• Jonathan Till

Permaculture at Heritage foraging

A few weeks ago my friend Dr. Conor sent me a care package to give me something to do when Corvid19 started shutting down the world. The package was 8 lbs of substrate inoculated with oyster mushrooms. The good doctor and I have been friend for quite some time. In fact I knew the good doctor back when the "the good doctor" was a lowly line cook. So I figured it would only be fitting that the first logs I inoculated were from him. In total I inoculated 8 logs using a method's I read about in Mushroom Cultivation: An Illustrated Guide to Growing Your Own Mushrooms at Home. I have a several different mushroom cultivation books and this one is by far the most comprehensive ( and I enjoy the pictures!) So, basically you cut about 4 inches off the top of the log and put down a layer of the inoculated matter. Put the top back on press, give it a little water and loosely wrap it in a garbage bag to keep moister in and to start the growing process. I'll let you know in 4-6 months if it worked or not.

The other way I inoculated a log today was a little different and truthfully it who knows if it will work. I had found a log that had a hole running through it so I figured if I put some of the substrate in the whole with some oyster mushroom inoculated in them, maybe something will grow. I've never seen it done this way or read anything about doing it this way so who knows what will happen! Now having said that I want to point something out. I'm a trained chef, that is my job first and foremost. I'm also a certified forager and that is my passion (and now my job a little bit). I have very little experience cultivating mushrooms. I've read lots of books, watched a ton of "how to videos" but what I'll be doing over the next few weeks is a massive undertaking and to be honest a little intimidating.

As I've said I have plans to grow several different types of mushrooms to complement my permaculture attempt. Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems. It sounds pretty complicated, and the more I get into it, it is. But by doing this, essentially creating my own micro ecosystem, I hope to gain a better understanding how nature works. My goal is to have a better working knowledge of how the foods I love grown and thrive. And armed with that knowledge Heritage Foraging will be able to provide the best product to anyone and everyone who wishes to discover their back yard!

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