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Monday, April 10, 2017

Plugging Away. Pun Intended.

Precise holes drilled into logs, then a
sawdust/spore mix is plugged into the holes
using mushroom injector thingies.
Let me know if I'm getting too technical.


Making sure the plug is tamped into
the holes.  See stacks of logs in background...


Melted wax is then daubed onto the holes
to seal and protect the spores.


For mental health purposes, I spent a cold, rainy, windy day inoculating maple and oak logs with shitake mushroom spores.  Doesn't everyone?  No?  I am so shocked.  Friends are starting a mushroom enterprise and I volunteered to trade labor for mushrooms.  Can it get better than that?  Spending some hours in rhythmic mindless-ness with music and good company?  I think not.  Unless it's the fact that I also worked out a trade with buckets of llama beans for organic tomato plants.  Woot!


Seed-starting workshop
Saturday morning started out the same as Friday - cold, wet and raw.  I went to the seed-starting workshop that was put on by a local organic farm that also has a foundation dedicated to self-sustainability and community involvement.  I have bought awesome vege at their roadside stand and have spent time gawking lovingly at their herd of Scottish Highland cattle.  Our instructor was a winsome young woman who was articulate, enthusiastic, well-organized, and an overall wonderful representative for anything food, farming and sustainability.  The only photo I had from the workshop is the inane still life above.  I was too busy taking notes and planting winter lettuce and kale.  I came away with a wealth of information and a six-pack (of seed starts) - two hours of good stuff for a donation of $10.  It was so worth it.  Then Melanie and I hoofed it back to my place for a picnic - my donation, thanks to Michelle, over at Boulderneigh, was Russian Carrot Pie.  I have all the Moosewood cookbooks, and had forgotten how many of the recipes in the Enchanted Broccoli Forest book I loved!  If I can tolerate this crust, it is going to become my go-to-pie crust!


Nut crust, using Einkorn flour and ground
pecans.
In my own defense, I did send M home with extra...
Melanie brought sandwiches on Udi's GF chiabata rolls with fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, pesto and sun-dried tomatoes - OMG.  AND her amazing sweet potato salad with red beans, sweet potatoes and peas. 


The weather finally started to perk up in the afternoon, so I did get a start on my composting complex and got some celery seeds started.  On Sunday, I was out and at-em early, got some errands done - trash to the transfer station, things dropped off with a neighbor - and then back outside.  I have the composting complex almost finished, I cleaned out two of the raised beds and got started on a third, did some general clean-up around the yard, hung three loads of laundry on the line, and cleaned off the back deck.  It was so glorious to be outside without seven layers on - with the sun shining and just enough breeze to 'stimulate' my laundry.  The dogs got lots of fresh air and ran non-stop for a couple of hours.  There was much snoring later that evening.  I fired up the grill for the first time and, all-in-all, it was a great weekend.  I squeezed in another load of laundry to hang out this morning before leaving for work - all the dog's laundry - as this is another glorious day.  Tomorrow it starts to go downhill, weather-wise, so I am trying to take advantage of every nice moment.




















18 comments:

  1. geesh. gee wiz. holy moly. when the angels were handing out energy in the energy line - you MUST have gotten back in line several times - don't even try to lie about it! and i soooo want to start mushrooms. that's it. i'm starting mushrooms this year!

    sending you a whole big pack of love for some of that "Susan" energy. please send it ASAP!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. I've been known to cut in line... :) You are now slouch in the energy area either, sweet Kymber!

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  2. i seriously need to grow my own mushrooms! i did once way back when. i keep hoping morels will appear in my gardens somewhere. we are having sunny 80+ weather. i could scream!

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    1. Let's face it - seasons as we knew them are a thing of the past. The only normal is abnormal. I once found some morels while walking the dogs, but they have not made a reappearance, even though I was very careful when I cut them to leave most of the stem.

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  3. I haven't had ANY luck with mushroom logs. I'm on my 4th one that was gifted to me from the girls at the AG Expo last October. They used several logs for demonatration purposes & didn't want to lug them back to Wisconsin so they gave them to us volunteers. That seed starting workshop sound fabulous & so does that pie (plus the crust of course!).

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    1. DFW - My one foray into mushroom logs was a dud, too. I am finding that leaving the work to others - then whining until I get a share of the 'profits' - works great! My friends are so patient...

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  4. Not to be annoying, but this is a problem I have been worried about, and I wondered if you do too. I got a llama last fall to use as a guard for my sheep. I am not certified organic, but use all organic methods, particularly never worming my sheep and cattle. However, I was told that by the vet that I had to worm my llama each month with some Ivermectin product to protect her against the meningeal worm, which could actually kill her. Do you do this? If so, do your friends with the organic tomato plants worry about the manure from the llama, which I am assuming cannot be considered organic because of the wormer?

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    1. FB, I spoke to my friend - who had/has a certified organic garden - and she said that the subject of 'organic' manure has never been an easy topic. There are too many irregularities in manure, so she just uses mine. I do not regularly worm my llama - she seems healthy and because she is practically blind, handling her is thorny. The sheep do get wormed as needed, but usually 1-2x a year. I try to organically treat them - garlic and pumpkin/squash seeds seem to work well - rather than use Ivermectin, etc.

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    2. Thanks very much for checking on this. I really appreciate it. Funny about the worming; I have eight ewes, a bunch of cattle and 60 acres. I have never, ever wormed the cattle or the sheep, and my sheep shearer just checked them again today (the eyelid thing) and said they looked great. However, the vet was adamant that I had to worm my llama every month as she could be exposed to the meningeal worm through deer poop. The llama experts tell me I really must worm her only between the months of August and December. Kind of confusing, but the vets have me scared about this. Thanks again!

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  5. As always, what you accomplish leaves me winded! I LOVE trades, and you made some good ones! Jealous of the picnic with Melanie; hi, Melanie!!!

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  6. Just think of all the delicious things you'll make with your shitake mushrooms!

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  7. You do lead an interesting life, my friend! Good shitake mushrooms in your future . . . sounds loverly.

    And, gosh, you do eat so well. All the food you talk about makes me wonder why I can't cook as gourmet-ish on a regular basis!

    Glad you finally got at least a weekend of decent weather with no snow. Our forecast is kinda iffy and possibly back to the cold snowy/sleety/rainy side for the next couple of days. But, hey, if it weren't like this it wouldn't be spring in northern Minnesota!

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    1. I am never easy about spring - we can go from weeks of balmy weather to two days of winter in the blink of an eye. It's all I can do to not go out and plant everything. I always wait until May - just in case.

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  8. A sweet potato salad with red beans and peas? Please share, I made a sweet potato salad with boiled eggs, and greek yogurt. I would love to try another version. Sounds like you have an amazing weekend.

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  9. Hi Susan! :) I'm very impressed with your mushroom production! I'm looking forward to seeing how all of that turns out! You did so much over the weekend...I feel like a lazy bum compared to you lol...my day will come! I'm just waiting for the weather to change. I love the sound of snoring dogs... :)

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    1. Rain - It will be a year before I reap the harvest of my hard work. They are also growing oyster mushrooms in coffee grounds, red caps, and lion manes. As soon as all the dogs are snoring, it creates an odd kind of lullaby and I am soon snoring myself...

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