Schroomage: Plugs of Oyster, Lions Mane and Shiitake installed …

… ready for harvest next year, we think.

Actually, this is a test run, and one which may not bear any [funghi] fruit as we are using a substrate (the lime or linden) felled by an errant gust of wind in August 2013. Its been on my mind to try this for a while because, frankly, the log is no use to anyone given that someone, at sometime, a long time ago had banged a bunch of hand cut 6-8″ nails into the tree. These nails were so embedded in the log that we only knew they were there when the stripped off the tungsten tips of our mill blade on the Lucas Mill.

We thought there’d be only one or two, but it turned out there were a whole heap of them around a foot under the surface. A real shame because the wood would’ve been fantastic for a variety of uses.

So we are left with a big log, one which we thought to innoculate with a bunch of mushroom types to see which would take. Luckily on the surface we have a 4″x4″ half milled length which is perfect for innoculation (see here for the types and thicknesses of wood appropriate – lime being conspicuously absent). However, while this, and the final log from the monkey puzzle, will be further tested on, I found in my research that Alder (which grows like topsy here – ‘topsy’ being a technical term you understand) is a particularly flexible wood for the growing of mushrooms, so one of my projects for the next few months (to provide me with distraction from the all-consuming deskwork that is planning for the restoration of the castle) is to set up some shroom stands in the grounds and innoculate them with further types, including Evoki, Pearl Oyster, Lion’s Mane, Chicken, Shiitake. As you may have gathered, I love mushrooms, and given the enjoyment we have had from the Chanterelle we sometimes find in the woods behind us, I felt this might be a worthwhile endeavour!

Puffballs, Bats and Statements of Requirement: Building Momentum at Dunans this August

IMG_1697While the last couple of weeks have included a well-earned break, we have also been working hard on the next stage of the Dunans project. In fact, if truth be told, the whole thing is rather taking off!!

The image shows what look like puffball mushrooms on the main lawn at Dunans, but are in fact essential placemarkers for the laser survey AOC carried out on Thursday. The results of which we’ll post as soon as possible.

The same day, well, evening we had the first of our ecological surveys, with 6 bat spotters onsite until 11 pm, recording all the bats that spin about our belfry!

And this Friday, myself, Robin (our architect) and Sadie went through statement of requirements for castle and ScottishLaird office. These are essential pre-requisites before the designing of space begins – a design which will use the laser survey as its basis.