Internet Mushroom Grower's Survey

Version 05, 12/95


(F. Fungus)


[Sputnik note: Click on the links below to download copies of the original PGP signed files.]

Part 1: Contains survey questions & philosophy.[Download part 1]
Part 2: Contains responses #001-#015.[Download part 2]
Part 3: Contains responses #011-#030.[Download part 3]

* Note the version of this file and please delete any old copies!

Response #016

=01a= Friend used Psilocybe Cubensis spores from Psilocybe Fanaticus.

=02a= He used two different techniques at the same time: 1) The standard Psilocybe Fanaticus technique (AKA "PF Tech") 2) Quart jar method -- inject spore solution into quart jars containing wet, whole, brown rice. Humidify via occasional, partial immersion of jars in warm water. Harvest direct from jars (no growth chamber).

=03a= Friend used six jars for the PF method and eight for the quart jar method. All jars brought forth mycelium. All PF jars and six of the eight quart jars went on to produce at least some carpophores (with the exception of one non-productive quart jar). However, all succumbed to a grayish blue, fuzzy mold at about the same time (during thier second flush, in most cases).

=04a= My friend claims to have cultivated one good flush from each carpophore-bearing jar, plus part of a second flush from some.

=05a= My friend did not attempt this (although a few carpophores did drop healthy amounts of spores on thier [already colonized] growth media).

=06a= As described previously, friend obtained one good flush from each productive jar before the mold struck. Most were on their way to producing a second flush.

=07a= According to my friend's experience: Permeation took between five and six weeks for the PF Tech. For the quart jar method, this question isn't as relevent because the medium may or may not ever entirely colonize, and shrooms may begin to grow well before or well after colonization. There is great variation in the progression of the life cycle using this method. Say, between four and seven weeks before carpophores begin to grow.

=08a= A little over six weeks for the PF Tech, according to friend. For the quart jar method: Varied widely between jars. Between five and eight weeks.

=09a= Interestingly, shroom size was about the same using both the PF and quart jar techniques. However, PF shrooms grew faster once they got going (probably due to better humidification).

=10a= PF Tech: Friend used growth chamber made out of plastic storage bin. A wire-screen bent to fit inside was overlain with a plastic sheet to serve as a spray shield. Lid was removed for aeration (by removing plastic sheet and fanning cakes with the lid) twice per day. After fanning, the sheet would be put back and spraying commenced. Then the lid was snapped back on. A hole punched into one bottom corner of the bin prevented too much water from accumulating inside. A little makeshift platform held the cakes above the highest possible water level. Quart jar method: At irregular intervals (whenever condensation no longer was much evident on the mycelium or inside glass), friend would place warm water into an aquarium and run a cheap electric aquarium heater to adjust the temperature to 92 deg.F or so (temps much above 100 deg.F will start to damage the mycelium!). Then he'd place the jars into the aquarium until light condensation accumulated inside them. This usually took an hour or so. The water level covered the jars only about a third of the way or so (much more would cause them to want to tip and float).

=11a= No. My friend did sing to them, though (just kidding).

=12a= Friend double-bagged them tightly in trash bags and tossed them (even before they were done flushing) due to mold contamination.

=13a= Friend used to make a tea by grinding the wind-dried shrooms in an electric coffee grinder, stirring in hot (not boiling) water for 15 minutes, straining, and drinking. The buggers were so potent that he eventually found he needed only one for a nicely mild, entheogenic experience.

=14a= Some Biology lab experience proved useful for my friend.

=15a= Friend preferred the PF Tech (to the quart jar method) as it made consistant humidification simpler and was more efficient in terms of number of carpophores per amount of growth medium. He also claimed that the shrooms were easier to harvest from the growth chamber than from the cramped quart jars.

{{ In a second message addendum: }} My friend's jars and growth chambers were kept inside a walk-in closet. This helped to minimize potentially spore-bearing drafts, as my friend could keep the door closed (and a light on inside, of course), while he worked. Prior to innoculation, my friend made liberal use of Lysol and a chlorine-bearing, OTC scrubbing compound to clean almost the entire place (with especial emphasis on work- areas). The lids on the quart jars were kept loose (for slow air exchange), but ON at all times (except during harvesting, of course). An ordinary reading lamp with a flourescent bulb was used to provide the cultures with light. This step was initially omitted, resulting in carpophores which grew in random directions (sometimes even upside down, down the side of the quart jars -- very difficult to harvest!). Once light was provided from above, the carpophores began growing upwards towards it. Finally, eventual failure via mold contamination was almost certainly due to laxness. Once my friend had harvested more carpophores than he could use by himself, the law of diminishing returns set in and he began investing less effort. This was the undoing of the project (which friend was ready to end anyway).

