Growing Shitake Mushrooms
Did you know that you can grow shitake mushrooms at home? Well we are trying it and will report how it goes. We bought our first pre-inoculated log about 2 years ago. It cost about $30 from a mail order company. We did everything they said to do…soak the log, put it in the shade, keep it moist…but nothing happened. It was supposed to produce mushrooms about 8 months after we got it…in the spring and fall for up to 5 years. Well we didn’t have anything happen. I called the company, and for $10 more they sent us another one last spring….again nothing happened.
I had pretty much given up on them…but lo and behold, just this past week there were mushrooms!
The old first log had one mushroom, the newer log had about 10. I picked them and made a delicious wild mushroom soup with fresh herbs. I am so glad the mushroom log is producing…I added shitake mushrooms to the list of things we are growing this season. I priced shitake mushrooms at the store and they were $15/lb so I am hoping I at least make my $40 investment back!
It is less expensive if you inoculate your own logs…you use freshly cut oak logs, about 4” diameter…drill holes and insert inoculants plugs you can get mail order. If these logs produce well, I might consider inoculating some logs myself. It does take patience, you have to wait at least a year for the spores to colonize the log and make mushrooms, but it is much less maintenance than trying to keep a plant alive, basically you set it in the shade and forget it…maybe in the spring soak it in rain water for a day…and then just wait. I’m glad our patience paid off and I didn’t throw away the logs.