Finding & Growing Mushrooms

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

 Mushrooms

Ever go mushroom hunting outdoors?  Finding mushrooms and eating them fresh is an experience for the taste buds.
“Don’t eat a mushroom unless you’re certain it’s an edible species!” 

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Finding & Growing Mushrooms

by David Proctor


 May 9, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I can remember when I was really young, my grandpa and I would go out in the woods to look for mushrooms.  We didn’t always find them but it was a lot of fun just being in the woods. 

As I grew older, some of the guys I worked with went looking for mushrooms, I don’t know how they did it but they always came back with a hat or small basket full. 

They would then fry them up.  You might ask how did they fry them at work, well I use to work in some pretty rural areas and having the means to cook at an office was not out of the ordinary. 

That was also the first time I ate coon.  But back to the topic of mushrooms.  The guys I had worked with had hunted mushrooms since they were little kids, same as my grandpa and they knew what they were looking for and where to look.

In today’s world, that type of knowledge is not as common as it used to be.  In fact, I would caution anyone looking on the internet to determine if the mushroom they brought in from the field is edible, to be sure and go to a very reputable site. 

The result of being wrong or getting wrong information can be a mild sickness and in some cases depending on the mushroom, you can die from eating it.

Now that the cautions have been discussed, I would like to point out some ways to grow mushrooms at home.

One of the easiest ways to grow mushrooms is straight out of a box.  Two young entrepreneurs started a company called Back to the Roots.  They have a growing kit that is complete and in a box.

 

Mushroom Farm

 

From Back to the Roots website:

“In a college class, we learned that mushrooms could grow on recycled coffee grounds. After watching hours of how-to videos and turning our fraternity kitchen into a big science experiment, we eventually decided to give up our corporate job offers to instead become full-time mushroom farmers. What started as curiosity about urban farming has turned into a passion for “undoing food” and reconnecting families to it through fun, delicious and sustainable “ready to grow” and “ready to eat” products.

What type of mushroom does the Mushroom Mini Farm grow?

Our mushroom mini farm grows gourmet Pearl Oyster mushrooms. They’re commonly found in Europe and Asia and are used increasingly in a variety of cuisines for their velvety texture, smooth taste, and dense nutrient content.

What is the Mushroom Mini Farm growing on? Is it eco-friendly?

The Mushroom Mini Farm is made from all organic recycled waste including corn cob and sawdust.

What is the white layer covering the mini farm?

The white layer is mycelium! It’s similar to the “roots” of the mushrooms (if mushrooms had roots).

What do Oyster mushrooms taste like?

Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor that is very versatile when it comes to the food they complement. They have a delicate, velvety texture that pairs well in pasta, skewers, soups, salads, and anything else you like to put mushrooms in! They taste amazing, especially when they’re so fresh, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Chef Alice Waters of acclaimed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse has raved about their authentic, nutty, flavor. See what she has to say!

What are the health benefits of eating oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are extremely healthy and rich, given that one-third of their dry weight is protein. They contain amino acids and enzymes that have been shown to boost the immune system and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and most of the mineral salts required by the human body. Calcium, phosphorous and iron content in oyster mushrooms are double the amount found in most meats. They are also known to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, and may even inhibit tumor growth.”

If their story doesn’t sound like enough of a reason to start growing mushrooms, then you need to listen to Paul Stamets “6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World”  Ted Talk.

Mushrooms taste good, are good for you and they may even help save us from some of the disasters looming out there in the world that could alter our life.  Well, that sounds a little strong, anyone for a fried mushroom?


Check It Out!

 

This is a really good Ted Talk, Even If You Don’t Read The Article –  Please Watch!