Response #017

=01a= P. cubensis, in syringes from PF.

=02a= PF.

=03a= All seem to be colonizing nicely. I am now at day 25 or so of the colonization process. My jars are the tall 250ml type so the surface area means longer colonization. I realize Im not a real grower yet but I thought I would reply now so that you had some info to tabulate.

=04a= Like I said, still working on #1.

=05a= Were planning on making lots of syringes and spraying the solution everywhere around our place, as well as keeping the project self-sustaining.

=06a= I only have produced one flush a jar so far. The instructions from PF didn't say that more than one harvest could be taken from one cake (they didn't not that that either). So on my current I will see if more appear, for my benefit of course. I think however that all the food (brown rice flour) will be eaten by the first harvest, but that's just a thought. =07a= It will probably take almost 35 days, due to jar size. We may also have added too much water to some of the jars.

{{ Adding too much water does slow down growth, it seems. }}

=08a= Estimating 45 days, 60 days tops

=09a= N/A

=10a= We used a plastic case (kind of like a cooler but not insulated) and improved the seal with beaded rubber foam tape (like on your fridge door). Plexiglass spray shield inside.

Used an aquarium pump --> splitter --> two bubbling stones in glass flasks. This double to provide fresh air. Seems to be working nicely, however it's unoccupied.

=11a= Nope.

=12a= I am going to bury them in a compost heap I think.

=13a= N/A

=14a= PF all the way. Also Dojah has been posting his diary on alt.drugs. Not sufficient as a technical document, but a damn good description of what the process is like -- his diary is what got me started.

=15a= Everyone ought to do it. I also stress that I am not a dealer. 3 of us got together on this for personal uses and we hope to be rewarded by a bountiful harvest!

Response #018

=01a= P. cubensis from PF

=02a= Variations on PF.

=03a= 90% success rate to the 2nd-3rd flush, declining after that (as expected). Same results over at least a dozen batches of eight jars.

=04a= At least a dozen.

=05a= I make syringes every other batch. The increase in yield is up to you. After you make syringes, you are pretty much unlimited in the number of jars you can innoculate.

=06a= That varies. I've been playing with substrate composition and packing densities, so I don't have an average number of flushes. Also, the cakes rarely flush in groups after the 3rd, they come and go individually. For interests sake, I've found that variations in the substrate produced cakes that would die in 2 weeks, or others that would last 2-3 months. =07a= A typical number would be 23.

=08a= 31.

=09a= 1-2" dia. cap, 3-4" long stem typical.

=10a= An ultrasonic humidifier piped into a styrofoam cooler with a plexiglass lid and 2nd shelf. Independant controls on the humidifier allow me to contol both the air flow rate and the humidity level.

=11a= No. I'll let the bio people to do that kind of R&D.

=12a= I toss them.

=13a= A prefer them when they are freshly dried. I either eat them whole, or make tea. When I prepare tea from freshly dried caps (they crumble easier), I trip my ass off! I've bought shrooms before, even the mushroom chocolates, but nothing comes close on a %/weight basis to my homegrown shrooms. I haven't tried MAOIs. I have a healthy supply of goodness already, so why bother?

=14a= TMC, if only I could get my copy back!

Response #019

=01a= P. Cubensis. PF.

=02a= Modified PF method.

=03a= 5 of 5 jars were succesfully innoculated. All bore fruit.

=05a= Only commercial prints used thus far.

=06a= 5-8 depending on when they were cased. All uncased cakes stopped producing after the first big flush. After cakes were dormant for 2 weeks they were placed in a container with a peat/vermiculite casing. All 5 cakes began fruiting within 2 weeks of being cased.

=07a= 2-3 weeks.

=08a= About 30 days.

=09a= All uncased shrooms were smaller than the cased shrooms. Weight varied from 2-12 grams (pre drying).

=10a= Air pump/bubbler method (auto humidification per PF) plus hand spraying.

=14a= Read everything on hyperreal as you mentioned. AND read Stamets. While most of the info is irrelevant there is some important info (especially general casing discussion, and list of typical infections).

=15a= You definitely need to be very sterile and careful in all steps leading up to colonization. Once the cakes are fully colonized they are very hardy and resistant to infection. Despite much sloppiness and handling none of the cakes became infected. WQith the PF method it seems that cakes are likely to turn blue/green (as if bruised) after the first or second flush. This is not an infection. It is very hard to keep uncased cakes humid enough. Once this happens all you need to do is crumble the mycelium onto moist vermiculite and cover with a moist vermiculite/peat moss casing and within two weeks they will fruit again. Not only that but the flushes will yield more and larger mushrooms.

