Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

On April 10th the Dacha hosted it’s very first workshop led by Danila on inoculating logs with oyster mushrooms! The event proved what a group of 15-20 novice naturalists can accomplish with a little knowledge, 750 spore infested dowels, and several drill guns. Although many of the attendees were new to mushroom growing, almost thirty logs were successfully inoculated.

To maximize efficiency (and to let everyone try their hand at each aspect of the process) the students formed a loose assembly line: drilling holes on all sides of each log (the hardcore part), whack-a-moling the dowels into the holes (the fun, anger management, part), and painting the holes with wax to keep them moist (the messy part).

To witness this feet of fungal mastery, check out the little wooded patch at the dacha, where the logs are casually leaning in a patch of dappled sunlight preparing to pop little white oyster heads.


Striking a pose with your inoculated mushroom log is said to encourage mycelium growth.

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Join us for a hands-on workshop this Saturday, April 10th, as we learn about mushroom cultivation on logs. We will be inoculating poplar logs with oyster mushroom spawn, using a method that is sort of like a game of Whack-a-mole.

We’re certainly not experts (yet), but we’ve been wanting to try this for a while, and it should be a fun learning experience. All the necessary tools and materials will be provided.

This workshop is free! If you want to take an inoculated log home with you, there’s a suggested donation of $5-10 to cover material costs.

The event is expected to run from 1-4pm on Saturday, April 10th, 2010. To RSVP or get directions, email Danila – dapasov (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Dear Friends, Family and Patrons of the The Dacha Project’s Blog,

It is hard to believe that spring is right around the corner, especially when it is five degrees outside as we’re writing this. Still, experience tells us that grasses will bloom and the birds will come home, and that not all is lost to the ruthless ravages of winter.

How about this one is it a fruit or nut tree?  I'm afraid its neither a fruit or nut. Moving Photo by Liz K, 2008

How about this one is it a fruit or nut tree? I'm afraid neither. Moving Photo by Liz K, 2008

Here, at the Dacha Project in downstate, NY there is nothing more we look forward to than the coming of the May sun. This spring, after the earth thaws, the Dacha Six will break ground on the building of a large common house. We know that we will be busy bees with the sustainable building and all, and that every last cent of our funds will go to buttoning up the building before winter comes again, but we hate to miss the earliest opportunity we have to plant an orchard of fruit and nut trees.

We’re writing you with a special request and offer: SPONSOR A FRUIT OR NUT TREE OF YOUR CHOICE FOR JUST $20 (or as much as you can contribute), AND REAP THE HARVEST….in only four to six years.


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Soil, soil, soil!

With temperatures in Ithaca rising into the 50s, spring feels like it’s right around the corner. In actual fact, we’re still deep in February, and it might well snow on Friday. But the heat still makes me imagine the coming warm months, when the ground will thaw and the become ready for planting.

With that in mind, I’ve started searching for information on our soil and the wonderful plants we can grow in it. Reading a great local blog, Living in Dryden, I found a handy map produced by the town of Dryden which roughly classifies soils and floodplains in the area. According to the map, we’ve got either Class I or II type soil, which they consider the best for agriculture. Excellent news!

I dug deeper and went to the Web Soil Survey from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. This is a really great resource which lets you look up soil information for just about anywhere in the United States. And most of the information is current, which may not be true about paper soil maps. In our region the map is from 2006.

After tinkering with the interface, I came up with a map like the one below. It shows roads and the boundaries of different soil types. It also has a nice legend which helps you figure out what you’re looking at, and lets you pick a point and grab information about it. In the small area I chose there were just 6000 acres with 35 different soil types!

websoilsurvey_result (more…)

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