Hydrating aloe vera facial gel

Mix in a jar:

  • two tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel extract → hydrating, soothing, anti-aging, stimulating: it’s a perfect guard against pollution, it stimulates collagen, fibroblasts and hyaluronic acid synthesis and it counteracts water retention.
    Do you want to know how to extract aloe vera gel? Have a look here! https://rot.rebus.cat/index.php/it/2020/03/31/gel-di-aloe-vera/
  • some freshly juiced lemon → astringent, antisepting, brightening (thanks to its large amounts of vitamin C, the lemon juice removes dead skin cells through an enzymatic peeling, keeping the skin clear).
  • a teaspoon of raw honey → moisturising and protective, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, humectant (attracts and retains moisture on the skin), preservative (it attracts and retains moisture in the skin, creating an environment inhospitable to microbes).

To better preserve the product, store it in the refrigerator. This will also provide a refreshing and invigorating effect!

It can also be used as a facial mask: apply the product in large quantities before going to sleep, it will absorb during the night.

Pleurotus Ostreatus on animal litter spawn

Preparing the substrate for spawn

  • 150g of animal litter (natural, organic, compressed wood)
  • 300g of water
  • One spoon of starch (potato or manioca)
  • 4% of ecologic honey (cane sugar or molasses is also fine)

Dilute the honey and starch into the water, then add it to the wooden bits. Soak the wood litter in water for a while. When the wood is fully absorbed, it doesn’t have to show extra water on the ground, nor dried parts either. Leave it rest for sometime.

Steam sterilize the jar

Put the wooden bits with all the ingredients in a jar (the lid of the jar must have an air filter, see previous articles on how to do it).

In a pot, put some water on the ground, then keep the jar lifted up with some metal structure. turn on the fire and when the water boils, keep the jar to steam-sterilize for about one hour.


The procedure is the same as explained in previous articles: with all the environment clean and the tools sterilized, cut open a piece of Pleurotus Ostreatus mushroom and put some pieces of the internal side of it in to the jar.

Close the lid and keep the jars at about 23 degrees Celsius for a bunch of weeks.

Your jar will be fully colonized when you see the white mycelium running all over it.

Now you have a full jar of spawn ready for the inoculation of your final chosen substrate to grow the mushrooms on.


Homemade bread in electrical oven

This recipe is for about 1Kg of white bread. Once you have some experience with the procedure, you can experiment with other flours and procedures as well. The important thing in my experience is to know about your oven, in order to use it properly for an amazing home-made bread experience 🙂

Activate the yeast

  • 600ml of water at 25 Celsius degrees
  • 12.5g fresh yeast (break it in small pieces)
  • one teaspoon of white sugar
  • one teaspoon of white wheat flour

Stir well and let the mixture rest for about 20 minutes: when you see a thin layer of foam on top of the water the yeast is activated. If the foam doesn’t form, don’t worry: your yeast will be kicking out inside the flour on the next phase anyway.

Knead the dough

  • 1Kg of white flour
  • one teaspoon of salt
  • one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • spices: a bit of rosemary or oregano and some sesame seeds (here you can experiment with lot of different combination of spices and seeds!). You can mix spices and seeds if you want: this will give more flavor to your bread.
Continue reading “Homemade bread in electrical oven”

Two Medicinal Mushrooms: Fomitopsis Betulina and Fomitopsis Pinicola

Fomitopsis Betulina (Birch Polypore)

An amazing medicinal mushrooms that likes to grow on birch trees. This plant has been used for thousands of years (a lump was found in a medicine pouch when they discovered the almost 6000 year old body Ötzi the Ice Man some years ago!).

It act as an immune tonic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-parasitic, laxative, anti-septic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Studies have indicated that the Birch Polypore acts as an aromatase inhibitor, meaning it helps to prevent the conversion of androgen hormones into estrogen. This is important in both men and women as high estrogen levels are linked to many hormonal imbalances and cancers.

Fomitopsis Pinicola (Red Belted Conk)

Fomitopsis Pinicola is a widespread wood-eating medicinal mushroom who goes by the common names Red-belted Conk and Red-banded Polypore. This species often grows on dead or dying conifers, but can also consume various hardwoods. Red-banded Polypore has a cream-colored pore surface, from which reproductive spores are released. This tough polypore is perennial, often persisting for years. Though not well known as a medicinal, Greg Marley writes that decoctions and tinctures made from this tree mushroom are anti-inflammatory and immune system supporting.