Response #020

My 24 yr old son grew his own shrooms from spores collected by a friend. All those in the know thought he was a genius, both in terms of yield and potency. But he ate, under special circumstnaces, a huge quantity, got delusional and psychotic and scary. The police were called. In the process of subduing him and beating him up, they killed him. He was a good guy. We loved him. So did his 2 year old daughter.

There is no practical way to EAT a toxic dose of shrooms. But there are surely tragic, dangerous ways to use them.

{{ There are four things to keep in mind about the above response:

1. It might not have been true. If it is true, it is a tragedy.

2. It seems he was another victim of the War on (Some) Drugs. I'm sure the police could have handled it better than that. Yet "subdue or beat up" seems to be their party line.

3. They might have been toxic spores to begin with, and may not have tried *small* doses first! NEVER take a large dose, or even a medium dose, unless you have experimented with SMALLER doses first!

4. American Indians and Aztecs used hallucinogenic mushrooms for centuries to increase philosophical and spiritual awareness. They must have had very few problems with toxicity, otherwise they would have stopped the practice! However, proper mindset and setting are *vital* to a trip. Many problems can be avoided by only indulging away from other people, in a natural environment!

And to quote from the great Psylocybe FAQ, which everyone should have read by now (if not, ftp directly to, do not pass go..):

==begin quote:

It should be noted that like all 'major' hallucinogens, psilocybin can precipitate psychotic episodes and uncover or aggravate previous mental illness. If you're stressed out or depressed, don't take mushrooms; if you have schizophrenia or something, _DO NOT_ take mushrooms.


I think this applies to mushrooms as well. Mushrooms and acid will open your doors of perception, and once open you can never truly close them again. They are more than a purely recreational drug.

==end quote But we all knew that, didn't we? If you didn't, you better R-T-F-M before you T-R-I-P.


Response #021

=01a= P. Cubensis. Homestead Books.

=02a= Grew out the spores on potatoe agar. Transferred healthy mycelium to sterilized rye berries with adjusted pH. The method is described in Ott's book (with forward by McKenna).

=03a= Out of 24 pint jars, three made it to casing stage. But this can definitely be attrbuted to a nosy roommate who had zero understanding of the words 'keep out.'

=04a= None, see above.

=05a= I tried using a tissue sample but the same thing happened . . the roomie strikes again.

=06a= None.

=07a= 30-45.

=08a= Never got this far.

=09a= None.

=10a= I used a spray bottle and kept the heat high enough to maintain humidity. Used a large 25 gallon fish tank.

=11a= None, used lime to adjust the pH.

=12a= Never got this far unfortunately.

=13a= No.

=14a= Of course Ott's book is good. Take a class on microbiology to get good lab technique down pat. The _Mushroom Grower's Guide_ is helpful. Talking to others on the net (like the Visionary Plants List) is a good way to see what the REAL way to do it is like.

Response #022

As you may know, mushrooms (psy. cubensis) are now sold at around ten shops in Holland. I do some of the growing, only some, since it is a team effort. From my experience I hope I can give you a little info.

=01a= PES in Hawaii. From the cubensis strains I have seen, the strain from PES is the best, even better than PF's. We use three strains at the moment. Also we grow psy. cynescens outside.

=02a= We use the agar-rye-compost method.

=03a= Our success rate is around 98 percent.

=04a= crops: Since august 94 the mushrooms have been sold - only since feb 1995 has everything been going smoothly .. most of the time. Thus, we always have crops going.

=05a= We use our own prints which have been made from our crops. We also do many rye to rye innculations but only to the 2nd generation. Thus, 20 agar to rye bottles can be become 200 bottles.

=06a= Yield: We use boxes which hold around 7 to 8kg compost. There are three to four flushes. Depending on what we need, we put in the needed amount of boxes. Each box should produce around 1.3 kg until it stops producing. With the PF strain, about 35 percent of the compost is used.

=07a= The process from rye to compost innoculation takes around three to four weeks, compost temp is around 28C, air temp 26-28C and humidity is around 94 percent.

=08a= Some of the first flush PES strain can weight up to 50 to 60g. Otherwise, around 7 to 10g -- two or three mushies should be a portion of 30g.

=09a= Humidity is kept at between 90 and 95 percent.

=10a= To stimulate growth, it is wise to use different growing media in the petri-dish - I use four to five different types. I know of no "magic stuff" which will increase potency.

=11a= We use the used compost for the garden - it is excellent to enrich the soil and breaks down farily quickly since the mushrooms have broken down the most complex elements.

=12a= I eat them just as they are with some herbal tea.

