Posted by: David | February 24, 2013

February 2013 Update

February draws to a close. It’s snowing today. It’s a heavy, sticky snow that’s clinging to the trees.

It’s very pretty.

Here’s a little video clip, courtesy of the iPhone 4.

We started our onion seeds last week. They’re beginning to sprout. One tray is a week or so ahead because my wife planted the seeds that I’d had in moistened paper towels- testing their germination rates. Seeds saved from 2011 and 2012 seem to have nearly equal vigor. The 2012 seeds were gathered from a smaller selection of bulbs that had shown both desirable characteristics of large size and lengthy storage.

Seeds from the germination tests.


Another experiment going on in the cellar is a mushroom growing kit. Ordered from Fungi Perfecti, this kit requires little more that an occasional misting with water. She selected the “Pearl Oyster Mushroom Patch” and it’s already producing little baby mushrooms. The oyster mushroom is one that we’ve been foraging for in the woods of early autumn. They like to grow on decaying hardwood trees, stumps or logs. They’re easy to spot, difficult to mix up with any other potentially toxic fungi,  have a delicious mild flavor and texture when sauteed in some butter. They freeze well too.

Humidity tent is to be kept in place until fruiting bodies start to press against it.

The kit instructions promise a few pounds of harvested mushrooms. 

After the mushrooms have used up all the nutrients in the kit, the bundle of whatever-it-is can be broken up and put into a compost pile, rotting straw or what-have-you to continue. I’ll let you know how this turns out.

Thanks for visiting! 🙂


  1. Love your video. It looks exactly like that here right now, and it’s supposed to continue snowing through the night. For the life of me I don’t know why my neighbors are out shoveling now.

    ‘Shrooms! Just what you need to accompany all the other yummy things you grow.

    Thanks Pied! Glad you liked the silly vid. We’re in the snow this winter after 2 winters without.

    We actually harvested a cup or so of the shrooms and they were delicious! I hope we can use the spores to inoculate some hosts in our yard.

  2. We got Art Major a mushroom kit at Christmas. I think he let it die.

    Loved the video and the music. You always choose the best music.

    Heads-up… I’m posing a question of up-most importance to you (by name) Sunday next. (3-10-13) Be aware!

    Oh really? Which kit was that? I can see how that unfortunate event could happen. We have the pearl oyster mushroom kit in our basement, across from our plant table. It smells rather badly and needs to be misted every day. But we’ve collected some shrooms from it already. We’ll see if it lives up to its $37 price tag.

    I’m glad you liked the video. The music (which I normally credit on the YouTube site) was the opening strains of a song called The Ghost on the Shore, by a band called Lord Huron. A friend at work recommended this album (Lonesome Dreams) based on our mutual admiration of another band called Bon Iver. Working at a college provides a steady stream of interesting music recommendations from students as well as coworkers. Though I could do without some of the expletive-laced crap flowing from dormitory windows when spring finally arrives.

    Thanks for the heads up on your upcoming query. I hope it’s not too difficult for my overtaxed pea brain.

    • Where are all the readers anyway? You don’t have any and neither do I, it seems. Huh.

      Pffft. Who needs readers?

  3. Finally, a testimonial about the mushroom growing idea! I keep thinking about trying it. Sounds like it’s working well for you, but remind me not to visit when you are looking around your yard for hosts to inoculate. And really ‘fruiting bodies press against it’ was a little risqué– could some of the milder dorm window music be taking root in your subconscious?

    Hah! What a great comment linniew! Thank you 🙂 After the initial bloom the yield has subsided. My wife thinks it’s too dry down in the cellar, where our woodstove burns.

    Yeah, my subconscious has some definite mildew growth. I wonder what my regular conscious is like. >shudder<

  4. back trouble. — actually, surfing with the help of a cane……american humor?…no. a cane bought at the chino’s for 4 euros. nice cane <<<. support while typing with one hand except question mark

    Sorry to hear this cantueso. Don’t understand the question mark though …

    • americans love the Absurd, because they dislike constraints. — do i contradict myself ? so i contradict myself. i am big, i contain many. — this is from your chief poet, keep forgetting his name.amen.

      the cane is also necessary to read leo strauss, and so just now i saw the use he makes of the term <dogmatic<

      The knowledge which we need for the
      conquest of nature must indeed be dogmatic, but its dogmatism
      must be based on extreme skepticism; the synthesis of dogmatism
      and skepticism eventually takes the form of an infinitely progressive
      science as a system or agglomeration of confirmed hypotheses which
      remain exposed to revision in infinitum.

      maybe it is directed at karl popper

      this is the strauss who used to get misquoted among bush et al
      he is awful to read, because it is mainly german, maybe a refugee, but i don't know about his bio.

  5. Are there any igloos where you live?
    I have been wondering what the igloo people will do if there is any more global warming. Now the newspapers only feel sorry for the icebears.


    Hi zenforlater! No igloos, but people sometimes build “snow caves” for fun or for survival if they’re lost in the winter wilderness. Not to worry, global warming will be solved by the giant asteroid collision. A cosmic “reset”.

    • But the igloos are to them what real estate is to us. They are their assets, and those melt in the sun. I think they ought to hire a good lawyer and claim damages.

      And how is that mushroom production coming? I hope you don’t starve if it fails. You had better check your supply of flour, rice, noodles just in case. Mushrooms, even if fully grown, have few calories, you know.

      Lucky for the igloo builders, lawyers are few and far between.

      The mushroom production turned out to be a bit disappointing. One small harvest and that was that. We hope that we can inoculate various hosts outdoors once the weather warms.

  6. What? Nothing new? Really? You’re nearly as bad as I am about updating! Check my blog on Monday next for an update. You might not like it.

    Plenty new, every day, and plenty the same. Just less time to prattle on ad nauseum.

    Thanks for the loan of the towel to chuck in.

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