April Showers Bring... Mushrooms!
Here at Mountain Gardens we are experiencing a bit of mushroom mania. We have enjoyed harvesting shiitakes and oyster mushrooms from our mushroom logs, and found a few choice specimens of morels in the wild. (One morel, divided between 6 interns, makes one tasty morsel each!)
We have been busy inoculating mushroom logs with a mix of shiitake mushroom spawn (mycellium immersed in sawdust. Different mushrooms grow well in different kinds of wood. For the shiitakes, we used oak logs.
With logs pre-cut, this day’s process began with drilling holes in the logs. Our two battery powered drills ran down mid-process, and we briefly reverted to the hand-powered drill. Luckily, our neighbor Keenan was home to lend us his electric drill, and our newly updated 1K solar system could run the drill! (Thanks Keenan!)
Once the drilling is complete, the spawn is inserted in the holes. Soybean or bee’s wax is painted over the holes to keep the spawn inside, and unwanted fungus out.
In about 6 months, we will have a new crop of shiitakes to enjoy. Luckily, we already have mushroom logs producing from previous inoculations, so we are not mushroom-less while we wait!