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Shitake Mushroom Log


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Some mushrooms are more likely to get pests than others - porcini and oyster mushrooms are frequently full of worms while chanterelles, black trumpets, yellowfoot, and matustake are generally pest free. Maitake don't grow here and we had a horrible season for morels this year, but in general we're very lucky with wild mushrooms. Porcini are abundant for about a month, if you pick enough of them it doesn't matter that some of them have worms. I only look for oysters on days when we're having no luck finding other edibles. This year the rain seems to be a bit late, usually we've got mushrooms from October through May. Any day now the rain will start...

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Believe it or not, I was about to post a new topic on this, and I came across this one, so I will contribute here. A few weeks ago, a student of mine came and gave me a shiitake log as a thank you for helping him find a job. I got it home and couldn't wait. The maintenence on it doesnt' seem that bad actuallly, soak it overnight in a planter (came with) to keep up humidity. Every 2 months, you can "fruit" the log by soaking it in ice water (the rapid temperature drop tricks the mushroom spoors into thinking it is either fall or spring, and they then produce the mushrooms). The lit that came w/ the log said that you can fruit it more often, but the production will be less cause the spores will have less time to convert the dead wood cells. It encouraged your first soaking to be a "fruiting" cycle, stating that the production will be minimal. I soaked overnight in ice water, even replacing the ice half way through the night (I had to pee, so I figured I was up, and the lit said the longer you can keep it cold, the better the output). After removing the log, I let it sit outside (Florida right now is between 65-75 everyday, at least in Orlando) for four days, and it produced about 2 dozen nice size shiitakes that were very mushroomy in flavor and a good 1-2" in diameter. I am looking forward to my second fruiting, and expect the production amount ot double. I am a mushroom freak, so this is actually probably the best gift I have ever been given, and actually was thinking about getting one myself. It seems easy enough, and that is coming from someone who has a hard time keeping fish alive!

Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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Way back up thread somebody said that shiitake have a much higher calorie value than regular mushrooms. That bothered me so much I dragged out my nutritional tables. Here's the gen:

Mushrooms per 100g (scant 4 oz) edible portion: 11 kcals

Shiitake ditto: 18 kcals

No fungi are really high calorie foods. Just for reference...

Enoki: 22kcals

Nameko: 15 kcals

Shimeji: 14kcals

Mushrooms and enoki have the highest levels of protein, but still minimal.

All have good levels of Vitamin B2, but enoki also has good levels of B1.

Shiitake have by far the best levels of Vitamin C.

Sorry, no information on hiratake, maitake etc.

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Some time ago, either on the Food Network or the History Channel, a commercial mushroom farm was shown.  It was located underground in a former mine of some kind.  The mushrooms were grown in long rectangular wood-framed planter beds.  The main organic component of the growth medium was 'well-rotted horse manure'.  They quoted the workers that 'after the first few days on the job, you don't even notice the smell'.

actually, i think this was a bio on the history channel about chef hector boiardi (yes, the original). he really was a chef and he really did push start the whole canned food idea. supposedly, he started the mushroom cultivation and had some pennsylvania farms change from corn to tomato production for his canned pasta products so that he could have quality control over the raw ingredients used in his canned sauces. his name had a more italian pronounciation and they changed it, to boyardee, on the can so people could pronounce it (and also so that it didn't really resemble his real name when the company was sold). a little off topic, but interesting nonetheless.

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  • 2 years later...

Digging up an old thread here...

I just bought shiitake mushroom log at a local farmer's market. It was only $15. Does anyone have any experience with these? I am really looking forward to the harvest in 10 days.

In case I have more than I can handle, does anyone know how to dry these?

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of my friends was running his own shitake mushroom growing enterprise near Gainesville FL and was supplying many of the local restaurants with fresh organically grown shitakes. He was quite successful for a number of years and had quite a business going. He had gone to classes in calif somewhere to learn the process. He used logs bored with 2 inch holes. He filled them with spores and a growing medium. The 4 foot logs were lined up and leaned against a rail. He had dozens of them under a heavy tree canopy for shade.

His problem came when he bought land and moved. Apparently the new land has some sort of native fungus in the ground. It starts growing up the logs and forces the shitakes out. Before he could reuse the logs for numerous plantings but because of the infestation, he only gets one use per log. He has tried a few things but has basically given it up.

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