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?