From a research dated 31st January 2020: “The compounds that are present in the fruiting bodies of F.pinicola included many useful enzymes, steroids, triterpenes and triterpenes derivatives, anti-tumor active constituents, and health beneficial nutritious compounds. These principal compounds showed important medicinal effects on the human body by providing a shield effect to the internal organs against diseases and also heal the damaged tissues and organs. The pharmacological effects of F.pinicola active constituents include anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidemic by controlling obesity, anti-oxidant effect, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties”.

Substrates for Pleurotus Ostreatus

Pleurotus Ostreatus (but other types of Pleurotus family as well) will grow on almost any ligno-cellulosic material.

A short list of products could be: straw, corn cobs, sawdust, cork, banana leaves, cotton seed hulls, newspaper, cardboard, toilet paper rolls, coffee pulp, sawdust, cocoa, peanut and coconut shells, cotton seed hulls, Jamaica, cassava peels, cotton, sorghum, corn stalks, grass, clover, wood, wastes of rice, wheat, cotton from textile industry, corncobs, crushed bagasse and molasses from sugar industry, water hyacinth, water lily, bean, wheat straw, leaves, oil-palm fiber, paper and paddy.

See same examples:

Date Palm leaves: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250492/

Ficus Vasta leaves: https://www.imedpub.com/articles/cultivation-of-pleurotus-ostreatus-mushroom-on-ficus-vastaleaves-solid-waste-of-plant-at-dilla-university-ethiopia.pdf

Grevillea robusta leaves: https://academicjournals.org/journal/JYFR/article-full-text-pdf/99C47C847266

Banana leaves, rice straw, wheat straw, mixture of rice and wheat straw and saw dust: http://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-0618/ijsrp-p7832.pdf

Production of insulation panels with Pleurotus Ostreatus mycelium: https://criticalconcrete.com/producing-mycelium-insulation/

A practical guide to make Effective Microorganisms

Hi there!

Today I’ll write about making your own culture of EM (Effective Microorganism). We’ve wrote about EM in two previous articles:

In this guide I’ll elaborate the method a bit more, and show you a few photos.

In this moment I’m making EM cause I need them for two reasons:

  1. I need to clean the pipes of the kitchen sink in my house. Recently, the water start flowing down more slowly and I believe there is an accumulation of organic matter in the pipes.
  2. I’m experimenting with a small-size, balcony-type, earth-worm-powered compost, and I want to boost it regularly with EM like you would do on Bokashy Compost.

I’ll write down the instructions as well as my personal considerations and photos around the whole method here below:

  1. Take a handful of rice, let’s say 80-100 grams and put it in a container. Of course, you should use ecologic, integral and unprocessed rice for this purpose.
Continue reading “A practical guide to make Effective Microorganisms”

Mushrooms Cultivation: DIY Liquid Culture


Today I will write about making your own liquid culture for mushroom growing.

The liquid culture is a liquid mix of nutrients that will help the mycelium to grow healthy prior to inoculation. It’s very effective cause with a very little amount of liquid culture you can inoculate directly a big amount of soil or spawn.

Liquid Culture of Pleorotus Eryngii: you can see the liquid culture completely colonized and the white fluffy mycelium growing all over inside the jar
Continue reading “Mushrooms Cultivation: DIY Liquid Culture”

Notes: Workshop on Effective Micro-organisms

Hi !

I will post today this notes taken from a workshop I was participating a while ago, with some overview on the method to cultivate and use the Effective Micro-organisms (EM).

Effective micro-organisms

When we’re talking about effective micro-organisms (EM) we mostly mean a bunch of different species of micro-organisms with beneficial effects for processes in all natural environments. Effective Microorganisms consist of beneficial and non-pathogenic microorganisms such as Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeast and Phototrophic Bacterias, which are found in many places in the nature: on our skin, in the water, in the air, in the food etc. By choosing certain kinds of micro-organisms and by increasing their amount in a certain place we can positively affect the environment in different ways.

