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Invisibleagar
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Thistle seed additive
    #4528154 - 08/12/05 11:36 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)



Has anyone used pre-sterilized "thistle" type bird seed as an additive to spawn grains, or as delayed release substrate nutrient additive, high in lipids?

To clarify a misnomer, the thistle seed sold in stores as bird seed is not thistle seed, but actually sterilized Nyjer or Niger (generic names) Seed.

The scientific name is Guizotia abyssinica

To protect our environment from any invasive weed seeds that may enter the country with the Nyjer seed that is imported and to prevent the introduction of the non-native Nyjer plants themselves, all shipments are heat sterilized to prevent germination.

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Guizotia_abyssinica.html#Biotic%20Factors


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OfflineJeremy_Davis
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: agar]
    #4528499 - 08/13/05 02:02 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Well It looks like it's full of Omega-3's and -6s, as well as some other nice polyunsaturated oils:

Hager's Handbook puts the oil content at 35?40% with glycerides of oleic, linoleic, palmitic, myristic, and physetolic acids. Wealth of India summarizes fatty acid composition as 1.7?3.4% myristic (including capric and lauric), 5.0?8.4% palmitic, 2.0?4.9% stearic, 31.1?38.9% oleic, and 51.6?54.3% linoleic

Do you know how it's sterilized? Is it irradited, heat or steam sterilized, or something else altogether? I read that by curing rape/flax/hemp seeds in an oven for a while it will act as a delayed-relase nutrient exactly like Spawnmate by Amycel, ( I forget time and temps, but that's easy enough to find. It a post or tek called "make your own Spawnmate" google as last resort.)
If the sterilization process is similar to the curing process, this may be a Spawnmate substitute. I don't know how costs compare, but shipping has got to be the clincher.
Anyway, keep us posted.
Light and Love,
Jeremy Davis


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Jeremy Davis
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Check out the ECHO mushroom blog page to see our lab, growing facility, and more-www.echotech.org/greta


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OfflineJeremy_Davis
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: Jeremy_Davis]
    #4528510 - 08/13/05 02:04 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

My eyes are bad, missed heat sterilized, the color throw me off every time. Sorry. Anyway that's great! I bet it works just like Spawnmate, better flushes all around. Another great find,
JD


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Jeremy Davis
Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, Inc.
Check out the ECHO mushroom blog page to see our lab, growing facility, and more-www.echotech.org/greta


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Invisibleshobimono
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: Jeremy_Davis]
    #4528950 - 08/13/05 04:29 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Pretty sure Home Depot carries this stuff in a hard clear plastic bottle. I had looked at some and didn't get it cuz I wasn't exactly sure what method they used to prevent germination so I went with the regular wbs.


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: shobimono]
    #4529438 - 08/13/05 09:04 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Lowes, Home-Depot, Target, K-Mart, WalMart, PetCo, PetSmart & about any place that carries bird food - has it.


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Offlineblackout
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: agar]
    #4536905 - 08/15/05 07:05 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I am guessing heat sterilized doesnt mean all the endospores are killed right? just means the seed will not grow as it has been heated. I would expect rye grain would not germinated if heated to 100C for 40mins, doesnt mean it is totally sterile, just won't be able to grow.


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Invisiblemycofile
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: blackout]
    #4538747 - 08/15/05 06:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I've used it as a supplement to spawn, supplement at spawning, and a supplement to sterilized fruiting substrates.

Whatcha wanna know?


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I just looked at my profile and realized I had a website at one point in time on geocities, it's not there anymore and I have no idea what I had on it. Anybody remember my website from several years aga? PM if so please.