=15a= Comments: This growing is for commercial production. It should stand out in your survey. As for personal growing, I'm quite interested in the results since I also designed a kit for such people. It is a little complicated for most people, thus, I hope someday I can figue how to make it simple - maybe working with PF?

{{ Set up your own spore syringe marketplace! It seems the syringe method guarentees above 90% success rates. }}

Response #023

=01a= I grew the P. Fanaticus ones....the others didnt grow well I assume because of inferior spore prints.

{{ More likely due to using prints at all, instead of using spore syringes. }}

=02a= Used brown rice, have tried rye, bird seed, oats, corn; but brown rice is best. I do them all uncased, but notice that a good exposure to cold when they are old enough seems to produce great fruiting.

{{ Yes, after complete permiation, a drop in temperature *definitely* induces good fruiting. }}

=03a= I am on the third crop but only the first was from commercial spores, the rest are from my own.

=04a= First commercial crop had zero contaminants (7 out of seven jars went on to fruit), but using my own spores i have a 40 to fifty percent infection rate. I make my spore syringes by sterilizing a mason jar half full with water in the pressure cooker, then taking the cap of a freshly picked shroom, and dissecting out a little bit of the gill. I drop it in the jar and close, and presto, I have a pint of spore syringe innoculant. These seem to keep OK for several months.

=05a= I have consistently picked the first shroom of the batch 32 to 35 days after innoculating.

=06a= I consistently see mycillia start to appear in 3 and a half days.

=07a= I dont know how long it takes to permeate the jars, I don't really look anymore.

=08a= I use a rubbermaid clear container (44.5qt capacity) upside down with seven shroom jars and two to three mason jars of water with an aquarium air pump blowing in to air stones in the water jars for humidification. It is entirely hands off.

{{ It seems that using two or three bubbling stones produces good results. }}

I literally innoculate the jars, put them in to the humidifier and don't touch them until it is time to pick. I do check for infection, and after ten days I have runner formation so I take off the aluminum foil light shield, but other than that it is entirely hands off.

=09a= I have a variation from the classical method in that I do not use the mason jar lids that come with the jars. I start with them, but after innoculating and shaking the jars to break up the rice I remove the lids and place on plastic caps that have about two inches of overhang down the jar (the lids are about the same diameter as the jar but come DOWN like a sleeve...the lids are made by cutting off the bottom of half gallon iced tea containers from a local minute mart...they fit loosly enough to allow air exchange, but hang down enough to keep out infectants. This is called a pasteur trap).

=10a= I throw the rice cakes in to my barn, but I have not seen any shrooms come up from them ever.

{{ Try burying them in 2" of moist potting soil, with a damp vermaculite on the bottom! }}

=11a= The shrooms seem potent, but I have nothing to compare them to. I was somewhat dissapointed because I was expecting to have a "trip" which I define as having visual hallucinations or visions. This did not happen, although there are a lot of illusions such as object movements and such. People who have had other shrooms before mine say that they are good shrooms.

{{ If you aren't seeing things, increase the dosage *next time*. Never increase it during a trip. At a high dose mushrooms can be so visually active that it's hard seeing (or remembering) what the normal-reality is like! }}

Response #024

=01a= All PF.

=02a= Only PF.

=03a= About half. I messed up the recipe and the jars didn't grow very well.

=04a= Only one.

=05a= No.

=06a= Just one. If I got that much.

=07a= A while, like 2 months. I think the jars were too waterlogged from my putting too much water in the jars.

=08a= Too long. Next time I'm going to follow the recipe exactly and not try to fudge it.

=09a= They were pretty big but I didn't get very many. I used the non-wide mouth 1/2 pt jars. They are taller.

=10a= Aquarium with bubbler. It sucked. An aquarium is way too hard to manage. It'd be way better to use a big plastic container with lid like I've heard others do. That way you can put a hole in the bottom. I drained water by trying to tip the whole aquarium.

Also for the bubbler, I think PF should include in the directions the easy way to automatically-water. Using gravity and suction, or whatever. Basically you take a new 1/2 gal water bottle with un-opened lid and poke a tube into it's bottom. Then put this on a shelf above your terrarium. Take the other end of this tube and attach it to your bubbling jar below where you want the water level. Bingo. When the water level goes below the tube then air gets in and the 1/2 gal bottle empties some water into your bubbler jar. Maintenance free re-filling.

I also messed up the cakes because I tried using indirect, 40 watt light bulb. It got way too hot! The cakes looked burnt. They kind of revived after I used a clear 15 watt bulb semi-direct light. It was dumb to leave that 40w light on and leave it, always make sure you watch what's happening when you try something new.

