Here's a "no brainer": Get a Rubbermaid bucket-shaped container
which will fit in your microwave. Every step goes on in this one container. In
the bottom put two cups of vermiculite. Use a spatula to mix in enough distilled
water to make the vermiculite about as damp as it can be without feeling soggy
(usually about a cup).The following dry ingredients can be added one at a time
or mixed together. The idea is to coat the wet vermiculite particles with the
dry powder as you stir the mix with the spatula. This sounds trivial but it makes
all the difference.
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon dextrose
1/2 teaspoon oyster shell powder
1/2 teaspoon trace minerals (gypsum powder may work)
Where do you get this stuff? - All are available at health food stores. Dextrose is also available from wine making / beer brewing stores, or diabetic supply companies.
After the mix is made lightly tamp it down and cover this layer with 1/2" to 1" dry vermiculite. Microwave the bucket for 8 minutes with the top slightly off. Allow to cool -completely- in the microwave. (If you take it out and put the top on tight the top will get sucked in.) Now you're ready to inoculate.
I favor inoculation with mycelium water, but many have advocated spore water. Either one will work but mycelium water is much faster and has less chance of contamination. A large inoculation around the edges and several squirts in the middle (5-15cc) will get things going in a hurry.
Wrap the outside of the container to the level of the top of the vermiculite
with aluminum foil. Set it on a shelf and forget it. Fruits will appear in the
bucket in about three weeks (at 75 F). After the second flush squirt in another
50cc or so of water. Sometime these buckets flush for months. When it looks
old and pooped drop in a sterilized cow patty and more water. Again you may
get more flushes.
Erowid received the following report in October, 2001:
Although I have tried the "Fast Food of the Gods" method for cultivation of
mushrooms before, I recently had a problem when the material in the tub
actually caught fire and burned the Tupperware it was in. I am sure this is
rare, but given the differences in microwave power, it should be noted in
the protocol that this can happen.
As far as I can tell the biggest difference between this experiment and previous
work was that I used a larger grain vermiculite than I had previously.
There was water in the mixture, but its possible that the large vermiculite did not
hold as much, or that the size of the grains is more conducive to overheating.
Cultivators should be careful to monitor their microwaving so that the substrate doesn't
dry out and to be very careful the first time using a new microwave.
After posting this, we received a report from a dutch mushroom grower with
a great deal of experience who said that he had destroyed his microwave
with this method. The originator of the article is not available to
comment, but wetting the top layer of vermiculite before 'casing' with it
might reduce the chance of dry-sparks.