Thursday, May 19, 2011

A day on the farm

Actually, several days on the farm. Jeremy has been doing a lot of set-up work at the farm since he moved his logs there a couple weeks ago.

First he had to build the shade structure. He's only built little ones in the yards he's been in and now he had to build a very big one. Looking at some of the methods out there, he went with a tensile structure. I think the architect in him is loving this.

He put in 10 4x4 posts and ran stainless steel cable all over the place, across, over, diagonal, down, etc. He used turnbuckles to tighten everything up. This is one sturdy structure.

He needed to start a pilot hole for some screws and there isn't easy access to electrical out there. Our cordless drill is crap, so Jeremy used his grandpa's "cordless" drill.

It worked pretty well and I think it's super cool.

Next step, attaching all the shade cloth together. It came in an enormous roll, all one piece, but Jeremy cut off pieces here and there to spread amongst all the yards. Now it's all in one spot and it needs to be in one piece again!

So I got to sew it together. By hand. With fishing line.

But I'm not complaining because Jeremy did a ton of the sewing himself. Truly the strangest sewing project I've had to date though.

It took a couple days to get the shade cloth up onto the structure. I wasn't there so I don't know how he did it. That stuff is incredibly heavy!

Look at all those happy mushroom-growing logs!

Those last pics were before he tightened everything up and secured the shade cloth. You can see it's just blowing in the wind.

The next step was putting up the fruiting structure. This is where Jeremy will soak and fruit the mushroom logs. Once the logs are fruiting, humidity and heat are good, but not water. If it rains on the fruiting mushrooms - well, you'll have wet mushrooms! Not so good if you're selling them.

So I got to clear this little area next to the shade structure which left me covered from head to foot in giant burrs.

Once that was cleared out a bit it was as simple as ONE



I love putting together stuff like this, so it was fun for me. Jeremy will be putting up walls around this at some point to keep out sun.
He has been bringing home piles of mushrooms every time he returns from the farm, so I imagine full-on mushroom season will be starting any time now.


Jane said...

Again I learned something. No rain on the mushrooms, got it! Thanks. Your operations is really impressive.

Julie said...

I bet it's nice to have space just for your mushrooms. Did you rent a plot of land further out from the Twin cities?

Aimee said...

@Jane - you learn something new every day, eh? =) I'm not sure what the recommendation is for a smaller operation, but Jeremy uses a fruiting blanket when he's fruiting his logs. Actually, I'm assuming you won't be force fruiting yours but just letting them fruit as they will. Leaving them out in the open may be fine then. I'll ask Jeremy. =)
That reminds me, I think I saw a pic that you had your logs stacked up like a log cabin? Jeremy says your logs will dry out faster that way; it's better to have them all close to the ground, propped up somehow so one edge is touching the ground. I'm not sure how important it is - these 'shrooms seem to grow almost no matter what! =)

@Julie - yeah, Jeremy had to rent space farther away because there was so much trouble with the city here. He hopes to move back in closer someday soon. We're very aware of peak oil, transition, etc, and making a move that means he has a 20-minute drive to his logs is moving backward! Hopefully this can be remedied soon.