Nan's Nook : Archives : Misc Tek : Straw Tek

Visions' Laundry Basket Tek, *my kind of laundry*

Posted: Jan 19 03, 02:01 PM GMT  

Well I know that a majority of the people here have their qualms about straw but here is a very interesting tek I am preparing to play around with. It was created by visions in one of his many experiment to mimic nature's processes. If done correctly the results are undeniable.

Visions’ (L.B.) Tek

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One of my best qualities is being able to look at seemingly complex problems and to simplify the understanding of what is going on. My goal when I first started was to simplify everything, and to Keep it Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) All I did was try to understand how mushrooms grow outside and what we were doing wrong by trying to control their man-made environment. Trust me when I say I have had many more failures than successes, but without those failures I wouldn't understand what is going on and how simple it really is!

Spawn prep.

The first step toward your very own Vision Laundry basket will be the preparation of your spawn. Once you have chosen a grain to use for spawn, (I use Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries,) put the grains in a large pot and cover completely with water. Next bring temp up to 160*-180*. Once you have reached this temp zone, cover with a lid, turn off heat, and let soak 24hrs. While the grains are soaking cut a 3/4" round hole in the lid of a Qt jar and fill that hole with Pollyfill or cover with other suitable filter material. Fold and compact the Pollyfill, then pull it through the hole. It should be pretty tight and will look like a large ball on each side of the lid. The Pollyfill will act as a filter without which you won't get much growth.

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After the grains have soaked for 24hrs, rinse very well, drain well, then fill your Pollyfill filtered quart jars no more than 2/3 with grains. Put lids on with the rubber side down (the way they are meant to be on,) and PC for 75min. Take the jars out as soon as the pressure goes to Zero and tighten the lids. Let them cool completely then inoculate (preferably in a pressure box as mentioned below.)

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The next optional step will greatly increase the turnover time of each basket but is optional. You will need to acquire or build a simple pressure box for around $50 that you will use to do grain to grain transfers. Once you have successfully colonized a Qt jar or two, you will use your pressure box to complete Grain to grain transfers thus multiplying your spawn by 10-20X. When I do grain to grain I use about 2tbs to inoculate the new jars and most finish in 5 days. If you do grain to grain transfers you should have your crop between 5 to 7weeks tops

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Substrate Pasteurization

The next step is the preparation of the substrate that will be spawned with the grains prepared in the previous step. We will be using straw with some added manure in an open aired environment (more air = Less Contams) so pasteurization will be used to knock bacteria and microbe levels down to a suitable level. Pasteurize your straw by submerging it in 160 degree water; Mix in little by little, as you add the hot water, approximately 1/5 cup bleach and 5 large heaping tbs. Hydrated Lime(I use Hoffman's) to approximately 1/5th bale straw(one basket worth). As you add water to your straw the straw will compact so keep adding and pressing down till you used around 1/5th a bale. Make sure all the straw is submerged then cover it and let soak till it reaches room temperature. Once water has cooled to room temp poke holes in your bag or pull your drain plug and allow to drain WELL, then spawn.

Spawn Transfer

Now that your spawn is completely colonized and your straw is pasteurized you are ready to begin your basket. The baskets are 1 bushel, 12” tall and approximately 18" in diameter. You can find them at Walmart for $2 each; the size is perfect and easy to work with. Layer the straw and spawn into your basket (with many holes drilled in the bottom to avoid pooling water and add air circulation) so that it is uniform throughout. 3Qt jars of Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries is enough spawn per basket. I use 4Qt, not because it is needed, but because I like to use a lot of spawn. When I use Millet however, 3Qt jars are plenty. Millet breaks up finely and gives great coverage. You may also layer in some pasteurized manure at this point, (I use "Brooks" sold at "Frank's" nursery) which will help hold in some moisture but this is optional. Once your basket is nearly full it must be cased on top. Your casing material should also be pasteurized in bleach water (1/4 tsp bleach per Gal. water). Once soaked, squeeze out excess water and put 1 1/2"-2" casing on top of the basket of straw and spawn layers.

Basket Maintenance

Now that your straw has been spawned and cased it is time for colonization and fruiting. Remember, nature is not perfect so we need not be perfect either, but your basket will need some nurturing. First off remember that more air = less contams so do not cover your basket during colonization; the stale air will only give mold and bacteria a chance to thrive. If your room is dry (very low humidity like mine is) mist heavy a couple times a day if you can. Remember that the mycelia likes it moist not wet. Wet will slow it down. Straw holds a lot of water. You could mist up to a Qt of water over the course of a day per basket. Try not to let the casing dry out, especially when you see the mycelia poking through the casing which should happen about two weeks after spawning. When you see the mycelium poking through the casing that's when you can lightly cover the basket in a clear plastic bag, leaving room on the sides of the basket(in other words don't close it up tight). Fresh Air is the Key!