Next time I will definitely use a plastic container from walmart. Or maybe one of those disposable cooler types from kmart. =11a= No.

=12a= I read on VPL that you can use potting soil around cakes that aren't doing anything. I did this to one cake. I used peat moss on the bottom of a planting pot and damp potting soil around the cake itself and on top. Then on top I put more peat moss. It worked OK until my bubbler broke and everything got totally dried out. I think it would have worked even though I didn't sterilize the soil like the books say.

=12b= Ate them all fresh.

=13a= Fresh straight and simmered in tea. I like the tea better than straight. Maybe get a teabag of Earl Grey like Jean Luc Picard too so I can blast off where no man has gone before??

=13b= I ate a lot, so I don't know, but they were potent enough!!

=13c= No.

=14a= Stamets is good to read through once. Nothing specific in there though except general technique. VPL is where I read all the good info from.

=15a= It's not so hard, except I screwed it up trying to rush it all and then it took longer. I guess patience is the key. Also I don't know why anyone tries other methods. PF is ridiculously easy and if you have the set up correct then there's no way to fail. I also hate to say it but I really got into the whole green-thumb or maybe white-thumb kind of attitude. It became fun to see how the shrooms were doing.

Response #025

=01a= Ps. Cubensis from Florida mycology Research Center (strain #38)

=02a= Liquid multispores -> sterilized rye with pressure cooker into quart jar -> colinized rye into a "flatter" contener with casing, then into aquarium chamber =03a= 80-90 % sucess rate =04a= 4 or 5 (don't remember ...) =05a= I made my own prints and gave them for free to friends. I used my own prints to do more inoculation solution -> it worked well.

The yield stayed the same.

=06a= 3 flushes then I replace the "cake" (i'm not really using cake technique) because it's still fruiting but way too slowly.

=07a= 15 days (shaking the jar once at the 8th day)

=08a= Really ??? Since I started a the very beginning 2 years ago ... It took 1 whole year !!

But now, I can have shroom in 4 weeks.

=09a= Once I got a 50 gram (wet) shroom, it was the first of the batch, the next were "normal" (wish I had a petri dishes to do cloning)

=10a= Now I'm using a kind of plastic aquarium, with salted water standing in the bottom and bubbler in it. The rye comes into a smaller container, wich is put into the aquarium. I'm also using a "dropplet shield".

{{ Salted water? Are there benefits to this? I assume that means that all runoff is recycled; an interesting idea. Maybe you could elaborate a little more? }} =11a= No. =12a= Throw out.

=12b= On paper.

=13a= Dried. On bread with butter. Tea

=13b= N/A

=13c= No

=14a= * The mushroom cultivator (Growing gourmet &medicinal shroom is not worth the price if you want only entheogens)

=15a= It could be interesting to ask for the yield, i.e how many dried gram by initial dry medium weight.

{{ Advice taken; see question 6b. }}

Response #026

=01a= P. cubensis amazonian strain from PF

=02a= PF with non-pressurized sterilization and hand spraying.

{{ Another successful grower through steam sterilization.. }}

=03a= 7 of 10 jars sucessful, maybe 8 of 10 now, I'm getting better.

=04a= 3.

=05a= No.

=06a= 3 or 4.

=07a= 28 min, 45 approx max.

=08a= 31.

=09a= max 5-6" cap to base with 2" cap, average 4" by 1.5".

=10a= hand sprayer, as often as once every two hours. dual chambered terrarrium, made from styrofoam cooler, plastic sheet roof and plexiglass shield.

=11a= No, I intend to try tryptophan or tryptamine in media, which should skyrocket psilocin concentration at the expense of psilocybin. Neither tryptophan nor tryptamine are easily available.

{{ Where did you hear about the tryptophan idea? References? }}

=12a= Buried 2" deep in well-watered compost heap.

=12b= Everybody wanted some, so I have yet to dry any.

=13a= Fresh, well-masticated, with orange juice and a J.

=13b= Only tried one other time, 6 or 7 yeas ago, so it's hard to say.

=13c= NO.

=14a= PF Tek, I intend to purchase Stamets' _Mushroom Cultivator_ in the future and try my own improvements on the PF Tek.

=15a= It's been a lot of fun so far. I'm doing this as a partnership, so I don't get to see them grow every day, since they are at a location that is NOWHERE near my house. I may also try P. cyanescens outdoors, I'll have to learn a few more things about spawn, etc.

Response #027

=01a= Good old Stropharia. PF & Homestead Books.

=02a= Tried all three. Brown rice to mycelium method easiest.

=03a= 10 % contamination rate max. Usual batch 6-10 1/2 pints.

