Today, Scotland begins it’s movement from Phase 2 to 3 of it’s controlled exit from Lockdown.
Having cancelled our Netflix subscription in February, we’ve been locking on down under government request to #StayAtHome for some months now and have been engaging in some self-employed Research and Development.
Since ‘Phase 1’ was cancelled by Covid19; here is an update on early developments, documenting some of our learning journey. Special thanks go to Radical Mycologist Peter McCoy; for the generosity of information in his excellent book.
During lockdown we have learned to produce myceliated powders from Ganodernum Lucidum (Reishi) and Hericium Erinaceus (Lions Mane) under aseptic conditions on Scottish organic wheat. This myceliated grain we have learned to dehydrate using very low temperatures, stone-grind into a powders; for storage in either a jar or size 00 capsules. This results in high quality, bioavailable compounds that will not perish. We are enjoying supplementing our diet with them!
We are also working remotely with an artist vacillating between Croatian and Hungary primary forests for developing a simple logo and packaging for the mycelia and mushroom business which encapsulates (sic) our eidos for the regenerative development of our woodland croft and our families place within it.
Through lockdown, we have also been researching, procuring and trialing a scalable growing system of Oyster mushroom species on supplemented pasteurised local straw substrates.
After much research for a suitable and affordable glass import, we are currently changing tack and researching an 2 – 3 litre autoclaveable ‘polypropylene 5’ plastic receptacle from the waste recycling stream for producing other mushroom species on pasteurized supplemented sawdust. We know the perfect item is out there in the hotel & catering industry; somewhere. For the Oyster mushrooms, we are also hoping to procure 30 litre lidded containers from another local business who currently wishes to divert them from the waste stream; and eschew the industry standard of sinle use plastics.
We are also hoping to work in with local sawmill and woodworkers for procuring hardwood sawdust and shavings for other gourmet mushroom species.
The next phase for the mycelia business will be researching government health supplement and labeling guidance and registering as a Food Business Operator with our local authority. We are keen to work with them every step of the way and be a jewel in Argyll’s crown.
The next phase of the mushroom business will be developing our grow room spaces for time being and continue to spend our savings on carefully selected equipment, whilst we find premises large enough for a small business; and research the legality of selling produce. We have been very encouraged by Kintyre Farm Mushrooms business model. A recent conversation told the story of them scaling up prior to lockdown; we too would love to supply gourmet mushrooms for local people using socially distance drop offs and payment by Paypal; preferably without a pandemic.
We are also reaching out for guidance on the suitability of inoculating Scottish plantation pine with Wolfiporia extensa as a tool for bio-remediation; as we look to tackle the extensive pine roots left by mechanical forestry operations by burying them a la Hugelkulture and producing Cocos as a Non Forest Timber Product.
The House on The Hill
Back in 98, i first heard of anthropogenic climate change by Dr Bob Bunce from the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology; as we were assisting him with researching the change in land classification type over time using Detrended Correspondence Analysis by swanning about gazing at orchids in the Celtic massif they call the ‘Picos de Europa(pa-pa-pa)’. Whilst the sangria flowed and the fire flickered, my peers and i vowed that, in light of what was to come in our lifetime; we would ‘build a house on a hill’. It is therefore of great personal significance, that all these years later, i find myself with a family, securing a croft tenancy at Taighnabruich; gaelic- Tigh-na-Briuch – literally ‘House on the Hill’. Looking up from the village, onto the hill is, amongst other great vistas, 6ha of denuded hillside which will become ours to tend. We may not have money for bricks and mortar, but we have a vision and that, dear reader; is what counts.