe for one brownie dish.
    • Layout an imaginary 3 x 3 grid on the top of each dish.
    • Holding the syringe vertically, go straight through the foil to just above the bottom of each dish.
    • Inject 1 cc of liquid at each site. The syringe should be empty by the ninth hole.
    • Cover all of the holes in the foil with strips of 2" clear plastic tape.
    • Use a light touch to gently seal each of the holes.
    Gestation

    Time to Sleep
    Now it's time to take the dishes, make their sleeping enviroment ready, and put them to bed for 2 weeks.

    • Fill the narrow 8" jar with water and put the fish tank heater in the water.
    • The water should just come to the top of the jar with the heater immersed in it.
    • Place the jar in the cooler with cord coming over the edge.
    • Place an 8" x 6" piece of aluminum foil in front of the jar to evenly spread the heat.
    • Place the two brownie dishes in the cooler.
    • Place the thermometer on the top corner of one of the dishes.
    • Close and latch the cover.
    • Check the temperature after a few hours. It should be 84 degree F (28.8 C).
    • Leave them alone for 12-14 days.
    • When you look in again, there should be fine white growth (mycelium) covering the bottom and rising up the sides to just where the dry vermiculite layer begins.
    • If they aren't done, then wait another day or two.
    Growing

    Wake up and Rise
    Mushrooms can be quite picky about fruiting - these steps need to be followed precisely!

    • Remove the aluminum foil and place the brownie dishes in the aquarium.
    • Put the reinforced plastic cover on top.
    • One of the two holes, should have a baggie taped over one corner of it.
    • The baggie will act as a one way valve to let air out of the tank but not in.
    • The humidifier should have a 2" hose connecting its output and the other hole in the tank top.
    • The humidifier is connected to the 20 seconds on 15 minutes off timer.
    • Fill the humidifier with non-chlorinated, bottled drinking water.
    • Its mist should be just below visible. (not heavy).
    • The grow light should be 3 to 4 feet from the top of the aquarium.
    • It should be connected to the 12 hour timer.
    • Set the timer to coincide with daylight hours (12 on, 12 off).
    • The room temperature should be between 68 and 78 degrees (20 to 26.7 C).
    • Leave everything alone for 10-14 days.

    Harvesting

    Cornicopia
    Now comes the fun part!

    • Gently pick the stems when the caps are fully opened and spread out. A small angled scissors can often reduce collateral damage.
    • Put harvest in the dehydrator (no heat) for 1 or 2 days until the fully dry and brittle to the touch.
    • Grind them up in the coffee mill. Place the production in the small jars.
    • Stick the tip of the CO2 loaded micro-torch in the bottom of the jar. Slowly, slowly, slowly open the green valve and let the CO2 fill up the jar. A lighted match will quickly extinguish when lowered into the top of the jar if it is full of CO2 . Drop the silica gel bag into the jar and cover tightly.
    • Refrigerate or freeze the jars. Let them warm up to room temperature before opening to prevent condensation inside.
    • There will usually be two or three separate growths from one planting.
    • Let a few mushrooms continue growing until they begin spore production.
    • The spores are blue-black and are easily visible when they begin to fall.
    • Use a flame sterilized needle-nose pliers (or forceps) to pick the caps off.
    • Place the caps right-side up in a petri dish.
    • Cover for day.
    • Carefully lift the cap out, and recover the petri dish.
    • Tape the cover on. Label and date each dish.
    • Put the petri dishes in a baggie and put it in the refrigerator (not the freezer).
    • You are ready to begin the cycle again.
Notes on the Puerto Method