=04a= :-) 6 - 8, cant remember exactly, been a while.

=05a= No

=06a= Usually only one. Gotta work on that.

=07a= Ranges about 14-22 days.

=08a= Around 30.

=09a= - From approx. 2-15 cm in height.

=10a= Transparent plastic with ultrasonic, 3-4 cycles a day of 2-5 minutes each.

=11a= Nope, an area I need to research.

=12a= Buried in a compost pile in the woods. Hey, were you watching? =12b= Air dried in closet or in freezer.

{{ Drying in the freezer when wet (as opposed to freeze-drying) ruptures cell walls as the water freezes and oxyidizes the psilocybin, doesn't it? }}

=13a= Tea-time anyone? The whole shroom and nothing but the shroom, so help me Xochi.

=13b= Considerably higher quality. Of course freshness had a lot to do with it.

=13c= Havent yet, but if I would, it would be with P. harmala that was purchased. Dont grow well in these parts.

=14a= Mushroom Cultivator, Stamets. Mushrooms Demystified, Arora.

=15a= Actually for such a difficult life-form to grow sucessfully it is a good learning tool. Even if you screw-up (which I did many times) you can give it another shot in less than a month, instead of next season as with most botanicals.

Response #028

Fred, I can't recall if I responded to your survey or not. Here goes...

{{ Possible duplication of response is hereby noted. :-) }}

=01a= Psilocybe Cubensis, P.F.

=02a= Good ol' P.F. Tek, including aquarium bubbler stone method.

=03a= 85-90%, usually 20 out of 24 jars survive & produce.

=04a= 5.

=05a= No. N/A.

=06a= Usually 2, sometimes 3.

=07a= Almost always 4 weeks.

=08a= Anywhere between 45 & 60.

=09a= Each mushroom usually weighed between 5-10 grams, a rare few were 20 grams or more.

=10a= Aquarium bubbler stone & daily water bottle mistings. Sterilite 56 qt plastic box, clear with white lid.

=11a= I have a fondness for growing on wild bird seed. I don't think that has anything special to do with size, etc, but it's easy & cheap.

=12a= They eventually found their way to the local landfill. (I threw them away)

=12b= On a plastic tupperware lid in an open windowsill.

=13a= Ground up in a coffee grinder, then swallowed and chased with juice.

=13b= Very potent - I've only tried mine. Others were extremely pleased, surprised, impressed, blown away, & humbled.

=13c= No.

=14a= The P.F. Tek, The Mushroom Cultivator & Growing Medicinal Mushrooms by Stamets, Food of the Gods, True Hallucinations (MY original inspiration), The Invisible Landscape, Archaic Revival, Psilocybin Groower's Guide, all by Terence McKenna, Acid Dreams, author not remembered, The Psychedelic Version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary, and High Times. Anything by Terry Pratchett couldn't hurt, either. (sorry, that was an attempt at humor)

=15a= Nope.

Response #029

=01a= Psylocybe (Stropharia) cubensis from PF. When ordering be smart and get a PO Box using false ID.

=02a= Just the straight PF method.

=03a= I try to sterilize a cycle of 24 jars every 14 days. I have a real pressure canner which can do 24 1/2 pints in one shot. With this method I have NEVER had an infected jar. Nor have any of my cakes become infected once they are put in the terrarium. I have a 100% success rate.

=04a= I have cultivated 2 crops with a new one ready every 2 weeks.

=05a= YES! I made my own spore syringes and they KICKED ASS ON PF'S! I estimated that they contained 50 to 100 times the number of spores more than PF. I used a heavy squirt in each innoculation hole and all 24 jars were 100% colonized in 10 days flat with no contamination. VERY health mycelium. The reason for this is simple: when you use such a vast quantity of spores you increase your chances of stronger strains being germinated. I don't have any results for fruiting yet but the more vigorous mycelium will probably produce many large strong mushrooms and will have the energy to last many flushes.

=06a= Um, don't really know. The first flush is the biggest and my cakes are mostly on their second now. Still growing. I focus on quantity so I don't care if they stop producing on the second flush. They will just be replaced with more productive cakes!

=07a= Wow, this one REALLY varies. When I first started and used PFs syringes I used TINY amounts of innoculate per hole. Some jars are still not done 2 months later. The factors which affect colonization speed are, in order of importance: water content, substrate density, and spore (sperm?) count. My fastest colonization time was 10 days flat. I'm just waiting for them to pin before I birth them.

Jars at the bottom of the pressure canner usually get filled with water - these are useless. Throw them away and start over. Do not pack the substrate - only smooth out the top once the jar is filled. Just make sure there are no air spaces. Use lots of innoculate.

