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Socoder -> Word of the Week -> Word of the Week : Boletus

Posted : Sunday, 02 February 2020, 17:06

Word of the Week : Boletus

This week's word is..


Boletus is a genus of mushroom-producing fungi, comprising over 100 species.

What is Word of the Week?

Each week, a different word is posted.
Allow the word to inspire you in some way.

The word might set you off creating a brand new game. (Memories of Wednesday Workshop?!)
It may spark a creative Pixelart.
You might make a piece of music based around the word.

Or the word could jolt a random memory from your past.
Tell us a story.
Write us a poem.

Create, and post.

Hello. I am the official Socoder User.
I used to be known as Mr Testo.
I am no longer known as Mr Testo.
Posted : Monday, 03 February 2020, 02:48
Aye, got an idea for this one
Posted : Monday, 03 February 2020, 09:39
'ere!, shroom-monk, it's your favourite subject.
Posted : Sunday, 09 February 2020, 08:28
steve_ancell 'ere!, shroom-monk, it's your favourite subject.

I mean, how can I not do this one? I have, though, been struggling to come up with a 'creative' idea all week.

However, for Christmas, my girlfriend got me a thing for turning old books into a crop of oyster mushrooms - and since I've finally got my first free weekend in a while (and it's definitely not outdoors weather right now...), I decided to set them up today! I took some pictures as I went, and figured I'd share them here.

Here's the box and its contents (not pictured: instruction sheet):

There's a sealed bag full of oyster mushroom spores, and a filter bag that the end result (of this stage) goes into.

You also need some old books that you're willing to sacrifice to grow them in. We didn't have any that we were willing to part with, so we went to some charity shops and found some old books that we didn't think anyone would miss - a (slightly out of date) dictionary of computer terms, and an interesting dictionary attempting to give a primer on all fields of human endeavour.

Say goodbye, books! Because the first step is to thoroughly soak them in warm water, and squeeze out all the bubbles. You'd be surprised how much air is in these things!

With the air expunged, I then left them to soak for 20 minutes, before lifting them out and squeezing out the excess water. Wet, but not over-saturated. Next, I took the spore mixture and distributed it amongst the pages of the books. In the bag it looks like a big, off-white chunk of mystery substance, but it's basically rubbery, brittle stuff that's full of spores that look like small seeds. Here are a few of them being distributed across some pages in one of the books:

Having done that at numerous points throughout the two wet books, the final step is to bind them up tightly in elastic bands, and stick them in the filter bag. Then seal the filter bag up airtight with tape, and the first stage is done!

The bag now sits at room temperature away from the sun for a few days, after which the books should have turned white as the mycelium develops and fills the books. Once that has happened, the bag goes in the fridge for a few days as a 'cold shock' - to simulate the change of the seasons! That should start the mushrooms growing.

It'll be a different word of the week by then, but if people are still interested then I might post some updates as they grow.

A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Posted : Sunday, 09 February 2020, 08:33
Can't wait to see Shroomy's Shrooms!!

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Posted : Sunday, 16 February 2020, 11:58
One week later...

In the first couple of days, the filter bag expanded a fair bit with gas, but otherwise nothing much seemed to be happening.

Then suddenly, over the last few days, the mycelium has been bursting out of the books at an astonishing rate! The insides must presumably contain a bunch more out of sight.

Hopefully in a few more days the books will be fully covered, and then it's onto the next stage!

A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Posted : Sunday, 16 February 2020, 13:02
Eeeeuw, creepy!!!
Posted : Sunday, 16 February 2020, 18:08

View on YouTube
Posted : Sunday, 15 March 2020, 16:46
I have kept meaning to post an update on this for... *checks date of last post* well bugger, a whole month apparently! Things have been pretty busy recently, but have finally had my first free weekend in a while (he says, also watching all his future weekend plans for the foreseeable future get called off...)

So, what happened since last time? Spent a few days away from home shortly after the last post, during which time we left the heating on low, and came back to find a collection of small pinheads had appeared on the mycellium. This led to the realisation that the low heating might have triggered the 'cold shock' phase that is meant to kick-start the growth, but then I got worried that it might not have triggered properly. So, following the instructions, the whole setup spent a few days in the fridge to get a 'proper' cold shock.

After that it went back on the side to receive regular mistings of whatever, and sure enough more pinheads appeared and then rapidly started to grow. It's amazing how fast these things get bigger. Every morning they were noticeably larger than the day before - even comparing morning to night, you could see a difference. I failed to take any in-progress pictures, though.

Over the last week and a bit, two of the mushrooms grew to a decent size. I realised too late that I had misread the instructions and had not been water misting them quite as frequently as I should have been, so maybe I would have gotten more if I'd done that. But in any case, we harvested and used those two in a meal this weekend. They tasted pretty good!

Pictures of what they looked like just before harvesting below.

The book setup has now been moved to the utility room where the room temperature is much more variable, to see if we can stimulate a second flush. No idea whether that will work given my earlier water misting failure, but we'll see. In any case, this has been fun! I still find it weird to think that these mushrooms are made of books...

A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Posted : Sunday, 15 March 2020, 16:53
That's all kinds of cool!
Looks creepy as fuck, but cool none-the-less.

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