I have plenty of trees and shade, perfect for growing shiitake mushrooms, other mushrooms too. We have 4 acres of mostly hardwoods, spring fed creek about 20 minutes from our house. We’ve had to thin out some of the trees to open up more sunny areas.
I’ve included some of the links I used in my research. Not all sources agree on the details. You don’t have to use oak logs, and it is nice to see that there is a use for those pesty sweet gum trees and other hardwoods. One person said that shiitake mushrooms grown on oaks are preferred in the marketplace. One said use white or red oak, another said never use red oak. So you see more research can always be done.
This first video is from the Urban Farming Guys, they are doing some pretty cool stuff in Kansas City, worth checking out.
The 2nd video is from University of Kentucky’s Department of Forestry about Growing and Marketing Shiitake Mushrooms on natural logs. By now you should have a basic idea on how growing shiitake mushrooms on logs works.
Our first batch of shiitake mushrooms will be grown in our back yard. It has plenty of shade and easier to keep an eye on things.Growing shiitake mushrooms is one of the 13 Skills I’m working on this year.
When the logs need watering, use non-chlorinated water according to several sources. If you only have city water available, you can let the water first sit out in 5 gallon buckets overnight. Other sources don’t say non-chlorine water, and suggest watering with a sprinkler a couple times a week. I need to check on this further.
While many of these resources pertain to growing mushrooms on a larger scale for a profit, individuals or families can grow mushrooms for just themselves. If doing just a few logs vs hundreds or thousands, you can make do with tools most people have on hand. And if you have a small farm with lots of trees, you may want to consider a mushroom farm.
Shiitake Mushrooms Resource Links
Growing Shiitake Mushrooms Step by step directions by Nick LaDieu @ Self Sufficient Gardener
Shiitake Mushroom Cultivation A podcast by Jason Akers on growing shiitake mushrooms
Farming Exotic Mushrooms in the Forest USDA Forest Service’s Agroforestry’s Notes
Growing Shiitake Mushrooms Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service’s Fact Sheet on growing Shiitake mushrooms, gives example of costs and profits involved.
How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms from Vegetable Gardener
Shiitake Mushrooms Enterprise Maryland Cooperative Extension – similar to OK’s info, I’ve included it to compare their cost/profit comparison
Growing Shiitake Mushrooms in an Agriforestry Practice University of Missouri Center for Agriforestry Includes Nice Pictures and Recipes
Shiitake Mushroom Production on Logs Alabama Cooperative Extension System very detailed pamphlet, includes list of suggested suppliers, a rainwater catchment system for soaking logs and more
13 Skill Progress: Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Logs
Shiitake Mushroom Research complete
Shiitake Incubation Period 9 – 12 months?