{{ Good analysis of the situation, I agree wholeheartedly. Especially when packing the substrate. It should not be packed tightly at all.}}

=08a= 34 days.

=09a= Usually 1 inch caps, maybe two inches tall. The sizes really vary. You have to pick them just after the veils break, no matter what the size, or they will drop spores all over the place. When the spores fall onto other mushroom caps it makes them really gross and slimy. Once they go into the sporulation cycle they taste worse as well.

=10a= Ah. This is almost as important as the pressure canner. I didn't fuck around when I did this. I used half a closet for an area about 25 cubic feet. I stapled poly to the walls and installed three 3' X 16" plastic coated metal shelving. (Sold in bulk by the foot at hardware stores - get the 'Tite-mesh' kind with the little bars about 1/2" apart) Then I wrapped the poly around the front leaving a 6" gap for arms. The bottom was bundled up and tied so that it directed condensation into a bucket. Another sheet of poly drops down over the front to 'seal' it and this is kept in place with clips I designed to clip onto each shelf. Water vapor is pumped into an opening in the top of the chamber with a BIONAIRE 210 Ultrasonic humidifier. The chamber itself is very impressive. I've never had any contamination problems in it and it keeps great humidity. One other thing I had to do was a little bit of electrical work inside the closet. I installed a light socket and a plug-in. The light is connected to an electronic timer-switch which controls the lighting periods. I have a simple household timer for the humidifier. This makes everything relatively care-free and I have the capacity to hold up to about 70 cakes. =8)

{{ I guess you don't have to worry about lack of friends, either. "'Shrooms, anyone?" }}

=11a= Nope.

=12a= Haven't thrown any out yet but I plan on trying out casing in a bucket. I might make tea out of them but I'd have to filter it through a coffee filter to get the vermiculite out.

=12b= This is one area which my operation is weak at. I really need to get a food dehydrator to do this properly. Right now I just set them on paper towel on the oven rack with the door open. Then I put this little heater on the oven door and blow warm air on them. Takes a long time.

=13a= I tried fresh and dried, always whole and sometimes in tea. Best thing to do is just eat them. Keep them in your mouth for about 10 minutes each mouthful and COMPLETELY chew them into a paste. It's surprising how tough the fibers are. No wonder they are hard to digest - they're even hard to destroy in your mouth. If you make tea throw in some earl grey and sugar. When you eat the mushrooms after then they taste like earl grey.

{{ If you simmer pulverized 'shrooms for more than 10 minutes, you should be able to throw away the fungus-matter and just drink the tea without loss of psilocybin. }}

=13b= Little bit disapointed here but not much. I had black market shrooms about twice and they were probably semilanceteas. Mine seemed comparable but I usually do about 5 dried grams for a decent trip. (no visuals)

=13c= No MAOIs.

=14a= Yes - this survey! It was invaluable to me when I started out! The PF tek could really use some work and they have some really dumb stuff in there. ie. measuring EACH jar of substrate separately.

{{ Glad I could help. }}

=15a= The following suggestions will save you a lot of time and frustration. Unfortunately they won't save you much money. =8(

Rule #1 - if you're going to do something, do it right. Plan ahead and keep accurate logs ENCRYPTED with a really long password.

{{ Ditto that; if you keep paper records of your successes, they can become very incriminating. But a 'scientific journal' can help alot during the process -- so keep it on disk, encrypted! }}

Rule #2 - use your head about sterility! Don't, for example, take a piss and then start handling cakes without washing your hands. Use disinfectant soap.

Equipment --------- Proper equipment and tools are required for any job no matter what it is. In this case you should definately get a pressure cooker/canner large enough for your needs. Mine is a Presto canner which can do 24 jars at once. It cost #130 Canadian brand new. You should also get an Ultrasonic humdifier. I could NOT find these in any stores at all and I live in a big center. Pick up a bargain finder and get a used one for around $40 - lots of people have them.

There are many types of humidifiers on the market. Don't buy the wrong one. You'll need either an Ultrasonic or a steam one. Avoid these: 'Cool mist', 'Evaporative', 'Natural'. You will end up paying $50 bucks for a fan over a bucket of water and will feel really stupid like I did. 8) Bionaire makes the right stuff for the mushroom grower. They make nice big Ultrasonics and also air purifiers (probably unnecessary). Health care places usually carry them.

Growing Tips ------------ - - if you use a pressure canner you do NOT need to worry about sterility when preparing the jars. You could hock a loogie into a jar and it will still come out sterilized.

