Back in early September, I decided I had gathered enough information to try my hand at growing mushrooms. I’d been researching for about 3 years off and on, but got serious with the self-isolation of the Covid 19 lockdown. Maybe it was time, maybe I was just too bored and needed to do something different.

I made the mistake of mixing two different teks. Maybe it wasn’t really a mistake, but more of an experiment which I hadn’t planned to make.

The PF tek uses ground brown rice mixed with vermiculite for inoculation of the spores. I used half a syringe of spores to inoculate 5 half-pint wide neck mason jars. I drilled (hammered) 4 holes in each lid, mixed the growing medium as recommended on one site I’d been perusing, capped them and pressure cooked them in my programmable pressure cooker for 30 minutes. When they cooled, I realized I forgot to cover the tops with tin foil, which is supposed to keep out excess moisture. Too much moisture makes it too easy for other stuff to grow. I decided to try it anyway and after inoculating with the spores I covered the insertion holes with breathable tape. Sadly, 3 of the 5 jars developed contamination so I threw them out as soon as I noticed. I have one jar completely colonized and one that is partially colonized. I’ll do something with them at some point in the future, but I’m concentrating on the other tek I used.

The course I took from DoubleBlind suggested using microwave ready bags of brown rice. I cut the corner off the bag as recommended, and squirted the remaining 5 ml into the one bag. Not exactly as recommended, they said to use 1 cc per bag, but I figured it would increase my odds of success if I added it to several parts of the bag. I was right, and it burst forth with the bloom of white tendrils in a week and filled the bag in half the time of the PF tek. Besides, I only had one bag of rice and I didn’t want to prolong this any more than I had to.

So today, I rehydrated my bag of rice mycelium. It was hard and rubbery as they said it would be. I gave it a few extra days just to make sure. I put the mycelium into a 1 gallon ziplock bag and poured about a quart of distilled water over it, shutting it quickly. It did break on one corner, so I probably could’ve given it another few days, but I can always repeat the experiment in the future… and maybe follow the directions to the letter? wouldn’t that be a novel approach for me? Since my grow chamber isn’t ready, I put it back in the tub I’d had it in until tomorrow when I mix up my substrate and assemble the grow chamber.

I won’t have my shrooms for All Hallow’s Eve, but that’s ok. The people on the Other Side probably won’t talk to me anyway. This is a part of my healing, and I really don’t feel the need to be doing it for anyone other than myself. Are there any other people out there interested in shrooming? I believe the time for the world to learn about the healing benefits of mushrooms has come.

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