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Posted by pinksharkmark on November 13, 2001 at 03:29:58:

In Reply to: mushy's posted by kris on November 13, 2001 at 01:45:58:

... because I have often thought of recommending Psilocybe tampanensis, since they can be grown in a completely sealed jar. No need to worry about contamination or humidity levels. Just put the jars in a dark place at the right temperature and let them sit. Pretty hard to get any simpler than that.

Under these conditions, they don't actually produce mushrooms, they produce sclerotia, (whimsically called "truffles" or "Philosopher's Stones" by recreational users) which are compact, dense, lumpy-looking clumps of mushroom tissue which don't look anything at all like a mushroom, and contain no spores.

There are five reasons why I haven't yet recommended them to clusterhead fungus farmers:

1) Only a few spore suppliers carry the spores, and even those suppliers are often out of stock.

2) The spores are more expensive than Psilocybe cubensis spores.

3) In order to be successful, the growing medium must be thoroughly sterilized. Simply boiling the jars will not be sufficient, a pressure cooker is an absolute must.

4) Although everything I have read about the cultivation of sclerotia leads me to believe that the process is less complex than growing mushrooms, I have not yet grown any myself, so I cannot guarantee from personal experience how simple the procedure actually is.

5) Sclerotia develop much more slowly than mushrooms do. Rather than waiting 4 to 6 weeks before harvesting, it will more likely take 3 to 4 months for the sclerotia to reach any significant size.

Since clusterheads in cycle are in need of their medicine as quickly as possible, Psilocybe tampanensis is really only suitable for someone who knows his next cycle is not due for a few months.

However, Psilocybe tampanensis is definitely the most low-maintenance form of psilocybin-bearing fungus that I know of, and I intend to order some spores for myself on my next trip to the real world.

Another advantage: the dried "truffles" look so completely weird, like a gnarled, lumpy chunk of ginseng or mandrake root or ginger root, that they could easily be mailed to a fellow sufferer labelled as "Dried Korean Kong Tung root" or something equally exotic with no fear of interception whatsoever. I seriously doubt that there is a customs inspector, postal inspector, or policeman anywhere in the world who would ever recognize it for what it really is. Even very few recreational users of psilocybes have heard of it, much less actually grown them. They are never available on the black market... they are just too rare.


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