Saturday, March 15, 2014

Shitake Mushroom Inoculation: Part 2

Project's Total Time: 6 Hours
Logs Inoculated: 27
Shiitake Mushrooms Harvested to Date: 0

Several EMGVs put forth a tremendous amount of effort to inoculate 27 dense hardwood logs with shiitake spawn. The logs weighed a considerable amount, the wax was scolding hot, and the drilling was arduous. Yet the EMGVs toiled for over 6 hours with the optimism that one day, maybe in 6 months, shiitake mushrooms will grow. Not only was the day a learning experience for all, but it was also a wonderful chance to get to know one another better. 

Once again, for further information please read: Producing Shiitake Mushrooms:A Guide for Small-Scale Outdoor Cultivation on Logs. It is also posted on the right sidebar menu.

FYI: Shiitake translated from Japanese means “mushroom of the shii (oak tree).” In other words, use oak logs as a growing substrate for shiitake mushroom cultivation.

The whole gang is hard at work on multiple
 steps of the cultivation process.
Two of our expert EMGVs are drilling using the
 8.5mm Soft Steel Screwtip Bit With Stop
 Collar from Field and Forest Products.  
One of the tables eventually broke during
 the day from the heavy logs.

Here was our other drilling station.

Two of our EMGVs worked on
inoculating the logs using the
 Thumb Style Brass Inoculator
It's also helpful to have one person
moving the log while the other

Here is an up close shot of the
 inoculation. It is critical to make
 sure each hole gets spawn, which
 is easier said then done. 

Here is our waxing station. Placing wax over each
 hole and anywhere the wood is exposed
prevents the wood from drying out, other
 mushrooms colonizing the logs, and prolongs
 the mushroom producing life of each log.

We used an old $2 skillet purchased
a thrift shop to heat the cheese
 wax. Using  natural fiber brushes
  is important because they will not
 melt like their synthetic counterparts.
The logs were stacked in a log cabin
 fashion. Elm logs, 
which were not
inoculated, were used for the base.
We ended up with 27 inoculated logs.
If all goes well, the logs should produce
shiitake mushrooms for 3-4 years.

Here are a few of our EMGVs
 next to our new stack of inoculated
Here is our only casualty of 
the day. Lesson: One Heavy
 Log + Another Heavy Log = 
A Broken Table.
The cost of Shiitake Mushrooms adds up!
(Note: Shiitake is spelled incorrectly in the picture.) 

Wetting the logs weekly during dry periods should be the only maintenance we need to do for shiitake mushroom cultivation. 

Once again, if you still have questions, please refer to  NC State's publication:  Producing Shiitake Mushrooms:A Guide for Small-Scale Outdoor Cultivation on Logs 

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