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Something I've eyed in seed catalogues over the years are mushroom kits. We love mushrooms, but the price for kit always held me back. Sow True Seed, however, sells both kits and plugs. The price of plugs is reasonable, and since we already have all the things we need to plant them, this was a good way to go. I bought two kinds - shiitake and white oyster.

Shiitake and white oyster mushroom plugs, 100 of each.

The plugs are set into live logs, so we scheduled our planting session for February. This is the month Dan designated for a job on our pasture improvement goals - trim low branches overhanging the edges of the pasture.

We invested in a pole saw for this job. Much safer
than climbing a ladder with a large chain saw!

That raised the canopy along the pasture fence line, plus gave us the logs we needed for the mushrooms! According to the excellent instructions provided with the plugs, white oak is recommended as the best. That's exactly what needed to be trimmed back.

Oak limbs in 4-foot sections.

Holes for the plugs are drilled 1 & 1/4 inch deep with a 5/16-inch drill bit. They are spaced six to eight inches apart in rows three to four inches apart.

The plugs are inch-long pieces of dowel that have been scored and inoculated with mushroom spawn.

They are pounded into the drilled holes.

And then coated with beeswax.

I set up a hotplate in the milking room for waxing the plugs.

I marked the ends of the logs with either an "O" for white oyster or an "S" for Shiitaki. The mushrooms themselves look very different so in some ways it shouldn't matter. But you never know.

The instructions said that logs cut more than seven to ten days previously would need to be soaked for 12 to 24 hours. We skipped that step because ours were still freshcut and green.

I waxed the cut ends of the logs and then stacked them behind the goat barn next to the big rain catchment tank. That spot remains in shade all day and will be easy to water if needed.

Now we wait! I read it can take up to a year for a first harvest.

Have you tried to grow mushrooms? How did it go?

Mushrooms © Feb. 2019 by Leigh


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