Sunday, February 19, 2012

Propagating Shitakes

Following are some pictures from the shitake propagation class I recently attended.   Although growing this delicious fungi seems easy with just a few basic steps, it is apparently much more difficult to grow shitakes in the Bay Area then in other regions due to our drier climate.  A great resource for learning more about the subject is Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms By Paul Stamets. 

Our class began with oak logs that had been aged for 1-3 months.  We drilled holes up and down the logs in a triangular pattern. 

spawn plugs
Each hole was then plugged or inoculated with spawn plugs (ordered from fungi perfecti) that had been removed from the refrigerator the day before to warm up. 

Once the plugs were all firmly inserted into the logs, we brushed melted food grade wax over the holes and the ends to seal them. 

At home we soaked our logs in rain water (you can also use spring water) for 8-12 hours.  The logs need to live in full shade and get soaked weekly.  We can  hope to see some fruiting action on our logs after six months (we will be watching for white mycelium growing in the holes and on the ends of the logs). 

My three logs are tucked away in a cool, shaded place.  I just hope I don't forget about them.  It sure will be wonderful to have shitakes growing outside our doorstep. 

Also a video by the Urban Farming Guys, who live in a much wetter climate so their methods are slightly different. 


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  2. just tried growing some mushrooms my self but would like to try this variety