Continue reading “Notes: Workshop on Effective Micro-organisms”

DIY Mushroom Spawn creation – Experimental inoculation of pistachio shells

Hi there!
Today I’ll write about an experiment I conduct by inoculating pistachio nut shells in order to create my own spawn for further mushroom growing.

Soaked pistachios shells jar When filling the jar, I added some pieces of wet, squeezed cardboard to help absorb the excess water inside it

For this experiment I used a fresh mushroom bought in supermarket, the King Oyster mushroom (Pleorotus Eryngii).

Continue reading “DIY Mushroom Spawn creation – Experimental inoculation of pistachio shells”

Notes: Growing Mushrooms on coffee ground

These are the expanded notes of a workshop I was participating a while ago.  You can maybe find some useful information in here, it’s a sort of a very resumed article that explain a method for cultivating mushrooms on your own at home + some background information. More than a guide, is an overview over the method. Enjoy!

Mushrooms Workshop


Mushrooms that grows in the nature are mainly decomposing the matter. They are at the base of life: they break materials like lignine, cellulose and minerals and split complex elements into smaller chemical substances that are beneficial not only for the organism itself, but also more easily absorbed from the organisms in the surrounding environment. What we call “mushroom”, is just the visible part of a very extended system of “roots” (hyphae) called mycelium, which is the actual organism.

Continue reading “Notes: Growing Mushrooms on coffee ground”

Growing King Oyster Mushroom on coffee ground in a plastic container

Today I will write about growing Pleorotus Eryngii – the King Oyster Mushroom – in a plastic container.

I used a plastic container suited for keeping your spaghetti dry in the shelf.
As substrate, I used spent coffee ground (about 60%), carton (20%), peanut and pistachio shells (20%).

The plastic container I used is made in PP 5 (Polypropylene).

The container is about 2.2 Liters and I used water at 90 degrees to sterilize it internally, just a couple of washes. In addition, I cleaned it internally with alcohol, as the top lid is big enough to fit my hand inside. Apparently, PP 5 could even support a steam-pasteurization, but I didn’t try that yet. Continue reading “Growing King Oyster Mushroom on coffee ground in a plastic container”

Growing Oyster Mushroom on coffee ground in a plastic bottle

Today I will write about growing Pleorotus Ostreatus – the Oyster Mushroom – in a plastic bottle.

As substrate, I used spent coffee ground (about 60%), carton (20%), peanut and pistachio shells (20%).

I used an empty water plastic bottle, made in PET 1 (Polyethylene).

The bottle is 1.5 Liter and I used water between 60 and 80 degrees to sterilize it internally, just a couple of washes. In addition, you can add some alcohol inside (don’t inhale in case you do this, hot water + alcohol creates gasses!). Higher temperatures are also possible, but water at 90-100 degrees modify the structure of Polyethylene 1, so it should be used very shortly. Continue reading “Growing Oyster Mushroom on coffee ground in a plastic bottle”

What are the Effective Microorganisms (EM)?

Effective microorganisms (EM)
were developed in the early1980s at the University of the
Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan by Professor Teruo Higa. He reported that a combination of approximately eighty different species of microorganisms are capable of positively influencing the decomposition of organic matter to the point at which it reverts to a ’life promoting’ process. These Effective Microorganisms consist of beneficial and non-pathogenic microorganisms such as Lactic Acid Bacteria, Yeast, and Phototrophic Bacteria, which are found in the natural environment.

Higa invoked the dominance principle to explain the effects
of his Effective Microorganisms. He claimed that three groups of microorganisms exist: positive microorganisms (regeneration), negative microorganisms (decomposition, degeneration), and neutral microorganisms. The ecological condition of any medium (that is soil, water, air, skin and intestinal) is hugely dependent on what type of microorganisms are dominant. The ratio of positive and negative microorganisms is critical, since the neutral, opportunist microorganisms follow the trend of regeneration or degeneration. Nowadays negative microorganisms (e.g. those responsible for the rotting of organic matter to maladies in organisms) dominate much of the sphere of the microorganisms in the environment. Treating the variety and massive volume of waste produced by societies and human activities has become an increasingly critical issue for humankind and the global environment.

Higa claimed that it is possible to favorably influence the given media by supplementing it with positive microorganisms. In short, it is possible to change the diversity of microorganisms so as to make effective microorganisms dominant.

Continue reading “What are the Effective Microorganisms (EM)?”