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OfflineJeremy_Davis
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: mycofile]
    #4539742 - 08/15/05 10:06 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

As much as you can tell us... Did you run any side by side trials? What was your experience? Did you see an increase in yield per flush, and total number of flushes? What percent were you spawning, and was it weight or by volume? I know SpawnMate says 3-6% by weight of dry substrate. Thanks!
JD


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Jeremy Davis
Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization, Inc.
Check out the ECHO mushroom blog page to see our lab, growing facility, and more-www.echotech.org/greta


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InvisibleFooManM
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: agar]
    #4541474 - 08/16/05 09:04 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Have you used it Agar? I have been using sterilized rape seed as you suggested to me a while back with great success. The thistle seed sounds like a much better alternative since it's already sterilized and much easier to aquire than rape seed. I think I'll buy some soon to test it out. :thumbup: Thanks for yet another great idea! :grin:


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: mycofile]
    #4541476 - 08/16/05 09:05 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

mycofile said:
I've used it as a supplement to spawn, supplement at spawning, and a supplement to sterilized fruiting substrates.

Whatcha wanna know?




Straigh out of the bag & soaked? Heat treated some way? In what percentages?


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InvisibleFooManM
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: blackout]
    #4541477 - 08/16/05 09:07 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

blackout said:
I am guessing heat sterilized doesnt mean all the endospores are killed right? just means the seed will not grow as it has been heated. I would expect rye grain would not germinated if heated to 100C for 40mins, doesnt mean it is totally sterile, just won't be able to grow.




I'm guessing that even if the endospores weren't killed that it wouldn't really effect things too much because you would be introducing it during spawning and the myc would probably establish itself throughout the substrate before the endospores could germinate.


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Invisiblemycofile
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Re: Thistle seed additive [Re: FooMan]
    #4542684 - 08/16/05 04:11 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

First of all, I don't think I ever knew it came sterile! Maybe I did, I'll have to look back in the lab records and such, but man, that lends itself to all sorts of possibilities I probably didn't evenn consider. Anyway....

As a supplement to spawn or fruiting substrate:
added to WBS, red wheat, rye, and/or millet prior to sterilization. Thistle would get same treatment as the grain be it soaking or simmering etc. Rates were probably just eyeballed, I'd guess about 5% going from the jar I have pictured in my head, but maybe anywhere from 3-10%. I don't remember doing any side by side comparisons. I added it to the grains as much for it's small size as it's nutritional content. The small size gives lots of inoculation points when using the grain as spawn.

Oh wait, I remember now, I got a free sample, hmmmm maybe about a 5# sack (seems like it was about 1/2 gallon in volume, how much would that weigh agar?), it came free in a 40 # sack of WBS. I did a quick look into the nutrients, and just mixed the two bags. So, that was the rate it was used for at least some of the times it was used as both spawn and fruiting substrate.

SASing (Supplementation at Spawning)
Off the top of my head I don't remember the rates used. I probably would have used those used for spawnmate, or a rate I would have picked up from someone who used flaxseed as a supplement. Or maybe even just eyeballed it...I'll see if I can find a rate somewhere...

I do remember preparation. Not knowing it was already sterilized, I nearly always heat treated it. I do remember at least the first time I prepped it just like you would a grain, meaning I hydrated then pressure cooked it. I don't remember if I soaked or simmered, but it was probably simmer as I didn't discover soaking early on. After the first use or two, I decided that hydrating it was a contam risk, that the moistened gains would be more hospitable to contams than dry, and decided it was better to use it dry. I then started just pcing it dry in jars. As I remember it did pick up some moisture from the steam and did expand some so I never filled the jars anywhere near full.

Application was to either mix the seed in with the spawn or the bulk substrate. I found it much easier to mix with the spawn as I was mostly using straw (or straw with manure or castings) at the time. If using a very finely chopped straw, manure, horse poo, compost etc then it probablly doesn't matter which you mix it with.

SACing (Supplementation At Casing)
I only ever used "dry" seed at this point, prepared as in SASing. I just sprinkled it on top of the colonized straw as I thought it silly to break up a bed of colonized straw. I did sort of try to push the seed into the straw a little, or make sure it was in little pockets in the substrate surface. I do remember once adding seed straight from the bag at this point, at a pretty low rate as I had no idea that the seed might already be sterilized. That time it was used mostly because I used a relatively low spawn rate and didn't have the supplement coming directly from the colonized spawn that a high spawn rate provides.

