The Mushroom Logs:
From Bountiful Backyards:
Both shiitake and oyster mushrooms have an incubation phase when the mycellium are running through the wood colonizing the space. This lasts for several months. After the incubation phase, the mushrooms will switch into fruiting mode. Here are the basics of caring for shiitake and oysters through those phases:
- Place your log in a shady, wet spot off the ground. Laying the log on the ground exposes them to other fungi that will compete for the log's resources.
- Make sure your log doesn't dry out. The spring rains should be enough to keep the logs moist, but when we get into the drier season you'll need to water the log ends. As a rule of thumb, your log should remain as heavy as it was the day you inoculated it.
- Let your wet, shaded log sit until the fall when it is ready to fruit.
- This fall take your mushroom log and soak it in water for 12-24 hours. You can dip it in a bucket or kiddy pool, or simply set it under your gutter during a hard rain. This will really soak the log and let the fungi know it's time to put out fruit (mushrooms!)
- After the first fruiting your log takes very little maintenance. Just make sure it doesn't dry out.
- You'll have shiitake for 4-5 years- usually in the spring or fall
- Keep your logs in the plastic bag. You want the bag to be closed, but not air tight.
- Open the bag every week or two to let them breathe.
- After a couple months you should see white growth on your log. That's the mycellium colonizing the wood. So cool!
- After 3 months remove the log from the plastic and bury it half way
- The top sticking up from the ground will fruit.
- After you've eaten all you can from the exposed side, flip the log and bury the other side
(our logs were inoculated 2/20/10 at a Bountiful Backyards workshop).