Growing

  1. Bacteria is everywhere. The process described should result in good sterile technique that will promote mushroom growth and minimize bacteria growth. Make sure all equipment is clean and dust free. Wash your hands before beginning work. Handle equipment as little as possible. The fungus is hearty once it is established. It produces a fine white, feathery mycelium. Any other color is probably bacteria growing. Use your judgment on whether to discard or not. Stalks and caps should be white, a light tan, or a bluish tan color. They should look uniform and healthy.
  2. Spore prints will last a year in the refrigerator (not the freezer)
  3. Treat the plants with kindness. Avoid extremes of temperature. The humidity goal is 100% without condensing a lot of moisture on top of the open brownie dishes. The balancing act between too much and not enough humidity requires observation and adjusting the humidity control on the humidifier.
  4. Store the dried product in an airtight jar in the freezer. Shelf life seems to be four to six months. Then there is a gradual roll-off in potency. A small bag of Silica Gel from a bottle of vitamins placed inside the jar will help keep moisture to a minimum.
  5. Total growing cycle is about 4.5 weeks. Gathering all of the equipment and making it work takes a long time. The second growing cycle is a breeze. It takes only a couple of hours total time investment.
Experimental
In order to avoid the cost and potential danger of the pressure cooker, it is possible to use a micro-wave oven instead. I've tried this procedure and it works. However; I'm not sure about all of the parameters. Length of time, water content, etc. are still in doubt.
  1. Prepare the growing mixture as usual.
  2. Cover the dishes with Saran Wrap instead of aluminum foil.
  3. Load syringes with a few drops of water, and wrap in Saran Wrap.
  4. Fill a small glass dish with 40cc's of non-chlorinated drinking water. Cover with Saran Wrap.
  5. Place the above in a microwave oven. Set to High Power. Cook for 25 minutes.
  6. Everything will be extremely hot when it is done cooking. BE CAREFUL.
  7. When you can handle the large dish, rapidly remove the Saran Wrap and instantly replace it with untouched aluminum foil. Use the side that is in contact with the foil on the roll. This step can be done inside of the sterile box.
  8. Load the syringes with the boiled water. Again do this inside of the sterile box. Replace the protective cap when they are full.
  9. Wait until everything is stone cold. It will take much longer than you imagine (an hour at least).

 

  1. Here is another "shortcut." I've had success with this, but can't swear by it yet.
    1. Skip the sterile box and bleach mist step entirely.
    2. Gently lift the lid of the spore print petri dishes part way and stick the syringe inside. Hold it with one hand while working the plunger with the other.
    3. Now, inoculate the growing medium in the brownie dishes as described above.
    4. If possible, try not to breathe directly on the petri dishes, the syringes, or the foil covered brownie dishes. The less contaminants present from any source the better.
Resources

Spores

  • PF (best value)
    1202 E. Pike #783 Seattle, WA 98122
  • Syzygy
    PO Box 619
    Honaunau, HI 96726
  • Pacific Exotic Spora
    PO Box 11611
    Honolulu, HI 96828
  • L.E.R.
    PO Box 1676
    Coconut Grove, FL 33233

Books

  • Plants of The Gods
    Richard Schultes & Albert Hofman
    Healing Art Press
  • Pihkal
    Alexander & Ann Shulgin
    Transform Press
  • Mushrooms Demystified
    David Arora
    Ten Speed Press
  • Psychedelic Encyclopedia
    Peter Stafford
    Ronin
  • True Hallucinations
    Terence McKenna
    Harper Collins
  • Food of the Gods
    Terence McKenna
    Bantam New Age
  • The Essential Psychelic Guide
    D.M. Turner
    Panther Press
  • From Thanatos To Eros
    Myron Stolleroff
    Thaneros Press
Books Stores
All of the above are available from:
  • FS Book Company
    PO Box 417457
    Sacramento, CA 95841
    800-635-8883
    (a great book store)
  • Mind Books 321 S. Main Street #543
    Sebastopol, CA 95472
    800-820-8127
    (another great book store)
Warning and Use of the Stropharia Mushrooms

Warning

  • Growing your own mushrooms may be illegal. This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to encourage anyone to break the law.
  • Also, eating mushrooms can produce strong effects. Do not use them if you are not completely clear about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Do not use them if you are taking any other medication. Do not combine them with any other drugs. Do not use them if you are operating at less than 100% of your physical and mental ability. Do not use them under duress from anyone else.
  • Be absolutely certain that the mushrooms you have grown are what you think they are. Important things to look for: 1. The spores are a purplish black color. 2. The stems have a blueish cast to them especially if bruised slightly. 3. Mature caps curl up on the edges. 4. The first growth that is visible has a reddish brown top. 5. Mature stalks are four to six inches tall. 6. The mycelium in the dish is snowy white and feathery. Any other color indicates another species or bacterial invasion.
Using
Measurement
  • Start at the low end and gradually build up.
    1 level teaspoonful of dry powder equals about 1 gram.
    0.5 gram is relaxing
    1.0 gram will open the door to a broader view.
    2.0 grams will open the door dramatically.
    3.0 to 5.0 grams is considered a heroic adventure.
    Tomato juice (or root beer) is a good mixer/chaser.