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Once it starts pinning you can water the hell out of it(one big watering.) Excess water will drain out all the holes you will drill in the bottom of the baskets. I keep my temp in my grow room between 72*-76*, everything dries out less, less stress on the mycelium, and they prefer to fruit at these same temperatures. If you water it properly, you will get everything in one flush.

- Photos added wink.gif

Posted: Jan 19 03, 03:49 PM GMT  
This tek would be great in a small room with a humidifier running all the time......instead of deep, long beds, GIANT CAKES!!!
Posted: Jan 21 03, 12:48 AM GMT  
I been waiting for this thing for a long time, so good to finaly understand the bleach and lime that he uses. Now if only those pictures were there wink.gif

Good job on the compilation Chronic smile.gif
Posted: Jan 21 03, 01:00 AM GMT  
email those pics and I will load them and link em in wink.gif

Posted: Jan 21 03, 08:46 AM GMT  
Ive seen the pics, you can do your laundry at my house anytime!! tongue.gif

Is this as easy as it looks? How about using some of those plastic milk crates? they have more holes in them. And then hang them from the ceiling w/ plastic draped around them, to fruit. A giant fuiting sphere, where would you hold it?? laugh.gif
Posted: Jan 21 03, 10:16 AM GMT  
This tek is best in the summertime.....
The humidity in a house heated w/ central air in the wintertime is around 20-30......and that will entirely dry out a wet casing in open air overnight...and if you put plastic on it, it condenses WAY too much in BIG water droplets that drip all over the pinheads and fuck everything up....
Works great in high humidity tho....
Put a humidifier in a closet and your set....

can be a bitch....but it's a good tek
when the humidity isn't so low you can leave em out in the air,
no plastic, nuthin....the evaporating water makes a microclimate above the casing that forms pins great cause there is no CO2 sitting on the just have to overwet the casing a little to make up for the evaporation.

I went in Dollar Tree yesterday and saw those baskets for a buck each....
Thats just silly cheap.....not mention how silly-cheap straw and grain is, and how silly-FREE dung is........jars 10 bucks, spores 10 easy

Thanks for compiling it all Chronic!
I'm sure enough people will be trying this tek soon
that there will be some more great pics to go along w/ the tek....
Posted: Jan 21 03, 10:19 AM GMT  
Is this as easy as it looks? How about using some of those plastic milk crates?

As long as they're new.....
Any plastic containers used for mushies should be new....
otherwise there are tiny scratches that hold nasties
impossible to sanitze
any time I use old plastic containers for casings I get contams before 2nd flush....
Posted: Jan 21 03, 03:52 PM GMT  
QUOTE (DirtyWOP @ Jan 21 03, 04:19 PM GMT)
As long as they're new.....
Any plastic containers used for mushies should be new....
otherwise there are tiny scratches that hold nasties
impossible to sanitze
any time I use old plastic containers for casings I get contams before 2nd flush....

What about a bleach bath?
Posted: Jan 21 03, 03:55 PM GMT  
Nope nothing gets contams imbeded in plastic scratches out. The plastic needs to be smooth in order to sanitize properly wink.gif
Posted: Jan 21 03, 07:43 PM GMT  
Photos added... Look ok?

You know those polyfil photos are Relics's smile.gif

Polyfil wink.gif
Posted: Jan 21 03, 07:50 PM GMT  
Good observation buddy. I compiled this tek for visions as he is busy lately. I just grabbeda few pics from here and there to bring the tek to life a bit. Visions will post an official one soon enough.

P.S. Thanks Nan from linking those pics up wink.gif

Oh, and wop, when I was communicating with visions and compiling this tek he made it pretty clear that hummidity was not necessary at all. He said the temp is around 73-76 in his house and the hummidity very low. He did say to pamper the casing a bit more once the mycelium begin to penetrate as not to upset the pinset. Now personally I am not to this stage yet so I do not speak from experience. If you do however I would like to hear more about your experience with the tek that would help me along.

Posted: Jan 21 03, 09:16 PM GMT  
Never tried a laundry basket,
but I've done similar things w/ large amounts of dung fruiting in open air...
and that casing layer will lose water QUICK in the dry air
you gotta mist all the time if you use no plastic
and if you do use plastic, the large water droplets that form,
can cause lots of problems, like damaged pinheads and fruitbody contaminants like verticillium - esp. when the fruits get big enough that they touch the water droplets on the plastic

so if I were to give you advice, I'd say use no plastic at all......and keep the casing nice and wet until pins visions said more air, less contams.....thats why the mushies in the pics look a lot like outdoor cubies
Posted: Jan 21 03, 10:58 PM GMT  
Gotta admit that tek is pretty pimp ass. I would like to try it. I got shitload of straw that I bought a few days ago.

