Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today I am preparing the jars of substrate on which the fruiting bodies will emerge.

The bowl to the right contains 2 cups of vermiculite, 3/4 cup of brown rice flower, and 3/4 cup of rain water. Tap water will do, but the rain water was handy.

This will give me enough substrate for 3 - 250 ml (1/2 pint) jars.

I filled each jar with substrate and then tamped it down to leave a 1" space from the top. Then, using a dry clean paper towel, I wiped off the excess that was clinging to the inside of the jar. If not cleaned off, any contaminants that happen to find their way into the jar during the colonization period will follow this trail of organic material down into the substrate area.

Above you can see the 3 circular pieces of grey cardboard that will act as barriers to the "rice cake" below. From left to right, the photo shows a jar filled with substrate, the cardboard and jar, and cardboard in place.

The jars were then capped with lids that contain four holes. Using small pieces of aluminum foil the lids were covered so as to prevent water dripping into the jar during sterilization.

I pressure cooked the jars for 1.5 hrs. The pressure cooker is currently cooling off.

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