Mushroom Prep

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Last week I spent a lot of time in the barn with a power drill, a hammer and a tub of wax.  Among other things.

It was too cold to do much outside, so it was a good time for me to innoculate more logs with shiitake mushroom spawn.

We grew shiitakes this way for the first time last year and they were delicious.  They were so good that we decided to increase the amount we grow.

I ordered plugs from Field and Forest Products.  They are little plugs of wood with the spawn in them.  The process of preparing the logs is time-consuming, but not difficult.

First it’s necessary to cut down a tree (preferably a white oak) no more than a couple of feet in diameter at the base.  Let it age a couple of weeks, then drill holes into them about 6 inches apart (in a diamond patten), hammer the plugs into the holes and seal them with wax.  Once done, the logs are stacked in a shady place (but where rain will fall on them).

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Then wait.

This fall they should flush with mushrooms for the first time and that should continue to happen a couple of times each year for many years.

The reward is amazing.  We’re anxiously awaiting the spring offerings from the logs I did last year.

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3 comments on “Mushroom Prep

  1. shoreacres says:

    That’s just amazing. I don’t know what I thought about growing mushrooms – how it was done – but this isn’t it! It actually looks like a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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    • Bill says:

      Mushrooms are all grown differently. Only shiitakes are grown this way, to the best of my knowledge. In fact, those you find in a grocery store are probably grown in sawdust. But the superior kind, which fetch the very high prices in Japan, are grown in freshly cut oak logs, like ours. The mushrooms we got last year were amazingly delicious!

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  2. […] I’m planning to add more this year.  Here’s a link to the post describing how to do it. […]

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