Since I was just sprinkling a little over the casing surface, the application rate would have varried considerably depending on the depth of substrate which could have been anywhere from 2-10 inches. The ratio used when SACing would have been more a ratio of seed to surface area than of seed to volume or weight of substrate.

To SAC or to SAS, that is the question:
Between SACing and SASing, I think I'd recomend SACing. There is less contamination risk since there is so much mycelium to just take over the thistle seed. Also, the mycelium won't even have penetrated the hull until after the first flush, not even offering up the nutrition until later flushes which is one of the main benefits of supplementing bulk subs. Depending on your substrate you can either just sprinkle it on top (for long fiber straw), or mix it in with the colonized substrate (finely chopped straw, manures, compost etc). The substate will recover overnight and be ready to case, sometimes in just 8-12 hours, sometimes taking 24 or so to re-knit.

I did not have any contamination issues or I wouldn't have used it again. Now, I'm not saying a supplemented bed never contaminated, just that I never thought it was due to the thistle seed.

Note that I never did work out many specifics. I don't think I ever did any side by side comparisons. I just grew, completely changing or at least tweaking the method nearly every time. I usually wasn't doing research, just growing, and trying various things to produce good grows. By that criteria, supplementing bulk subs with thistle certainly did what it was supposed to. But how much did it help? I really don't know off the top of my head, and don't kow if I can find any data that could tell me.

I think adding thistle to grain for fruiting or spawning is a no-brainer. The seed fills gaps in between the grains more than it really adds volume. That means that a red wheat/thistle combo packs more weight and therefore more nutrition into each unit of volume. More food for the shrooms in each quart, in each casing tray etc can't be bad. Also, if used as spawn, the small particle size is also a no-brainer benefit.

So far as SACing or SASing, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't bother with it again. See, back then there were all kinds of concerns about straw not having enough nutrients to make potent shrooms, so I felt like I had to supplement it. I now think this is pretty silly. Also, I didn't have a huge PC in the early days (who really starts out with an AA 941?), so it was easier to supplement than it was to just use high spawn rates. I eventually did aquire the famed 941, and when you are able to make 8 gallons of spawn at a time it silly to supplement with anything other than colonized grain. Unless of course you reallly do have a huge warehouse sized commercial grow going I suppose. But think about it, 8 gallons of spawn can make 40 gallons of substrate at a 1:4 spawning rate. That's enough to fill 18 square feet of beds 4" deep. Who can really handle that much substrate, much less more? And what good will it do to supplement a substrate that has been spawned at 1:4 with grain? Little to none is my guess.

So I say unless you are bound by a really small pc, or have a really big operation that you are better off using a supplement which is protected and encapsulated with live mycelium (otherwise known as spawn).
(I don't mean to focus on this, I hate people who just come into a discussion and knock the idea. This is a thread on using thistle as a supplement and that's cool, just wanted to throw my .02 in that I would do it different.)

But hey, I'll look through my notes and see if I can find any side by side comparisons or specific rates or anything. It's a damn shame, but I have notes spread out over 3 physical locations, 7 computers, a million disks, a dozen notebooks, and several websites, some of which are offline and lost forever. But i'll see what I can find. In the meantime, any specific questions?

Oh yeah, don't forget those temp surges! The thermogenisis of a supplemented bulk substate is amazing. I don't think you should do this unless your bulk substrates are colonizing in an environment at most in the mid 70's. I do remember some contaminations due to trying to save a buck on the electricity bill and keeping the house at 80-85 degrees. The supplemented beds got amazingly hot to the touch, then turned stinky in short order. Gotta keep 'em cool....


--------------------
"From a certain point of view"
-Jedi Master Obi Wan Kenobi

PM me with any cultivation questions.

I just looked at my profile and realized I had a website at one point in time on geocities, it's not there anymore and I have no idea what I had on it. Anybody remember my website from several years aga? PM if so please.


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