After inoculating and harvesting mushrooms as shown previously, SCZ is ready to use the remaining mycellium for forest restoration.
We marked the sites to be restored with flags and took photos of each..
We took soil samples in all the eroded "runs".
Some of the soil sample team: from left, Joey Sam from Picuris Pueblo, Robert Haspel of SCZ, Luther Martinez from Picuris Pueblo, John Mexal of NMSU and Janette Fischer of SCZ.
Photo at right shows the compaction test.
The pH meter and the electric conductivity meter are two of the tools we used in our soil tests. In general, the soil of the "runs" is alkaline (ph of 8 or higher) which is typical for pinõn juniper. There is virtually no organic matter in the soil and it is very clay like, compacted and rocky. The soils that we tested are generally unhealthy, and therefore the forest is not healthy
The light lavender color between thumb and forefinger indicates just a little organic matter on the carbon dioxide meter.
The test for nitrates and nitrites in the soil shows white to pale pink or 0.0 to 0.15, none or a very small amount.
We could not do the water filtration test on all the "runs" because the soil was too compact.
Before we can spread the bags of spent mycellium on the "runs", we must coat each 4X4 meter site with wood chips. Robert Haspel, Luther Martinez, and Grant Canary feed the wood from the previously thinned forest into a woodchipper. Each site is labeled with the type of mushroom and the date the substrate was spread.
Photo at left shows wood chips at site A-1; in the center, site B-1 where the bag of oyster mushroom mycellium will be spread; at right, site B-3 with bag of polyporus mycellium.
The spent mushroom bags with their remaining mycellium will be spread on the designated forest sites. Then we will wait and see what mother nature does! Periodically, we will take soil samples and photos to measure the changes.
New soil samples were taken in May 2006. Where the chips with fungi had been spread we found moist soil down to 12 inches. We also found earthworms for the first time and small beautiful plants growing in the chips. In addition we found some organic matter where there had been none before. Therefore beneficial micro organisms are coming back slowly. It has been only one year, but we are very excited about these results.
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