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:


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 prints are taken to breed new strains of mushrooms.


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


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


Strains run on sterile malt extract agar.


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.


Cultures are stored in our wetlab refrigerator.


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


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.


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


We grow in the city.