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Registered: 10/14/99
Posts: 1,396
Last seen: 1 year, 3 months
    #313427 - 05/09/01 07:40 PM (22 years, 4 months ago)

Finally got my blazei patch. Did a little searching on this mushroom, wow; it seems to rank very high medicinally [for cancer, anyway] as well as culinary.

Many sites are claiming it is a difficult mushroom to cultivate. I wonder. I mean, if this kit will fruit at room temp with a humidity tent how tough can it be? The've used an alder chip/sawdust/wheat bran formula, and the 'casing' looks like peat moss in a ziplock. Some websites recommend compost, one company claims growing off of pure rye gives the largest, most medicinally active fruits. [I found that interesting in light of the normal cubensis school of thought]

Anyway, I'm making a couple slants before I case this patch and would like to try making a bulk substrate of my own. Do you think worm castings will work fine for blazei? I'd go worm castings/straw and coir if I had to do it right now, but that might be cubensis prejudice. Has anyone grown out blazei aside from a kit? Advice?

Also, I'd like to hear from anyone who's tried them fresh. The documentation says certain flavor and color characteristics are lost 24 hours after picking.

The above information is complete fiction.

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Registered: 12/31/98
Posts: 469
Loc: California, USA
Last seen: 21 years, 4 months
Re: blazei [Re: Suntzu]
    #315275 - 05/11/01 10:25 PM (22 years, 4 months ago)

A. blazei is AMAZING fresh. It has a sweet flavor, like that of almonds. They're so sweet it seems like you should make a dessert out of them! I like mine cooked with just plain old butter, salt, and pepper. I grew mine from FP's kit as well.
It looses its fragrance after about a day, but definitely not its flavor. I cooked mine a week after harvest. If you plan refridgerating them for a few days, pick them before the veil tears because the stem will turn brown in storage if they're picked any later. After the first flush, pick any pin heads under the casing. They may abort and cause contamination if not removed.
According to Stamets, this mushroom displays many different phenotypes based on the substrate its grown on. When I mixed in horse dung/composted straw to the colonized alder chips/sawdust, my fruit didn't look anything like the picture on his website. They looked WAY Better-it had brown spots on it like A. augustus
A. blazei is phototropic and requires light for pinning. Also, do not use H2O2 in your casing because they really need the bacteria for primordia formation.
The reason why they're claiming that it's difficult to grow is because they're talking about a commercial scale. It's not hard to fruit, but hard to get a good yield off of them. They aren't heavy fruiters like A. bisporus. Also, they don't utilize the substrate all that efficiently. Even after mixing the dung/straw to the kit, I only got 8 big mushrooms...
Another thing-Stamets cautions that this species easily begins to senesce when you try cloning. I wouldn't advise trying to multiply out the spawn you already have because it's probably already expanded a bunch. Instead, take a spore print and isolate your own strain for maximum vigor.
Another thing-when you case it, be patient. They may take a while to start their first flush-mine took two weeks! Good luck!

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