The following photos show how grain is inoculated with mushroom mycelium to produce spawn. Mushroom logs are produced about the same way except that spawn is used to inoculate the mushroom substrate that is typically a sawdust mixture.
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The video below shows Professor Luo Xin Chang demonstrating the advantages of Unicorn bags compared to the traditional Chinese method. The modern method of using a micro vented polypropylene bag allows easy mixing before incubation. The traditional Chinese method uses “top spawning” in a tight fitting bag. After 30 days, the mycelia at the top of the bag using the traditional method has not propagated to the bag bottom. This method produces non uniform spawn, as the mycelia at the top is old and mycelia at the bottom is relatively new. It also leaves much of the substrate untouched by mycelia. During the first 15 days, Unicorn bags have produced 100% uniform spawn throughout the bag.