WILDLIFE IN FOCUSCommon Name: Gouldian Finch
It’s very small and would fit into your hand weighing only 14 grams.
As with most birds of this type (finches, the Gouldian) it’s a quiet enough bird that peeps and sings a little.
I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons of www.birdsinbackyards.net.au
.Let’s find out about it.
Gouldian finch are also known as Goulds, Lady Gouldian and rainbow finch in other parts of the world are Holly’s opinion, one of the most beautiful birds in Australia.
In the wild they are found along creek lines, and mangroves.
- Not strictly a vegetable or a fruit, and not even a plant, but a fungi.
- Button mushrooms are Agaricus bisporus, various oyster mushrooms belong to the genus Pleurotus and shitake mushrooms are Lentinula edodes.
- Speaking of tunnels, the first mushrooms grown commercially in Australia were grown in disused railway tunnels in Sydney in the 1930’s. Later the mushrooms were grown in fields only covered with straw and hessian bags.
- You can grow quite a lot more varieties at home, than just the plain white mushrooms. There’s White Button, Chestnut button, Swiss Brown, Pearl Oyster, Pink Oyster. Golden Oyster, and Shitake to name a few.
- Find somewhere indoors where there’s no wind or direct sunlight, better still if it’s a bit humid like your laundry.Some people may have a big enough bathroom to put the kit in there!
- A good idea is to keep your mushroom kit off the ground and out of the way of the family pet.
- It’s not a good idea to grow your mushrooms deep inside a cupboard or pantry because the air is pretty dry, plus if you can’t see them, you might forget about them.
- The standard kits contain a casing with mushroom spores that you spread over your mushroom compost.
- Open the box and remove the bag of dry peat moss called casing.
- Leave the large bag of compost inside the box. The compost may appear brown if newly inoculated with spawn, or if it is mature, it will look frosty white or mouldy, as the mushroom mycelium grows through it. If the compost is brown and newly inoculated, close the kit up and keep it at 18-22 degrees for 7-10 days, before adding the peat moss casing layer.
- You will notice that the bag of compost is not sealed closed this is to allow the mushroom fungus to breathe.
- If you do not plan on starting the kit immediately, simply fold the plastic bag back down on to itself and close up the box the way it was before you opened it. This kit is designed to be started immediately, a short delay of a week or two is OK, a delay of a month or more is to long and not a good idea. It may still grow, but fewer mushrooms will be produced the longer you wait.If you wish to delay, starting your kit for a few weeks, store the kit below in a cool as location as possible.
- Inside the box is a small bag of dry peat moss mixed with a little lime, this is called casing. Casing is used as a covering to hold water and protect the mushroom mycelium growing in the compost.
- Now spread the casing evenly over the entire surface of the compost. Do not pack the casing down, leave it loose and fluffy.
- The casing should cover all the compost, and be approximately 2cm deep. After applying the casing to the compost, mist or sprinkle the casing with an additional one-cup of water.
- Wait about 5 minutes and then scratch or ruffle the entire surface of the peat moss to a depth of 2cm. A nail or fork can be used to ruffle the casing. The roughness of the casing creates a microclimate where the young mushrooms can form. This completes setting up your kit. It is a good idea to write the date you start your kit on the box and on these instructions for later reference.
- Do not let the casing dry out, as it is very hard to remoisten it and mushrooms will not grow in dry casing. Keep your kit out of drafts and away from heat sources, which will dry out your kit.
- Do not cover the top of the kit to prevent the kit from drying out, as this causes air circulation problems and high levels of carbon dioxide.High levels of carbon dioxide will prevent mushrooms from growing or produce long stringy undesirable mushrooms.