The wide fluctuations in temperature and frequent rains we’re experiencing are just the kind of conditions that can sometimes result in the spontaneous fruiting of shiitake mushrooms.
One of the world’s most popular edible mushrooms, Shiitakes have a significant place in the history of mycoculture by humans. Highly nutritious, and well-established as a health-promoting mushroom, shiitakes grown on a pre-innoculated log are a seasonal gift that keep on giving!
This year, as part of our operational expansion, we’re offering a new and improved version of our Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Logs exclusively to our ‘Spore’ters. That’s right: as a mark of our great appreciation, ONLY folks who’ve joined up and supported our growth will have the opportunity to take one of these beauties home.
With a little care and patience, you can participate in the centuries-long tradition of harvesting and eating delicious homegrown Shiitakes. It’s an excellent way to deepen your relationship with the fungi in your world and to enjoy the experience of identifying, harvesting, and dining upon such a tasty mushroom !
Shiitakes are perfect for stir-fries, on the grill, in seasonal mixed grains or risottos, or dried, powdered, and used as an amazing base for soups and gravies.
How does it work? (The Basics)
– This mushroom’s natural role in a forest’s ecology is as a decomposer of wood, participating in the process of returning trees to soil.
– We’ve introduced a culture of Shiitake to freshly-cut wood. The log is both the home and the food for the Shiitake, and the fungus establishes itself, growing through the log as it consumes it and breaks it down.
– When the mycelium (the main body of the fungus, living within the tree) encounters the right conditions, under the normal seasonal fluctuations of temperature and moisture, it will be triggered to produce mushrooms!
Things you might like to know about this year’s crop of Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Logs:
How big are they?
– 2-foot long, approximately 8-inch wide rounds
What kind of wood?
– Locally-harvested (Digby County) maple
How do I care for it?
– Maintain the log in a humid area, sheltered from drying winds and sun; some dappled light is desirable. We recommend providing the log with extra water during the driest part of the summer by dunking it in a bucket of water for up to six hours, once every two weeks. If cracks appear in the ends of the log, like they do on firewood, definitely give it a good soaking.
When will mushrooms appear?
– As a living organism, the Shiitake needs to grow and mature before it gets to its reproductive stage. The vigorous strain we’ve selected should establish itself and grow through the log at a steady pace, eventually appearing as whitish discoloration on the cut ends of the logs. Although this process can go quickly, it is most likely that the log will fruit for the first time in either Spring or Autumn of 2019.
Like a perennial plant, a Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom log will undergo cycles of dormancy, mycelial growth, and fruiting: it can live in a corner of your garden for the next few years, sprouting delicious and beneficial mushrooms in harmony with the natural cycles of your local microclimate.
How do I get one?
Join our Community of ‘Spore’ters by clicking HERE to get all the relevant details, including a sign-up form and an outline of the other fabulous perks** available to our wonderful community of mushroom-loving, local-food promoting, ‘Spore’ters.
Special thanks to those who’ve already joined the Community of ‘Spore’ters! If you’re thinking about signing up (or giving a membership as a gift), don’t miss your chance — Contact Us before we close the program at end of April!
**’Walk on the Wild Side’ guided mushroom walks! Savings all year long on everything we sell and registration for all of our walks and workshops! Exclusive Mycomania Omnibus!)