Monday, March 21, 2011

I am growing Shiitake Mushrooms!

No, it is not picture of my log. Just a wishful thinking.

Let me rephrase that: If everything works out as it should, I will be growing Shiitake Mushrooms by late summer or early fall.
For couple years now, I was looking at the possibility of growing my own Oyster or Shiitake mushrooms or both. There are quite a few kits listed on Internet and seed catalogs so it’s not hard to get them. To start the “mushroom farm” you get inoculated plugs and then, in the case of Shiitake, you get freshly cut White Oak log between 2-1/2” and 5” diameter, drill holes in zigzag pattern 2” and 4” apart, drive the plugs in, set it in cool and moist place and wait. And then wait some more. Then, 6 months to a year later you can harvest your very own mushrooms. Apparently the log will keep producing for up to 8 years.
I will be posting updates when something is happening with the logs.
Getting the kit is easy part. What struck me as odd was fact that even though I now live in a country, I found it very difficult to get hold of freshly cut white oak branch. I have solicited help from my friend (retired farmer) and after I located nice branch that was ready to be cut in an overgrown patch of friend’s bush he got his trusty chainsaw and truck and off we went. Not even half an hour later we were back with very fresh wood.

 I cut it to manageable size logs on my chop saw, drilled the holes and hammered in plugs that were already showing signs of white mold. I wonder if I started too late but I had no choice. In retrospect, maybe I should have got hold of the wood first or at least have a reliable source. Well, I am learning something new every day.

Holes are drilled, plugs are inserted and ready to be driven in.
Plugs allready show a sign of mold.

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