Monthly Archives: November 2013

I Have My Mushroom Log. Now What?

November 19, 2013

111713 drill 10919020643_4372007059_o smI am walking the neighborhood today, prying off flyers from telephone poles, recalling Sunday’s crazed mushroom event at the orchard.

There was generosity. Mark came and inoculated two logs that were each about six inches long! Might not work. Then he way overpaid, but refused the change. Thank you, Mark.

111713 inoculate 10918720505_dfb7309a72_o smThere was enthusiasm. Greg had a big grin on his face when we pulled three brand new still-in-the-box toothbrushes out of his pocket to show me. (Most of us took the opportunity to change out our used toothbrushes.)

There was confusion. At one point I thought we volunteers might be tossed over the fence into the blackberry bramble … not enough drill bits, guests having to wait in line, participants wanting options not anticipated.

111713 wax 10919025103_222242a393_o smThere was perseverance. One man had to use my grandfather’s 5/16 drill bit, probably bought in the 1920s. (I used it to drill out six logs a few weeks ago.) Quite a workout.

There was success. With the aid of another mighty crew of volunteers, all told, everyone learned something new and met a neighbor or said hello to an old friend.

Over one hundred people stopped by to haul out one or two logs. Most inoculated their log themselves and children assisted with the steps – drill the holes, plug them with spawn, then wax over the holes.

Everyone got a sense of both the dowel method and sawdust method of mushroom inoculation. They also watched Milton, of the NW Mycological Society, make oyster mushroom kits for over 30 children for free. He makes a fabulous kit in a plastic bag that is nearly fool proof.

Sun, Dec 8, 2-4pm, Work Party
Come for any amount of time that works for you.

We consider this a group experiment. On the Library page of this website is a file of the handout from the manufacturer of the spawn. You have C-41 wide-range Shiitake spawn (except a few of you pounded in dowels colonized with Pearl Oyster spawn). We would love to hear from you when you attempt to force fruit (mushrooms) next year. If you get a crop, please share your method with us.

My log will reside outdoors under the forsythia and I will be watering it when there is little rain. Next fall, I will soak the log in cool water to create a change in both temperature and moisture, overemphasizing our natural mushroom-producing fall weather.

chlorophyllum brunneum?

chlorophyllum brunneum?

What a great way to make use of all of this shade around our homes. Grow mushrooms! (See photo for the mushroom pair that sprung up in our chip pile last week!)

Thanks so much to Jennifer, Justin, Nancy H, Joan, Sue Ellen, Craig, Greg, Nancy M, Milton, Ellen and Jim, Michelle P, and the nice tall man who showed up with a drill and asked how he could help!


Curtains, please!

November 13, 2013

        Before the hard work

Before the hard work

Freeway Estates Community Orchard
Final Public Design Review Event

Friday, November 15
7:00 -9:00pm
at the Hearthstone Retirement Facility
6720 E Green Lake Way N
(E Green Lake Way N and 1st Ave NE, just west of Spud Fish n Chips)

090813 s to n  P9081062

Plenty of design space

It’s been a busy year! This final design event is the culmination of a nine-month effort. Funding was provided by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood Matching Grant program. Support was provided by our fiscal sponsor, the P-Patch Trust. Encouragement was provided by all of you and your emails, comments from neighbors, and high-fives from many other organizations and small businesses.


Come to witness the result of a merger of ideas from:
two public meetings,
survey monkey data,
hard work by the architectural/permaculture team (197 hours),
our orchard volunteers (1,030 hours – design grant administrative hours only!) and the
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) (10 hours).

Sun, Nov 17, 1-4pm,
Mushroom Inoculation Event

(see previous post)
Sun, Dec 8, 2-4pm, Work Party
Species Tulip bulbs to plant.
Bring your leaves!

All are welcome to say yea or nay to the resulting final design. Let us know if you want to be involved in the future construction of any of the design elements.
Light refreshment served.


Bob for Apples

November 5, 2013

It’s election day and we are voting for Bob (click on photo at right). On the day of our recent Cider 3rd fest Bob for Apples 0826 sm_o croppedFest, the ‘political office’ of apples included pears. Pears have a higher water content than apples, ( As such, during the Bob for Apples event, the pears were sitting at the bottom of the water tank. As you can imagine, one would have to dunk one’s whole head in the water tank to yield a pear.

3rd Fest Bobbig for apples7683_oYou might wonder why this boy went for the pear instead of an apple? It was chilly that day and he is soaked from the neck up. The reward was no greater, just seven people standing around clapping and cheering. I conclude that some people just go above and beyond.

Speaking of people who go above and beyond, how about our volunteers! This past Thursday, seven volunteers carted 180 oak logs 10601891013_0bdbb3bb2f_binto two trucks, brought them to the orchard, unloaded them and then pushed them to the end of the orchard in wheel barrows where they stacked them up under the willow tree. It took 500 squats to lift 7,200 pounds, all to prepare for our November 17th grand event – The Community Mushroom Inoculation Event.

101313 Oak w Nancy DSCN0728Sound Transit offered us logs from the twin 60-year-old Scarlet Oaks for this community event. The grand trees stood stately on 12th Ave NE but had to be felled to make room for the future light rail station.

Freeway Estates Community Orchard (FECO) volunteers decided that we could facilitate a community event, celebrate the trees, and provide additional urban food education, via mushroom growing, for both adults and youngsters.

Sun, Nov 10, 2-4pm, Work Party
Plant Species Tulips. Bring leaves.
Fri, Nov 15, 7-9pm, Final Design Review Meeting at the Hearthstone. The best door prizes yet!
Sun, Nov 17, 1-4pm, Mushroom Inoculation Event
Rain or shine. Spawn on the lawn.

We will ask for a moderate cash donation to recover our costs. The amount will vary depending on which option you choose:
1) pick up a log and take it home (you might already have spawn),
2) do your own inoculation on-site (we have the materials), or
3) have a mushroom coach inoculate a log for you (the full service option).

As a bonus, Milton Tam, from the Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS) ( will bring 25 educational oyster mushroom growing kits for kids to assemble. These will be free but on a first come, first serve basis.

Please bring a cordless drill, a 12mm drill bit, toothbrush and gloves.

Come at 1:00pm if you have a coupon from the Roosie (the RNA newsletter ). Otherwise, all others are welcome at 2:00pm. We will have canopies, in case it rains.