Log-Grown Mushrooms

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In North America, recognition of the quality of premium log-grown mushrooms is in its infancy. Compare any log-grown shiitake mushroom with store-bought varieties (nearly certainly grown indoors in a high-input environment) to see and taste the difference.

Logs are first inoculated with spawn (mushroom culture). Although various methods have been used, the method shown in the photos is most common. Holes are drilled into the log, then filled with sawdust spawn or plug spawn, and capped by wax or styrofoam to mitigate moisture and pests.

I inoculated shiitake, oyster, and lion’s mane spawn into hardwood logs. I also helped inoculate my friend’s reishi and maitake spawn at their property. The spawn must first form a mycelial network throughout the log to colonise it. Hardwood logs typically take a year to fully colonise the log before the mushrooms will be ready to fruit. The most predictable way to induce fruiting is to soak the logs for several hours.

After relocating the logs several times being concerned about moisture and sun overexposure, they are now in the upland ditch at the forest edge, which should provide ideal moisture and shade conditions. Maybe the seasonal rains will naturally soak the logs and induce fruiting!

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