 

 

Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world
Terra Salvus
Published on Jan 12, 2014 18:17


Quick Tip

 

Wild mushrooms: What to eat, what to avoid
“Don’t guess,” advises Tradd Cotter, who has been cultivating mushrooms for more than 20 years

  1. Join a local mycological (fungi) group. They are located all over the United States. A list is available at the North American Mycological Association.
  2. Buy a regional field guide to learn what mushrooms grow wild near you.
  3. Seek to identify at least the genus of the mushroom you have found (identification keys include the stem, a spore print, what the mushroom is growing on and the structure of the stem base, which could be below ground).
  4. Take two collecting baskets when foraging. Put mushrooms positively identified as edible in one. Put mushrooms you are uncertain about in the other. You won’t get sick by simply touching a toxic mushroom, he said.
  5. Be extremely careful if you are a pet owner and want to take your dog on a foraging trip. Dogs lead the list as victims of deadly and poisonous mushrooms — more than any other animal or humans, Cotter said.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/wild-mushrooms-what-to-eat-what-to-avoid


Bibliography:

“Category — Mushrooms.” City Farmer News RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Mushroom Farming – Hobby Farms.” Hobby Farms. N.p., 18 Feb. 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Six Steps to Mushroom Farming | Mushroom Info.” Mushroom Info Six Steps to Mushroom Farming Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Oder, Tom. “Wild Mushrooms: What to Eat, What to Avoid.” MNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Basic Mushrooming.” Missouri’s Fish, Forests and Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Our Story.” Back to the Roots. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.




 

Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: ,

Fasting

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Fasting

Fasting can be used as a tool to lower insulin levels in your body. It is basically a reboot of the body, allowing the body to get to its normal state of operation.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Fasting – Reboot The Body

by David Proctor


 May 2, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


 

Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.

I have written before that we need to pay close attention to three things in our diet, Salt, Sugar, and Fat.

I have come to realize that there is more to watch than just these things, as a matter of fact, good Fat should be added back into our diet!

Our brain functions better when using fat energy than it does from sugar or carbohydrate energy.

Fasting

 

Carbohydrates are a huge part of what our food has become. We are consuming more and more all the time in our diet.  This is one of the main causes of obesity.

Yes, I realize that there are countries that their main substance is starch and they have a lower incidence of the ill health effects than in the USA. But these countries are not consuming the vast amounts of sugar as we do.

With that being said, this is not a simple topic and this is only a high-level view. We have many things that need to be worked on when it comes to dietary in our society.

You have to start somewhere, and this is my starting point, not an endpoint.

We have been told how our agriculture machine is feeding the world.  This is probably a very true statement, but what are we producing that is feeding the world?

If you stop to think about what our agriculture is producing, by in far; soybeans, wheat, and corn.  All the ingredients needed to produce processed foods.
 
And the sad thing about this is that we have produced so much, we try and find ways to get rid of the excess production.

We have so much corn we turn it into ethanol and mix with gas for our cars.

With milk, we have so much, we have to turn it into cheese.  You can only eat so much cheese so what do you do with it, push the food “staple” called pizza.

If we would only stop subsidizing overproduction.  We are not helping the family farm; we are putting them out of business by this practice and institutionalizing the industrial farm.

 

Keto Friendly Foods

One would say that the industrial farm provides efficiencies that can not be found on smaller farms. This is true, but at what cost!

When this practice of industrial efficiencies; the commodities are increased in bulk for more money. Not necessarily profits, but more money.  The margins are thin and little to no tolerance for something to go wrong in the growing season.

To that I say, we need to be more inefficient, and produce higher quality, nutrient dense food.

So, what does this tirade of our current agriculture paradigm have to do with fasting? Fasting is the processes of helping us get back to ground zero with our bodies. Our body will switch over to burning fat instead of sugar.

This will help us to regain healthy homeostasis. We need healthy nutrient dense food to keep our bodies and mind healthy. This is what agriculture needs to produce.

If you are like me, you will not blow away if you do not eat after supper until the next day at lunch. This does not have to be done every day, reset your body after the weekend, the first of the week. Remember that the word breakfast is from breaking fast.