{{ Let me add some emphasis: "when PREPARING the jars". After they've been sterilized, that's the time to be careful. }}

- - don't pack the substrate. When filling the jars use a spoon to scoop it in. then take the spoon (vertically) and push it into the subsrate lots of times to lightly push it against the glass.

- - if you use a pressure canner/cooker the bottom jars may get filled with water. For the bottom ones, completely wrap them in foil and put a band of packing tape around the jar to hold it in place. This should keep the water out.

- - use lots of innoculate. For PF syringes I would only do 5 jars per syringe. At first I did 10 jars per syringe but am really regretting it. After your first flush comes in you are PF free. Keep the syringes and re-fill them with your own spore-water.

- - sterlized jars will take a FULL DAY to completely cool.

- - when your first flush comes in you will probably harvest them a day or two late. I did this because I didn't realize how fast they go into spore production. Keep a very close eye on them as they get bigger. The time to pick them is when the veil underneath the cap breaks and exposes the gills. After this happens they can begin dropping spores within a few hours!

Survey Suggestion ----------------- Have a section for yields. I still don't have concrete data on this but the first flush for 24 jars gave me approximately 1.5 ounces of dried material. When I picked them I got a big badass bowl full but they shrink a lot when dried.

{{ Advice taken. Old respondants who haven't answered the yield question, please do so. }}

Response #030

=01a= Cubensis from PF.

=02a= Straight PF method. Currently experimenting with casing and old cakes. Put one crumbled cake into a tupperware container and covered it with vermiculite. Got fruit but very small, nothing I can use. Will keep trying.

=03a= Almost all my cakes have been fine using PFs spore syringes. I've tried with my own print (to mix with water and draw up into a syringe). The cakes came out with rust colored blotches and never fruited. Some of them also got that green contamination. The rust color might have come from actual rusting of the jar tops. I think I wasn't careful enough about sterility in taking the print. Working on another right now and taking all precautions.

My very first two attempts resulted in not even one jar germinating. Ithink I might have inoculated too son, before the sunstrate had cooled enough.

=04a= 10 or 12. =05a= See above. =06a= Usually three. I don't think I've ever gotten more. I've had bad luck using the taller 1/2 pint jars andf they've only produced one flush each. Needless to say, I don't bother with them anymore.

=06b= Sorry but I can't answer this accurately because I've never really kept track of yield except to note "Hmm, this batch produced more than the previous. I can only tell you that I am quite satisfied with the yield I get. If I knew how I would increase it but I'm happy with what I have:-) =07a= If I don't tamp them down when I load the substrate, it takes from 10 to 14 days. If it's packed or there's too much water, it sometimes takes longer (3 weeks).

=08a= Usually 25-30 (estimate).

=09a= The largest mushrooms are about 4 to 5 inches tall and cap is about 2 1/2 to 3 inches diameter. These are rare though. Most are smaller and that's the one thing I haven't been satisfied with. I don't know how it relates but I'd love to find a way to change this aspect of my growing experience.

=10a= I use two styrofoam coolers taped together so they are one long cooler. There's a piece of glass covering the top and I use a small humidifier (Bionaire?) It's hooked to an appliance timer and I've got it set to go on three times a day for an hour each time and the times are spread out evenly over the 24 hour period. I use only three sessions because that's the number of little pieces that turn on the humidifier. I can't find a 6 event timer. Lately I've been cutting the times in half if I am here because they seem to be getting a bit too much humidity and I was getting an increase in rot (you know, the black gooey stunted shrooms). I think if I had more periods of shorter duration it would work a little better (or maybe alot better). =11a= No, only because I don't know what to use. =12a= I've thrown them away but like I said above I am now trying to recycle them through casing. I also plan to try eating them.

=12b= I use stuff called De-Moist (typical dessicant used for closets etc.). It's in a foil container with a screen on top of the desiccant and the shrooms are placed on top of that and the whole thing sealed in a plastic bag. It's reusable and works really well. Dry like crackers.

=13a= I always make tea and sometimes accompany the tea with munching a couple of fresh ones.

=13b= More potent. I've only done shrooms a coupl eof times aside from my own and they were not as good. I suspect they had been around awhile

=13c= No but that's another thing I'm working on. I'm going to buy some rue from a brother on the list. =13d= No. Ther may well be a difference but I haven't noticed one.

=13e= New seems much better.

=14a= No. I got everything from Hyperreal (especially the grow journal written by a VPL member under the name of Dojah. I pretty much followed him word for word).

=15a= I'm looking forward to seeing more and more people growing and more and more people turning on. The ease with which we can grow shrooms now is a blessing and a promoter of democracy and hilarity.

=== End of Internet Mushroom Grower's Survey, part THREE of THREE, Version 05. ===

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