It sounds like if the contams get going good a lot could be lost though. Thats the only downside I see with this...Plus I have no where to do it at. sad.gif
Great tek though no doubt
Posted: Feb 08 03, 02:04 AM GMT  
Hey guys, haven't posted here in a while, but I do browse when I get the chance. I like to keep up with innovations in the hobby as much as I can, even though I can't grow anymore. Once a cultivator, always a cultivator at heart I guess. Anyway, I love this basket idea. It's got me more stoked than anything I've seen in years. I too have experience with no tererium straw. I put this on the shroomery a long time ago:
Bulk Neglect

I stumbled across it due to lack of terrerium room, and it revolutionized the way I and my friends grew. It's got some similarities, and a lot of the discussion applies to visions baskets. Just thought it would be informative reading for anyone interested in visions baskets, or any other open air fruiting. I call it bulk neglect myself. I've also helped lots of people do similar things with all kinds of varriations via email and PMs.

In my experience, and that of the people I've been in contact with who have been doing bulk neglect experiments, it's the easiest and best way to get lotsa fruits with less work than you would do for any other tek. Sometimes yields are better than in terreriums, all that fresh air just makes them bulk up so nice, just like outdoor boomers.

I think visions is onto something with the baskets, keeps the bottom and sides clean of contams. I love it!

Also, from most reports I've read, most people just don't have much trouble with humidity. Seems like as long as ambient humidity stays at about 30% or higher, people can keep them watered without much trouble. Verm seems to hold it's moisture better than any other casing ingredient. I liked the consistency and speed of coir, so I supplemented it with verm to hold water better. Coir dries out very fast, so keep that in mind if trying this method. I'd recomend at least 50% verm if you want to use coir as a casing.

Also, several people have used the polymers in their casing mixes, and in side by side tests, the casings with polymers did much better, so that is definately something to try.

And last but not least, since I now live in the vicarious world of cultivation, would someone please try a wick system to keep their baskets hydrated? Seems like to me it would be the best optimization for this method, catapulting it to insanely cool levels of ease and production. With a wick keeping the straw hydrated, you could probably get by with just light mistings to the casings instead of having to keep drenching them several times a day as many people seem to with open air casings.

Sorry so wordy, i've got the opiate's fondness for rambling tonight. Oh yeah, if the admins would like to archive the bulk neglect post around here, feel free, although I think the basket method is a great advance over it in setup.

{edit}I just searched this place for bulk neglect, and apparently it has been discussed around here, sorry, wasn't sure. Also, in an old post, some dude said his friend did it and it contamed so bad it put him in the hospital. That makes me feel very sad, and although unlikely, it illustrates why the open air of the basket is a great improvement over a sealed box/tray/tub etc.{end edit}

Posted: Feb 08 03, 05:39 AM GMT  
Mycofile. glad to see you posting over here, I hope you will continue to do so. I have read some of your posts at the shroomery, and I know that you know what you are talking about,and have a lot of knowledge to share with us.

Welcome to the Nook, friend.
Posted: Feb 08 03, 01:48 PM GMT  
yes welcome mycofile, I read that tek right when you posted it. The pics are awsome!!!!! I think you should give visions tek a try and see what you think.
Posted: Feb 08 03, 03:02 PM GMT  
Bulk neglect made my heart flutter when I first saw it.
I think it was a very ingenious design, as is the laundry basket.
I have yet to try it on my own, but I will very soon. The only difference being that mine will be up off the floor, on tables, and the sides of the containers will be twice the normal height. The plastic will be held up by dowel rods in the shape of a house over the box. A hose will pump fog into the box house. The fogger I built, is getting ready to be equipped with a dimmer switch, so I can create a constant fog flow without saturating the substrate. I THink that I'm going to clone as Mycophile did only with cyans. The increased airflow will be perfect for them. I need to make some building plans to better illustrate what it will be like. wink.gif
Posted: Feb 10 03, 02:57 PM GMT  
and the sides of the containers will be twice the normal height.

I think part of the benefit of visions tek, and my first run at bulk is the casing height being the same as the sides of the container. With no sides, co2 just rolls off. Co2 can cause long skinny stems, and look at the stem thickness at the bottom of my bulk neglect log, much skinnier stems when I only had the box 1/2 full.

I think 6T posted something very similar on this theory in regards to large commercial trays in button farms. search for it if you like, but even if your sides are higher it will still work, and probably have slightly lower drying rates.

Speaking of 6T, I think he posted a pic of some casing pots using a wicking rehydration system. What do you guys think of a wicking system for visions baskets? It really does seem like a kick-ass mod to what seems like a kick ass new grow method.
Posted: Feb 11 03, 03:39 PM GMT  
Well if I have my fogger pumping for in from the top on a continous cycle controlled by a dimmer switch, I think it should force co2 up and over the sides. I see what you are talking about though. Maybe I should use trays w/ little or no sides in my greenhouse too. See what happens...

Mycophile its good to finally meet/talk with you. You are IMO a valued member, with great experience and knowledge. wink.gif


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