Timing

  • Onset: 35 to 45 minutes from ingestion
    Peak: 1.5 hours after onset
    Onset to Baseline: 3 to 4 hours

Set and Setting

Best results are obtained from the following conditions:
  • Well rested
  • Well fed - eat at least 2 hours before beginning (low fat, low sugar)
  • Well hydrated - drink lots of water before ingestion
  • Go outside to an uninhabited, beautiful area
  • Bring along a designated driver/caretaker
  • No external responsibility - kids, pets, etc.
  • Plan on four hours of uninterrupted time
  • Profound relaxation can bring a chilled feeling if you are not warm.
  • Bring more clothes than you would normally use.
Adopt an open-ended frame-of-reference:
  • Everyday reality encompasses a small percent of what is available to us.
  • Additional realms of experience are possible (but not necessary)
  • This type of exploration is voluntary and fun.
  • We can become better people as a result of new experience and new knowledge.
  • Many "self programs" that we take for granted can be seen as voluntary.
  • Our automatic systems for breathing, walking, talking work beautifully if we intend them to.
  • Give yourself strong permission to be safe above all else.
  • Pay attention to the world around you.
  • Time and space may have different meanings than you typically experience. The "lock step" of consensus reality will return soon enough. Enjoy the difference while it lasts.
  • Fear of a truly new experience can be unsettling. Trust in your strength to be safe and carry on.
  • No matter what happens: Remember it for analysis later on.
  • Be a scientist. Record your observations. Think about them. Advance your own awareness.

Toxicity

These plants have been in use for thousands of years. To my knowledge, there is little evidence of toxicity. Amounts 100 times the recommended amount have been tried without serious consequences. Why? Tryptophan is one of the nine amino acids our bodies cannot synthesize. Serotonin and Melatonin are hormones that are manufactured from Tryptophan by our bodies. The three compounds are simple and chemically similar.

The active part of SC, Psilocybin, is also closely related. Speculation: It is metabolized along the same pathways as its relatives and so can be broken down and excreted in a few hours.

Humidifier Timer : 20 seconds On / 20 minutes off. All parts available from Radio Shack.
CAUTION: HIGH VOLTAGE
Don't attempt this project if you don't know what you are doing.
Click on the image to bring up a set of instructions for assembling the timer.
Brownie Dish filled with vermiculite and growing medium. Missing final layer of dry vermiculite.
Two foil covered dishes: ready to load into cooler. Box is to improve horizontal spacing. Jar with aquarium heater and water are on the right.
The left is the funnel with the flexible hose super-glued in place
The humidifier with the funnel and flexible hose compression fitted to the top.
Growing Tank plastic cover. Notice aluminum angle for stiffness. There are (2) 2" holes drilled in the left and right side. The left side hole has a baggy taped at one edge to act as a one way valve to let air out but prevent unfiletered air from getting in.
50 watt grow light in its reflector holder/clamp. This is mounted 3-4 feet above the top of the tank. It is connected to the 12 hour on / 12 hour off timer. Set it to match daylight hours.
The brownie dishes are uncovered at the end of Gestation and placed in the growing tank. The humidifier is connected to the 20 second on / 20 minute off timer. Adjust humidity control for maximum humidity without condensing a lot of water on top of the growing medium. Temperature should be between 68 and 78 Fahrenheit.
Two shots of the jar and aquarium heater. The jar should be filled with water right up to the top. This rig will supply gentle, moist, uniform heat during the Gestation period.
Everything loaded into the cooler and ready for 10-14 days of Gestation with the top closed.

? 1996 - Steven Puerto Revision 1.2

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