The journey into my mycological cultivation has begun in earnest. Recently I inoculated several logs to cultivate Shiitake mushrooms on the homestead. This is a starter or trial run, and the prognosis is good. We have many places on the property that are deep dark Hemlock groves that are ideal for growing mushrooms.
Mushrooms have been cultivated in much of Asia for thousands of years because of their edible and medicinal properties and has expanded significantly to Europe and the America’s in recent decades.
To do this on your own simply get some freshly cut oak, (3-4 ft. long and from 5 – 12″ in diameter) or other thick-barked hardwoods (between 2 weeks and 6 months since cutting) and some “plug spawn” (mushroom spores grown on pieces of dowel)
Then drill 5/16″ holes about 2″ into the log in a diamond pattern about 4″ apart completely down, and around the log. This is about 50 to 80 plugs which are then hammered into the holes and covered with a small amount of beeswax to prevent unwanted guests like insects and other fungi, and also to retain moisture. You can also inoculate the stumps as well.
After you have prepared your logs place them in a shady, moist location and just forget about them. Ok…. so you have to water them once a month or so if it gets really dry. And in 6 – 12 months ( for shiitake) you should have wonderful mushrooms to eat !
There are lots of details that you may want to investigate further. When you get your kit or plugs you will get detailed instructions. This is the short version.
Although we all love eating mushrooms I am doing this primarily for an income during the growing season. I have already been foraging and identifying wild mushrooms for both eating and medicinal purposes. The edibles are going to a local farmers market (so localvore’s keep your eyes open ) and the medicinal ones will probably be dried and sold at several outlets.
Even if you do not wish to do this on a large scale, anyone can drill a piece of oak (or other hardwoods) and grow your own for personal consumption. This will save countless gallons of fuel that it costs to get them to your supermarket and you know exactly what you and your family are eating. There are many kits available both online and at garden centers everywhere.
If this works well, I will expand to Black Morels (I love them) and others like oyster, lions mane, reishi, and turkey tail.
PLEASE NOTE: NEVER EAT ANY MUSHROOM UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SURE OF IT’S IDENTIFICATION.
This is extremely important ! When ever you are eating a mushroom new to you, eat a small portion and wait 24 – 48 hours. If no adverse effects are noticed you can be reasonably sure you are not allergic to this type of mushroom. About 1 – 2 % of the population IS, to different types of mushrooms.
We recommend that all mushrooms are cooked before they are eaten.
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Peace and Prosperity,
Rich @ NY Homesteader
To learn More about growing mushrooms Learn from the very best Paul Stamets just click on the link below !!