An interesting little experiment is afoot. Well little might be an understatement but you’ve got to try these things now and again.
We’ve had a lot of cardboard tubes delivered from a local carpet recycling business, more than we actually have ideas to use them up. So plan B comes into effect.
One of the first things I’ve thought of is to chop them up, a travesty I’m sure, and soak them back down into pulp. Once we have that we can make them into fuel logs and briquettes to help provide heat for the buildings over the winter.
But in the interest of generating a revenue from what others through away there’s nothing to stop us inoculating that pulp with mushroom spawn and stuffing it into some of the tubes turning them into little mycelium powerhouses.
Cardboard is essentially finely chopped up trees in the form of cellulose and if there’s one thing mycelium (the actual root network that fruits the mushrooms we all know so well) does well is break down and consume the molecule lignin that makes up cellulose.
It does this by breaking the long chain carbohydrate into shorter chain carbohydrate. Or sugar as we call it.
I’ll go into more detail about soil ecology in a later post but to suffice to say, we will have a source of heat, a soil building activity and mushrooms with both health and culinary use.
Not bad from someone else’s unwanted stuff….