Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shiitakes -- Fresh From a Cube!

In advance of our Mushroom Inoculation class next week, I ordered a Tabletop Farm from Field and Forest.

My idea was to have actual live, growing mushrooms at the workshop for everyone to see. Well, the durn thing is already fruiting, even though I thought it might take 7 to 10 days to ramp up to production. Here's what it looks like:

I put it in a cooler area, hoping to slow it down some. It's a full week til the workshop. Yow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tasty Fungi

We all know what mushrooms are. We've seen them. And probably eaten some. But have you ever purposefully inoculated a log with spores of the fungi you like to eat? Well, if you haven't then you need to come to a class on How To Grow Mushrooms on Logs. It's on February 23 at 1pm and repeated at 6pm.

If you'd like to come, please call the office at 679-6361 and pre-register. By pre-registering, you are reserving a log for yourself. I'd ask that you bring a drill and a 5/16" and/or 7/16" drill bit. If you don't have these tools, we'll have some, but it'll take you longer since the equipment may be shared among participants.

We're going to grow shiitake mushrooms on the logs we inoculate. We're going to have a lot of fun -- and hopefully learn a lot in the process.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Beginning Beekeeping Session Cancelled

We've had to cancel the first session of the Beginning Beekeeping Course tonight. The speaker was coming from north of us where they are having much more problems with the weather.

We still plan on holding the entire course -- it will just be off a week. Those that have signed up, be sure to come to the first session next Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Cold Outside (and stay that way!)

Over the past 3 days, I've seen the temperature at 4F and 5F on Saturday and this morning, respectively. We've got 3 outside cats who amaze me at their toughness. We built them a cathouse out of leftover insulating panels. We also make sure they have a fluffy old comforter inside their cathouse. In the mornings when I feed them, they saunter out of their house and feel warm to the touch.

Cats amaze me at how they handle the cold. And birds (we feed a bunch of them). But my plants do too. And they aren't provided anything to protect them. I took some shots of the ice that enveloped the bark and buds of some of my trees and shrubs over the weekend.

Here's my yellowood (Cladrastis kentuckea) bud encased in ice.
The bark of my young catalpa is frost-covered too.

January has been great (cold, I know, but great) since we haven't had any warm-ups. If we get some abnormally warm days, trees and shrubs can be tricked into growing. Remember April 2007?

As much as I hate to say it, I kinda hope it stays cold through February.