I am talking about a twelve to sixteen hour fast. Make the first meal of the day lunch. Let lunch consist of some of the “Genius Foods”.

This will not only help our mind and bodies but will help send a message with our dollars that we are not supporting the unhealthy food that is being sold on the grocery shelves.


Check It Out!

 

Dementia is preventable through lifestyle. Start now. | Max Lugavere | TEDxVeniceBeach
19.37


Quick Tip

 

Max Lugavere

Genius Foods
1. Eggs
2. Dark leafy greens
3. Dark Chocolate
4. Coffee
5. Green tea
6. Extra-virgin olive oil
7. Broccoli Sprouts
8. blueberries
9. Tumeric
10. Fatty fish
11. Water

 

Genius Foods

 

 


 

BREAD HEAD Documentary Crowdfunding Teaser 3.31


Bibliography:

Max Lugavere. “11 Powerful Nootropic (Memory Enhancing) Foods.” Max Lugavere, Max Lugavere, 2 Mar. 2017, www.maxlugavere.com/blog/11-powerful-nootropic-memory-enhancing-foods.

“Sugar Aches & Inflammation | Nutritional Weight & Wellness.” Nutritional Weight and Wellness. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2017.

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Labeling & Nutrition – Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, n.d. Web. 15 May 2017.

Lugavere, Max, and Paul Grewal. Genius Foods Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life. Harper Wave, 2018.

“Fasting.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Apr. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues Tagged with: ,

Straw Bale Garden Guide

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Straw Bale Garden Guide

If you want to have a garden where you don’t have to bend over to the ground, do not have to weed and can have the worse soil around, then straw bale gardening might be for you.

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Guide To Straw Bale Gardening

by David Proctor


 April 25, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


There has been a resurgence in straw bale gardening due to its simplicity and ease of use.  The straw bale is used as the container for the plant.

The first thing to do is position the bale or bales.  Be sure the strings are on the side.  If they are on top the bale can come apart if they are cut will planting.  The bale should be on the narrow side with the cut side facing up and the folded straw side facing down.

 

Straw Bale Garden

Straw Bale Garden

The straw bale or bales have to be conditioned before they are used.  This is done by wetting the bale daily so the microbes inside the bale will start to compost.  Sometimes some nitrogen is added to help get the process going.

The bales will start to heat up internally and the temperature can rise to 120F to 140F.  This is why you want to condition the bale so it doesn’t cook your seeds or plants.  This process will take a couple of weeks to complete.

 You will know when it’s done by the temperature becoming close to ambient.  This can be determined by a thermometer or sticking your finger into the bale to judge the temperature.

Once the process of conditioning is done, it is time to plant.  If the bales are arranged end to end a metal fence post can be driven at the end of each row then wire strung from post to post.  A header board is put at top to keep the post from drawing into each other.
 
With multiple wires, this will work as a trellis for your plants as they grow vertical.  If it is still cool weather, a piece of plastic can be hung over the trellis to have a greenhouse effect.

Two methods are used for planting.  The first method is to place a thin layer of potting soil on top of the bale and then place seeds in the soil and cover with another thin layer.  This will help to keep the seeds moist and protected.  The warmth of the straw bale will help in germination.

The second method is to dig out a plug of straw about the size of the root ball of the plant, then place you plant in the now vacant hole.  You can place the straw back around the plant.

The bale and plants will need to be watered daily.  The best way to accomplish this is with a drip irrigation method.  The water will run through the bale so be sure to keep it moist, but not waste water.

Since a straw bale has little to no nutrition, it is a good idea to feed your plants.  Compost placed around the roots of the plants will also help in the feeding.

Just to make the most use of the bale, other plants can be planted on the sides of the bale. Flowers can be planted to make for an appealing garden for the eye and for pollinators.

When fall comes around the plants can be harvested and the remains of the straw bale used for compost.

