I finally was able to take some time to do my shiitake inoculations. Shiitakes are delicious, but oh so picky to grow – they prefer the high-quality hardwoods. In central and western North Dakota, trees are precious. You don’t sacrifice an oak that took ages to grow when it is the only one on the block. I unfortunately don’t have oak – all I have is a huge limb trimmed from my box elder last October – but I realllly want shiitakes so I will try it anyway. If they work, they work, and if not, it’s practice. Either way it will take a year to find out the results, which kinda sucks.
The basic plan is to drill holes, and fill them with spawn. This is plug spawn, which is easy to use – just hammer it in – but does take longer to fruit than sawdust spawn.
I was amused at the water emitted as the moist myceliated plugs were forced into a hole their exact diameter – but then I am easily amused.
Wax over the holes to keep the moisture in.
The garbage bags are the logs too big in diameter to be easily handled. They are inoculated with Grey Dove and Italian oyster mushroom spawn per the “Totem method” in the Field and Forest catalog – stack spawn, log, spawn, log, etc, tie up in a humidity bag and let to incubate. These would work great for indoor production in the wintertime with constant indoor temperature. This spot right now is the shadiest I have, until the tree leafs out; I have a shade to block this late afternoon sun for now, till everything can move to a position on the garden area (for excess water to be absorbed instead of run off down the concrete.)
I do have a few logs left to go, but they are a bit poorer quality…