Last year we were awarded a Lakewinds Organic Field Grant to purchase a Japanese-made pneumatic inoculating machine. We used the tool for part of the 2019 (spring) inoculation season, and we’re looking forward to a full season with the tool this 2020 inoculation season!
It’s an enormous task we have each winter – to inoculate all the logs that we grow mushrooms from in the summer. I won’t go into it much here, since we detail how it’s done elsewhere on our site, but here is a summary of the scale of the task this year:
- 4900 mushroom logs (2020 target)
- 50 to 150 holes per log
- That means we need to drill and fill over 500,000 holes!
Here’s a video showing how we inoculate with the hand tool, after the holes are drilled:
And here is a video of the Pegasus pneumatic inoculator tool – on the second day of use. We inoculated 75 logs over a 6 hour period – even though we’re just learning how to use the tool and troubleshoot problems!
Last year we started using the tool mid-season, and we have this to report:
- In December/January (2019), using the old tools, we inoculated 1,081 logs, averaging about 50 logs a day. Our biggest inoculation day was 62 logs.
- In April to June, using the new tool, we inoculated 3,256 logs. Our average was about 70 logs a day. We had 13 days where we did over 100 logs a day, with our biggest day being 150 logs.
- No worker injuries reported using the Pegasus tool!
- Setting up the tool wasn’t difficult, though we had to spring for a more expensive compressor than expected, and with a dedicated 20 amp circuit.