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Ester

Member Since 07 Jan 2012
Offline Last Active Jan 15 2012 11:46 AM
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#78 Suggestions for new forum topics

Posted by Ester on 15 January 2012 - 11:28 AM

The logs need to "cool off" after they are cut, so I waited 2 weeks and I made a point of collecting them and getting them off the ground, so nothing else could contaminate them. I stacked them on pallets.  Then I "seeded" them and put them back on the pallet. I also covered them loosely to help keep the moisture in them. Tight bark is important - don't bother with logs that have loose hides. I have them outside in a shady spot and have been havesting Shitakis for 3 years so far...

When the logs are ready (3 - 6months usually), I roll them into a pool I make by digging a ditch and lining it with pond liner (I can move the location easily) If you select your log size by imagining yourself on the ground, trying to roll a soaking wet log out of the pool, you will hopefully not choose logs too big for you. I took my 4ft. long giants and cut them down to 2ft. cuz I just couldn't handle them.

I use http://www.fungiperfecti.com/ for information and product. I copied this from their site:
Plug Spawn prefers to grow on hardwoods, with the exception of the Phoenix Oyster, which grows well on firs. Most species can be grown on either logs or stumps. Non-aromatic hardwoods such as oak, poplar (cottonwood), elm, maple and similar woods are very good candidates for log cultivation. Alder is a good wood for the cultivation of Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms, but must be kept above ground because it will decompose quickly in contact with the soil. (We do not recommend using aromatic woods such as cedar or pine.) Thick-barked woods are preferable over "paper-bark" woods such as birch, and any log that is shedding it's bark should not be used. Logs should be cut at least two weeks in advance of plugging. Cutting your logs in the late Winter or early Spring helps to insure that they have a high sugar content, although this is not strictly necessary. Freshly-cut logs should not be immediately inoculated; trees naturally produce anti-fungal compounds, which degrade in two to three weeks from cutting. Aged deadwood is also not recommended for plugging, as it has a poor nutrient base for supporting mushroom growth. Logs or stumps with fine cracks (called "checks") running through them are more quickly colonized with mushroom mycelium than those without.

By using the fungiperfecti dowels to inoculate cut hardwood logs or stumps, mushroom mycelium can be encouraged to grow throughout or colonize the wood. Once the wood is fully colonized (typically 9-12 months) mushrooms will spring forth from cracks or channels in the wood. Generally, the best time of year to inoculate logs and stumps is in the Spring, after your last hard frost. However, you can inoculate your logs any time up to 30-45 days before consistently (i.e. 'round the clock) freezing temperatures set in for the Winter. The idea is to allow the mushroom mycelium growing on the Plug Spawn time to establish itself in its new home before it goes into dormancy over the Winter. Logs can be left outdoors over the Winter, under a layer of straw or a burlap tarp, shade cloth or other vapor-permeable cover (do not use plastic tarps: this can cause mold to form). In areas where the Winter is exceptionally harsh, logs can be stored in a shed, barn, garage or other outbuilding.

Logs should be cut to lengths of 3-4 feet, and are best if they do not exceed 14 inches in diameter. Use a 5/16" drill bit in a high-speed drill to drill 2-inch deep holes no more than 4 inches apart, evenly spaced in a "diamond" pattern along the length and around the full circumference of the logs. Stumps should be inoculated along the circumference of their face, in the border between the bark and the heartwood. Insert 1 plug per hole and whack it in with a hammer. A 3-4 foot log can take 50 or more plugs, while stumps usually hold 30-50 plugs The more plugs you use per log, the faster the wood will be colonized with mushroom mycelium. Holes can be sealed with cheese wax or beeswax to protect the mycelium from weather and insects while it is growing; although this step can be helpful, it is not absolutely necessary.

They have a great catalog too.

Good luck and good eating!


#64 Suggestions for new forum topics

Posted by Ester on 12 January 2012 - 03:46 PM

Just to clarify, I was speaking of cultivated mushrooms from known sources, not mushroom hunting in the wild. Too much room for error in the wild for any newbie...