The whole Mushrooms' Paradise blog

 

 

Introduction

 

This is the last part of creating mushroom cakes. The goal today was to inoculate them with mycelium and let it grow in a dark place.

 

During this step the medium is sterilized already. However if the environment where this task is done is not sterile, there is a high probability of mold and bacteria contamination. Some contaminants, like Apergillus, release deadly toxins and are the strongest of hepatocarcinogenes known. So it is critical to have a sterile environment. You can read more about mushrooms’ contaminants here http://en.psilosophy.info/what_are_common_contaminants_of_the_mushroom_culture.html

(Warning: images there are pretty unappetizing)

 

Step 1. Create a still air box

 

I assume there will be no issues with creating a sterile environment in space. After all all biological labs have it. The problem is that equipment costs thousands of dollars. The cheapest possible kind-of-sterile environment can be achieved by using a still air box. It is a transparent tote box with holes for hands, and a person does all the operations inside the box. It prevents airborne contamination. So I made this box using a tote box and circular drill, and sterilized it with vinegar and alcohol.

 

 

 

Step 2. Inject jars with mycelium

 

Jars with medium to be taken from a pressure cooker and injected with mycelium through previously drilled holes in the caps. I was doing it for the first time, so I didn’t use mycelium efficiently. Instead of having 8 jars of each mushrooms’ strains - King, King Blue and Pearl. I lost mycelium on the first 2 strains and had 6 of each. And the syringe with the last strain - Pearl - was used to inject mycelium in 12 jars. This means on average, the jar with Pearl strain got 50% of the amount of mycelium that jars with other strains did. So I expect the Perl strain’s mycelium to grow much slower. And it will cause the first complication to the project - mushrooms’ cakes will not be all ready at the same time.

 

 

This is how working in still air box looks like

working in still air box

 

 

The process of injection

injecting liquid mycelium

 

 

Step 3. Move jars to a dark clean chamber and wait

 

After injection all jars were moved to a dark, clean place.  In my case - freezer of not-working fridge. There mycelium will grow and eventually colonize the whole jar.

 

now just wait

 

 

Now I just have to wait for 2 weeks and see if this process was successful.

While mycelium grows, I will be working on my enclosure, so the next blog post will be about electronics.