Growing Psilocybe Azurescens on woodchips.
These 3 mushrooms grow in the colder and wetter places on Earth. Therefore they are no good to grow indoors. You must live in a place where autumn is cold and wet and besides you need to find a location where you can lay the bed and where it is safe throughout the year. We are thinking of a bed in the garden (or woods) of 80 * 80 * 10 cm. These mushrooms come up in the autumn and in the beginning of the winter. The whole process from preparing the spawn until the mushrooms come out is a process that will take very long. If you want to harvest these mushrooms in the autumn, you actually must start at the beginning of the year (Jan/Feb). The growing process normally has 3 phases: – preparing the spawn – growing the mycelium outdoors – growing the mushrooms First you must prepare the spawn. You do not need that much: 300 to 400 ml. is enough. Rye is the best basis for spawn and the mycelium of these mushrooms grows best in the incubator with a temperature of 20 °C or 68°F When the rye is totally colonized, it is time for the next step in preparing the spawn. The Psilocybe Azurescens, Psilocybe Cyanescens and Baeocystis love wood chips. The colonized rye will also be helpful in colonizing a part of the wood chips with mycelium. It does not really matter what kind of wood chips you use. In general the mushrooms grow very well on almost all kinds of wood chips. We use the ones that you can buy in the pet shops to use as underground for your pet house. Before you inoculate the wood chips with the colonized rye, you must first soften them by soaking them. Fill up 2 pots of 1000 ml for 60% with small wood chips and totally cover the wood chips with water. Let them soak for 48 hours. After 48 hours let the 2 pots with the wood chips leak out in a strainer. Do this very thoroughly. Fill the 2 pots again with the prepared wood chips and close the pots with a lid with a filter. The pots must be now sterilized for 1 hour on 15 psi. Let the pots quietly cool down afterwards. If the pots have cooled down entirely, you can start to inoculate with rye. Divide de rye over the 2 pots. After inoculation you must give the 2 pots a good shake to spread the rye. After that, place the pots in the incubator (18 – 20 °C.). After 2 up to 4 weeks the pots have been entirely colonized. From time to time shake the pots well to speed up the process. Once this has happened, it is time to prepare for the open air. For an outside ‘bed’ of 80 * 80*10 cm. you need approximately 10 liters of wood chips. It is all right if these wood chips are a bit larger than the ones you used for making the brood. Put these 10 liters in a garbage bag and add plenty water. Let this now soak for 24 hours. After these 24 hours the bag must leak out entirely. Make some small holes in the bag tot make that happen. And cut off, after a while, the corners on the bottom of the garbage bag. Wait till there is no more water left. Put your boots on! Go outside and dig a hole in the ground of your desired size. It is smart to choose a spot with much shade. Scatter a layer of 4 – 5 centimeters wood chips on the floor. Take the 2 pots with brood (loosened up by shaking) and scatter these over the complete bed. Cover this again with a few centimeters of wet wood chip. The bed is almost ready now. Irrigate the bed and cover it with a garbage bag. This makes the bed the ideal environment for the mushrooms, nice wet and dark. You can keep the bag in its place by laying some stones on the edge. The best time of the year to make such an outside bed is around March/April. Your work is down for now. During spring and summer the mycelium needs enough time to build a firm network thorough the whole bed of wood chips. Verify, however, on a regular basis if the bed still has a nice humid condition. Spray the bed with water if necessary. At the beginning of September the weather becomes colder and wetter: the ideal circumstances for the growing mushrooms. Remove the garbage bag and give the bed, if needed, a good irrigation to keep it humid. You will probably see a number of insects and other small beasts walking around in and on your bed. Do not worry; these small creatures will not damage your work. They do not have an influence on the quality of the bed or the growing of your mushrooms, except in extreme cases (plagues etc.) I would almost say: give them the space and let them enjoy the mycelium… It is difficult to indicate when the mushrooms will rise. This is entirely dependent on the specific weather of that particularly autumn. You can expect them from mid- September up to beginning December. Care at all times that the bed will not dry out. It can be that in one autumn several flushes will rise. After the last flush you can simple leave the bed. The mycelium should not have too much trouble surviving the winter and giving flushes the next year. It is nevertheless wise to spread out, at the beginning of a new spring, a fresh layer of wood chips on the bed.