Straw bale gardening encompasses container gardening, raised bed gardening all in one.  It is a way for those in urban areas to be able to have a garden, even if one bale and on the back deck.  It is economical and an easy way to have a garden without all the normal digging and weed pulling that accompanies in-ground gardens.


Check It Out!

 

Straw Bale Gardening  4:26


Quick Tip

 

  • Tomatoes: 2 to 3 plants per bale
  • Peppers: 4 plants per bale 
  • Squash: 2 to 4 plants per bale 
  • Zucchini: 2 to 3 plants per bale 
  • Strawberries: 3 to 4 plants per bale 

Straw Bale Garden


Bibliography:

“Beginner’s Guide to Straw Bale Gardening.” Safer® Brand. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.

“How to Condition and Plant a Bale of Straw for Gardening.” Bonnie Plants. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.




Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Nutrient Dense Foods

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Nutrient Dense Foods

We all want to eat healthily… how do you determine which unprocessed foods are the most nutrient dense?

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Nutrient Dense Foods

by David Proctor


 April 18, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Our farmers are rewarded for growing the most, not necessarily the best, crops on the lowest budget.  This allows for cheap food but not always the most nutritious food.
 
There are numerous charts that show what foods we should try to eat each day.  But is a tomato from the grocery store the same as a tomato from the local farmer’s market?  Is organic food more nutrient dense than what is grown elsewhere and imported?
 
To answer these questions, a method has to exist to measure the difference between food besides uniformity and looks.
 
One of the best ways to tell the difference between vegetables and fruit is by taste.  Our taste buds are pretty refined to help us select the best food.  Also, the smell is another indicator.  Touch and feel of the food can also help, but this still may not always give the best results.

Have you ever tried to pick out the best watermelon?  You thump it and listen.  A high pitched thump is not ripe, a hollow thump is ripe.  How do you tell if other foods are at their peak?

Watermelon “thump” test   0:24

The Brix movement has evolved as a method for measuring the nutrient density of fruits and vegetables.
 
Brix is a scale based on the amount that light bends when it passes through a liquid or the refraction. This is done with a refractometer. 
 
How to use an optical refractometer:

  • Squeeze sap out of a plant.
  • Put two drops on the prism.
  • Close the prism cover.
  • Point to a light source.
  • Focus the eyepiece.
  • Read the measurement.
  • Where light and dark fields intersect is the brix number.

 

Brix Refractometer

Brix Refractometer

This can be done for whatever part of the plant that you want to eat.  This will help to measure the solution density.

Wine growers have been using refractometer as a standardized piece of equipment for many years to test the quality of grapes.

The USDA is using the refractometer to test the quality of oranges.  And recently the brix test is being used to test cranberry juice.  The ones with the highest brix are paid a premium price.

“One of the most important nutrients that increases with a high brix level is calcium.  In addition to increased calcium levels, high brix foods also supply more trace minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese.

Minerals in food are in a naturally chelated form. Naturally chelated minerals are bound to amino acids that have a left-hand spin.  Amino acids with a left-hand spin are referred to as L-Amino acids.  L-Amino acids are biologically active.

This translates into easy assimilation into the body compared to inorganic minerals taken in pill form.” 
https://highbrixgardens.com/what-is-brix.html

Monticello

Monticello

 High brix foods taste better and are more insect and disease resistant.

Taste is built upon the carbohydrate and mineral levels in the produce.  When they decline, so does the taste.
 
The greatest drawback to using just the brix scale is that it doesn’t distinguish between the various dissolved solids that will affect the refractive index of the liquid.

The best way to get around this drawback is through proper nutrient management. The brix can be used to measure how crops are doing and the proper adjustment made while they are growing instead of waiting until harvest to see how the crop has turned out.
https://www.agriculturesolutions.com/resources/86-the-brix-movement-growing-for-quality

Using the Brix Chart and a refractometer may not be the most scientific way to measure nutrient density in foods. Yet, beyond sending food in for a lab test, the refractometer may be a relatively inexpensive tool to test food and crops for consumption.


