Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Growing Shiitake mushrooms

A few years ago I became interested in growing our own mushrooms, especially shiitake.  I put it on hold and then I saw a class that was being offered at our local agricultural center.  Since I couldn't attend, I talked Hart into going.  He came home with a log inoculated with the mushroom spores.  It will take about a year before we can harvest any.

So I decided we would need more than one log of mushrooms and ordered a bag of shiitake mushroom spores online.  Hart cut down some small trees and Sunday we spent most of the afternoon inoculating the logs.

Logs waiting for the process to begin.
The first step was to brush the logs free of debris or mold and to drill holes in it.

Shiitake mushroom spores.
Hart drilled about 20 holes in each log, in a diamond pattern.

Hart filling each hole.

Hole is filled with the spores.

Pushing the spores into the hole.

Metal rod is used to push spores firmly into holes.

Melted cheese wax used to cover each hole and any sawed off area.

Brushing the holes with wax.

Wax covering the holes on log.

I'm brushing the logs with the hot wax, including the ends of the logs

Now we have about 10 logs sitting in the shady area of our garden just waiting for the mushrooms to grow.  Our job is to keep them in the shade and to be sure the logs receive enough moisture, especially during the dry summer months.  We should be able to harvest about 10lbs. per log for the next four years.  The hard part will be waiting for that first year.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting! Cant wait to see what happens