Fun With Fungi

Continuing from my earlier post, I am going to tell you all about the classes we took at the conference last weekend. I have this strong urge to do mushroom logs and it is crazy because I don’t love mushrooms, hubby does but me…just kind of like them! Oh well, really just another skill I would like to learn!!!

Here is an outline of what Mr. Culbreath introduced to us:

Shiitake mushroom – Lentinula edodes
Oyster mushroom – Pleurotus ostreatus
shiitake

Substrate – need hardwood logs such as oak, beech, sweetgum and alder. Recommended size is 4-6″ in diameter and 3-4 feet long, something you can comfortably handle.

You need to cut the trees down in late winter/early spring before the trees bud. Let freshly cut logs sit for 1-3 weeks because the plants defense chemicals diminish during this time. Next clean the logs off with water to get off any lichens or fungal growth(you do not want any competition of other species on your logs).

Let them dry a bit before drilling. Drill 5/16″ holes 2″ deep(I hear there is a perfect drill tip that does this and removes the sawdust too!)
Use a guide or tape on the drill bit to monitor depth and drill holes no more than 4″ apart in a zig zag pattern all around the log. 50 holes approx. on each log.

Next take your mushroom plugs(you can order from fungi.com)
Drive one plug into each hole with a hammer – easy peasy!
hammering

Next step is sealing the log. Holes and ends of the log may be sealed with cheese wax or beeswax to prevent drying out. Use a small brush or turkey baster to apply melted wax to each plug.
painting log

Stack logs in a “crib stack” avoiding direct contact with the ground. You can use an old shipping crate as a good foundation. Label your logs with an aluminum garden tag – type of mushroom, inoculation source and date. Logs should be kept in a shady, moist and cool place BUT do not allow to freeze during the first few weeks. KEEP EACH SPECIE SEPARATE!! Best to have two or more logs for a good production.
crib stack
Water at least every other week, more for hot dry periods, maintain moisture at or greater than 40%.

After about 9 month, mottling will occur on the end of the logs(white spotty stuff). When you see this fruiting is about to occur – YAY! You will then see white bumps on the log where the plugs are and these are mushroom babies. At this time you would change the stacking of the logs to more of a slanted stack to expose most of the log.
slanted
Total time about 12 months and then it will continue producing for I think it was 2-3 years. Harvest the shiitake mushrooms as soon as the veil has broken.

I am so doing this!!! If anyone has experience with growing mushrooms, please share you knowledge with us and I will post it for you! Enjoy you day.
Anne-Marie

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