Check It Out!

 

Refractive Index Chart

Refractive Index Chart


Quick Tip

 

The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet

  1. Salmon
  2. Kale
  3. Seaweed
  4. Garlic
  5. Shellfish
  6. Potatoes
  7. Liver
  8. Sardines
  9. Blueberries
  10. Egg Yolks
  11. Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-most-nutrient-dense-foods-on-the-planet/


Bibliography:

“Brix.” Bionutrient Food Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Capewellmj. “The Brix Movement – Growing For Quality.” The Brix Movement – Growing For Quality. N.p., 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

Gunnars, Kris. “The 11 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet.” Authority Nutrition. N.p., 18 Aug. 2016. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.




 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Top-Down Gardening

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle 

Top-Down Gardening

What is top-down gardening and the benefits it provides? If you want a weedless garden then read…

David Proctor

 

 
  
 
 
 
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Weedless Gardening

by David Proctor


 April 11, 2019

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


We think of weedless gardening, is after the tiller has been run to till under the weeds and loosen the soil. But what is really happening is that you are planting weeds when you till the soil.
 
The best way is to not till or at least limit tilling by establishing permanent paths and areas for plant beds in the garden. This way the area that you have your plants in does not become compacted.
 
The next thing is to use a good organic mulch so the weeds do not see the light of day. This will also feed your plants and help maintain moisture in the garden for your plants.
 
This first type of no-till gardening will be discussed by Dr. Lee Reich, a former plant and soil researcher for the USDA and professor of horticulture, author, and longtime avid gardener.
 
“Weedless gardening! That’s an oxymoron, an impossibility, right? Well, my gardens may not be 100 percent weed-free, but they are 100 percent free of weed problems.”
 
“I’ve achieved this happy state in four ways:

To read more, Click this link>>>

Weedless Garden

Weedless Garden

The next method of no-till gardening is dubbed “Lasagna Gardening” because it is done in layers like lasagna. Start with newspapers or cardboard and place that on the ground where you would like to garden. 

Next start alternating layers of straw and manure or compost.  This will break down, giving your plants nutrients and at the same time controlling the weeds. 

Once your plants get some height to them, top the lasagna off with compost and straw. 

To read more about this article that Teri wrote… 

click here>>>

Sheet Mulching

Sheet Mulching

The third method is the well-known gardening method by Mel Bartholomew, the square foot garden. 

The concept is to lay out a weed barrier, build a frame that is 4×4 and place a grid on top that has1 foot squares.  This is a very efficient method of gardening, as developed by an engineer. 

To read more about Mel’s method

click this link>>>

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

These methods do not mean that you never have to pull a weed again, but the pulling of weeds will be reduced or almost eliminated.

It sure beats using a till method to turn the soil plus these methods will give the earthworms and other microorganisms a chance to do their thing.


Check It Out!

Mel Bartholomew – Introducing Square Foot Gardening 3:19


Quick Tip

 

1. Do not till the soil.
2. Set up areas in the garden for planting and walking
3. Cover planting area with compost, minimum of 1″ depth.
4. Use drip irrigation for an accumulation of half an hour per day.
5. Do not use hay for bedding unless it has been tested for persistent herbicide.

 


Bibliography:

“No-Till & Compost, and Still Problems.” Lee Reich. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“Maintain a Weedless Organic Garden.” Mother Earth News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“Create an Instant Garden with Sheet Mulching or Lasagna Gardening.” N.p., 03 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

“What Is Square Foot Gardening?” Mel Bartholomew. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.

Spates, Cheryl, et al. “Weedless Gardening – Growing A Greener World.” Growing A Greener World®, 7 Mar. 2017, www.growingagreenerworld.com/weedless-gardening/.​




 

Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , ,

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