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Author Topic: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline dusty5

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Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« on: April 07, 2018, 09:32:41 PM »
Hi All.  I am putting together plans for a small-scale mushroom cultivation operation.  I am in the very early stages, do not even know what kinds of mushrooms I plan to grow yet, but I know they will be feeding on mostly WOOD substrates (sawdust & wood chips).  That's what brings me here, to you fine folks :)

I would like to tap The Forestry Forum for any info you might have on how I can go about sourcing wood products (or by-products such as sawdust) in bulk, preferably in North Texas area.  Do 'tree farms' or similar exist out here?  I was not able to track any down with my google skills.  Or would I be better off sourcing via sawmills?  I would like to try both angles, if possible, so as to cast the widest net.

I think Pine is mostly what is grown around NTX.  Mushrooms prefer hardwoods and do not like conifers, but I can potentially make just about anything work with the right treatments & amendments.  Of course I would love to find an endless source of free sawdust, but in lieu of that I would like to find an inexpensive and reliable source of bulk sawdust, wood chips, or even straight timber that I can process myself.

Let me know if you have any info for me to assist with my journey, and thanks in advance!

Offline starmac

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2018, 10:14:22 PM »
Try the search, there is actually a pretty good thread on logs for mushrooms or something like that, at any rate it was pretty imformative, I thought.
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Offline dusty5

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2018, 10:34:47 PM »
Thanks starmac!  I did do some searching around the forums here, but didn't find much of what I am looking for (sourcing wood and sawdust around Texas).  Closest thing I found was the thread below, but it is not along the lines of what I am looking for.

Mushroom logging in Sawmills and Milling

Offline starmac

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 11:21:48 PM »
That is the thread I was thinking about. I would think if you can find anybody with a mill, you will be able to get all the sawdust you can use, easy enough. I know the big mill here has markets for it, but I have trouble getting rid of it myself.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline DDW_OR

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 07:05:52 PM »
Pallet shops and cabinet/furniture makers will have mountains of hardwood sawdust.  The furniture joint will probably have it in bags from the dust collector, going into the dumpster as trash.  I was collecting quite a lot of it for the few years i heated the house on sawdust and the slop that was settled out of my waste vegetable oil truck fuel.
Revelation 3:20

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 07:40:39 PM »
I have an oyster growing kit i got from Costco a few years ago. forgot it and now has black liquid goo in the bag. the growing material looks like sawdust.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 06:06:38 AM »
How much do you think you will need?   What types of moisture content?  Seems that green material would work better than kiln dried.  Do you want nurse logs?

To stay away from conifers, you might want to get in contact with tree trimmers.  I would imagine they run into a good deal of hardwoods, even in Texas.  They would have chips and might even have suitable nurse logs.  I have no idea what costs would be.  Leaves and bark would also be in the chips.  Would this be suitable in mushroom propagation?

When I was sawing, we sold sawdust by the trailer load.  We would also sell chips if it was profitable.  We had self unloading trucks and sold mainly as animal bedding.  That was used for dairy and chicken farms.  The farmers would spread it on the field afterwards.

There are a lot of mushroom farms in my area.  The biggest source they get is horse manure from stables and race tracks.  They take it out by the truck load.  After it is spent, they sell it as mushroom soil.  It normally has straw in it instead of sawdust.  
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Offline curved-wood

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 07:40:36 AM »
I do supply sawdust for somebody that has a commercial mushroom business. He is certified bio so carbinet shop is not is first choice because most of them use some presswood and other type of glue panel. He want only hardwood sawdust (could have a bit of impureties of soft wood but not much ). Humidity is not important since he has to sterilized with steam before he puts the mushroom seeds  in. He could take some fine hardwood planing shavings as long as it is not too big but he prefer saw dust from the band saw mill. He sells seeds different type of  gourmet mushrooms. He give workshops and personal coaching about growing mushrooms. Here is his email:  La Pleurotire inc. Champignons biologiques. He speaks fluently english
He lives quite far from your place but may be he could gives some hints. Some years ago he went in California studying the latest developments on how to grow mushrooms. He was saying that is the top place on the world for mushroom knowledge.  I do not remember the name of the californian guy but  you could research that way. 

Offline timberking

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 08:31:32 AM »
Getting sawdust shouldn't be a problem.  Every mill around here without their own boiler has dust piled up.  A constant battle unloading for fuel.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2018, 08:43:10 AM »
I think that california mushroom expert you mentioned was named ken kesey
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Offline low_48

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2018, 10:26:51 PM »
Doesn't look to be as simple as just sourcing sawdust. It will need to be sterilized, enriched, and a particular particle size.

Grow Mushrooms - What is a Substrate?

Offline dusty5

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
Thanks Everyone for the input & feedback.

@Ron Wenrich good questions.  I am not sure how much I will need, but I am making a checklist of items that I need to figure out, and that's definitely on it.  I don't think nurse logs would work due to possibly already being colonized with fungi, but maybe I am not sure what nurse logs are.  I will look into some tree trimmers in my area, and I actually have a friend in that business.

I could do conifers if I have to, but it would require aging the wood for months (not sure if that will be feasible, but maybe).

Yes I am aware of the necessary sterile techniques.  Otherwise I have a lot of details to work out! :) :) :) :)

Offline thelogsmith

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Re: Sourcing Sawdust & Wood for Mushrooms
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2018, 02:32:02 PM »
I had a friend that grew mushrooms and he used pellets from a pellet heating stove. They were out of softwood(fir,larch and some cedar) and being they are processed under intense pressure and heat they were already sterilized. Beyond that I don't know what else he did but it was fairly lucrative for him supplying restaurants, and kept him indoors while the rest of us got to work outside in all the winter.
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