Garage Mycology

Great news! ArkFab is a finalist in the Georgia Tech Ideas 2 Serve Business Competition. This makes us eligible for a $2,000 prize that could help us move on from our garage. Like many start-ups we're using the space and resources we have to make our way. ArkFab currently operates a small wet lab and a few garden plots where my fellow collective members Nicole Bluh, Vincent Castillenti, and I are experimenting with natural and intensive mushroom cultivation. Here is a photo tour of our "garage" facilities:

mushliam

Cultivars are selected from our local environment. Local cultivars should be well suited for the Atlanta climate.

cordyceps militaris

This Cordyceps militaris specimen found parasitizing a beetle pupae was found in the Katuah Wilderness of North Carolina. It has a unique morphology that makes it well suited for commercial cultivation of high value pharmaceuticals.

spore_print

Spore prints are taken to breed new strains of mushrooms.

innoculating_plates

Samples from cultivars are introduced into sterile culture in our wet lab.

innoculating_plates2

I built our laminar flow hood from pieces of plywood and a filter purchased off of eBay.

oyster_running_onplates

Strains run on sterile malt extract agar.

grainspawn_run

To expand the strain for mushroom cultivation slices of agar are introduced into sterile master rye grain jars and left to run for a couple weeks at room temperature.

culture_fridge

Cultures are stored in our wetlab refrigerator.

shiitake_closeup

After inoculation of fruiting substrate, incubation, and primordia formation the fungi fruits. These steps will be detailed in a future post.

first_shiitakeharvest

A flush from a 5lb shiitake block can be had in approximately two months. Compare this to 9 months to a year for natural log cultivation.

liam_oysterspawn

This Spring we are experimenting with natural cultivation in garden beds with straw, Pleurotus ostreatus, and Stropharia rugosoannulata.

watering_mushroombed

We grow in the city.

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