Shiitake Mushrooms on My Mind

shiitake logs being loading in a trailer

Believe it or not, I’ve been deep into Shiitake mushroom planning.  I’ve got my sawdust spawn order ready to go for inoculation and my wife Julie has been out marking logs that we’ll use for mushroom inoculation in May.

My next duty will be to cut down oak, sugar maple and beech trees, which is what are used for the substrate that the spawn is inoculated into. These need to be cut before the trees break dormancy, otherwise the stored energy that is required to sustain the mushroom spawn will not last more than a year or two.

The previous few years we have been a little late in harvesting logs and the return on investment has not been close to what we have usually expected. Last season our harvest numbers were about half of what was usually harvested. It will take a year or two to get back to where we should be with harvest numbers because it takes a whole year for the spawn to colonize the log before harvest can begin.

Yes, it’s a labor of love but the rewards are well worth it. Fresh mushrooms, value added products like soups and pâté and of course, health building mushroom tinctures.
Chow from Farmer Steve!

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