Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Bloggin’ bout Mushroom Loggin’

It might be an understatement to say that we were inspired by the mushroom log workshop at Maya Creek. Since then, we’ve inoculated logs with over 2,500 mushroom spore plugs (from Fungi Perfecti)!

At the workshop we learned that white oak is the best wood for shiitake mushrooms. We weren’t necessarily planning on growing so many mushrooms,  but after Eric’s grandfather passed, we were told that a white oak tree in his yard needed to come down before they could sell the house. We think Eric’s grandfather- a very resourceful craftsman- would be happy to know that the tree is being used in his honor even after it was cut down.

Eric worked with the tree company that removed the white oak, and picked out the best wood for us to work with. Tree limbs have a greater ratio of sapwood to heartwood than the trunk, and mushrooms feed on sapwood, so we used mostly limbs with a diameter of 6 to 10 inches.

These are about half of the logs we inoculated last week, with shiitake plugs. They’ve since been leaned vertically around the side yard in areas with 90% shade.

The other half we inoculated with oyster mushroom spores, and stacked log-cabin-style in the shade.

Here are the logs we already had inoculated, including two logs we took home from Maya Creek and a dozen logs we helped inoculate with Backdoor Harvest about a month ago. Eric got the white oak limbs for free from a local tree trimmer.

If we’re lucky we’ll see some mushrooms before winter, or at least signs of mycellium, the vegetative part of the fungus, colonizing the logs. Once colonized, the logs should regularly “fruit” every 8 weeks for 5 + years!


3 responses to “Bloggin’ bout Mushroom Loggin’

  1. Quinerly June 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    love this..keep up the great work!

  2. solarbeez August 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I really like Paul Stamets (the Fungi-Perfecti guy). He has a great TED talk out there too.
    I grew some Oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds, but nothing to the extent that you are doing with the logs. That’s great.

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