My Shiitakes are fruiting!

I have always said that I never met a mushroom I didn’t like.  I guess I don’t like the ones that could kill me, but aside from that, I really dig mushrooms.  In some ways, I suppose I feel a certain kinship with mushrooms.  I am usually in the dark and they keep feeding me bull…well, you get the idea.

A friend of mine is a mushroom enthusiast and helped me inoculate several white oak logs with shiitake spores last summer.  Shiitakes have apparently only been grown outside of East Asia since 1982 so I am not too far behind the curve…I was at least alive in 1982!  Anyhow, the mushroom spores came mixed in a damp sawdust filled container.  We used a 1/2 inch spade bit to drill inch and a half deep holes all over the log and packed the spores into the holes.  I melted beeswax and covered the inoculated holes to seal in the mushroomy goodness.  I pitched the logs out behind my shed and waited.  Just this weekend, they started fruiting!

We used white oak logs because their bark apparently is best at remaining tight on the logs for a longer time than other tree varieties.  Over the past year, as the log decayed, the spores began to run through the log and finally fruit as they have taken hold.  The logs I inoculated are 4-8 inches in diameter and 2-4 feet long.  I expect that they will fruit for 2-10 years depending on how things go.  We’ve had such a wet spring and summer that I suppose they will fruit a lot this summer!  We’ll eat a bunch fresh but I will probably dry some for use over the winter.  For this kind of payoff, I can handle being in the dark a little!

Anyone else grow mushrooms?

15 thoughts on “My Shiitakes are fruiting!

  1. When it rains alot we usually have some grow up in the yard but we haven’t actually tried to grow them. Nathan likes mushrooms. I think they are ok. Just not much taste to them. Maybe you can recommend a good mushroom recipe when you get enough to cook.

    BTW, I have started reading the first book of the Twilight series. I read 7 seven chapters last night. Now I understand the obsession with Edward. Dreamy! Nathan is now on the 4th book. He is basically waiting for me to finish the first so we can watch the movie. I am also looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie as well.

  2. So you like your shrooms… 😉
    I love mushrooms too but I am a little afraid of growing it myself. Don’t know why but I thought it might just be safer if I buy them.
    .-= YDavis´s last blog ..Golden Friday =-.

  3. When I was growing up, my dad had a HUGE shiatake patch- literally hundreds of logs. Why on earth he needed that many I can’t tell you, but we ate a hell of a lot of mushrooms when I was little.
    .-= Taylor´s last blog ..First Harvest =-.

  4. Warren likes to add mushrooms to just about ANY recipe – so I hope we get a lot more!

  5. Haven’t tried growing it yet… forage for chanterelles and coral whenever it gets rainy here. I had no idea they produced that long, makes it seem far more practical then. I’ve got plenty of white oak logs…

    .-= Ron´s last blog ..Yet another summer day =-.

  6. I’ve always wanted to, but I have so much going on I have to pace myself and only introduce a few new things each year.

    Thanks for sharing though, super interesting!
    .-= Chiot’s Run´s last blog ..The Joys of Summer =-.

  7. When I lived in Ghana, West Africa, one of the cottage industries was growing oyster mushrooms in plastic bags of sawdust. We visited one of the producers one day, and I have wanted to try doing it ever since, but haven’t found instructions. We grew Shiitakes once, but my wife got sick after eating a meal prepared with them and won’t eat them now, so I’m looking for an alternative.
    .-= The Old Gray Egg´s last blog ..A New Lake, Ospreys and Eagles =-.

  8. Loretta – I can’t think of a single recipe that wouldn’t be better with mushrooms. Of course, you gotta make sure you get mushrooms that won’t kill you…

    farm mom – sort of look like pancakes I think…also awesome!

    YD – hmmm…shrooms…no comment…

    Mim – Any log will work but hardwood is best and white oak is the best of the best

    Taylor – I think I see his vision! It sounds great!

    Emily – ah…last year’s birthday cake was wonderful!

    Capri Kel – my wife is so forgiving!

    Ron – I hunted chanterelles with the kids last night…they’re awesome too!

    Chiot’s Run – I am still new to it too but I love mushrooms…couldn’t resist!

    The Old Gray Egg – It seems that there are so many mixed bits of information on raising mushrooms. I am lucky to have a friend…she has advised me on how to do these and how to find wild mushrooms too…critical!

  9. I wish I could grow Morels. I hunted them as a little girl and kept their location a secret as my father had taught me. Morels don’t grow in Texas, and so I’ve been without them for 25 years!
    Yesterday at a fancy grocery store, I saw them dried. Guess how much they were. Really, guess……………………………$158 dollars a pound!!! I know there are a lot of dried mushrooms in a pound, but still.
    Congrats on your success!
    .-= Ceecee´s last blog ..Day 167 Challenge =-.

  10. Ceecee – Holy crap! I should hunt them and sell them in TX…I could retire! I understand that morels are notoriously hard to grow…so I guess we’re all stuck hunting them

  11. tipper – I was sort of like you…interested but not sure how to proceed…I was fortunate to find a nearby expert! I bet there are some near you too

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