Phone Book Spawn

Telephone Book SpawnHere’s an experiment that I’m toying with after finding years and years of old phone books lying around our office space.  True, there are phone book recycling services, but I figured I’d try to turn these phone books into a tool for producing food.  Lord knows people have plenty of old phone books lying around.

So I took these old phone books and soaked them in water in our kitchen sink, and then inoculated the area between the pages (trying to space out inoculations fairly evenly) with cardboard spawn, stem butts, and grain spawn of the Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus).  After about a week, the initialization colonization looks promising.  The mycelium doesn’t seem to be having any trouble digesting the substrate, but I do notice that the leap off time is a bit slower than it would be on more traditional substrates like cardboard, grain, wood, or straw.

One concern that I do have is how effective the mycelium will be in penetrating the area between the pages.  If you haven’t noticed, the yellow pages has lots of, well, pages.  In the end, I’m sure I’ll be able to orchestrate a fairly massive mycelial wave with this substrate, as there’s just so much of it and I did inoculate with robust mycelium: the stem butts and cardboard spawn came from our outdoor harvest.  I plan to use these to inoculate logs at the soil-wood interface that I talked about fairly extensively in a previous post.  I’ll post updates as I have them.


Phone Book Spawn — 3 Comments

  1. Phone book spawn was a fail. The mycelium didn’t have enough surface area on the substrate to penetrate well. Perhaps shredding the books might work better, but I don’t recommend that others try this.

  2. Why not drill holes in the phone book like you would with a log? Think of the pages like rings on a tree, not an easy access point to inoculate. By drilling, the mycelium would reach most of those pages since the access point is running thru all those layers (pages).

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