Saturday, June 16, 2012




Some years ago, I decided I wanted to grow Shiitake mushrooms.  I talked Skip into going to a workshop ... it was so interesting.  I became excited... I was going to grow Shiitake mushrooms!

There were several things I wasn't aware of.... neither was Skip!  First of all, I needed 200 'logs' cut ... each one costing a dollar apiece.  Each measured 4 feet long.  Well.... my hobby began to be 'work for Skip'!  Not only that... it began to be very expensive!  My hobby was becoming a 'business venture'!  :)))

My catalog came, I sat down and began ordering the tools I needed, the spawn, the bee's wax, little metal tags, Shiitake paper bags, and such things.  By the time I had ordered supplies, and paid for the logs... it was close to five hundred dollars!  I still wasn't finished....

Skip bought me a nice drill... to drill hundreds and hundreds of holes in each of the 200 logs!  He bought a big crockpot for melting beeswax to seal each hole after I injected mushroom spawn in each one.

At first... it was so much fun... Skip and I drilled the many holes and took the injection tools and injected spawn in each hole.  Then... I took a little sponge brush, dipped it into the melted beeswax, brushing wax over each filled hole.  The wax dried hard to form a protective coating for the spawn.

The intensive labor got to be too much... Skip had to leave on the tractor-trailer.  I called my two nephews... they both wanted to earn extra money.  They came over and helped me... they both done so much work.  They began stacking the logs for me like you would stack lincoln logs... this was so, when it came time for the mushrooms to spawn... one could pick them from the logs more easily.

It took weeks for the mushrooms to grow/spawn for the first time.  I soon, learned after a rain... to go look for Shiitake mushrooms.  It was so much fun to pick them... I put them in the special bags and gave them to friends... sometimes, they would come to pick their own Shiitake mushrooms.  I shared them, instead of selling them.  Everyone seemed so happy to get them!

Shiitake mushrooms could be dried, either whole or sliced.  Later, one could reconstitute them in water (let them sit for about twenty minutes), then... cook with them.  The Shiitake mushrooms could grow very large, enough so that one could fill both of my hands when holding it.

I loved to saute the Shiitake mushrooms with butter, onions.  They were good to eat with a grilled steak... or just by themselves.  The one thing that I didn't like was the 'wood-like stem', I cut them off.  They can be used in soups, and such.  I didn't like them.

Though I loved Shiitake mushrooms, I loved looking at the special stacks of logs, each with its metal tag on the end... they weren't my most favorite mushroom.  My favorite mushrooms are the button mushrooms.... they have to be grown inside... they can be grown in sawdust, and kept a certain temperature.

My Shiitake mushroom logs lasted for almost five years.  They produced alot of mushrooms... alot of people loved getting them.  I loved sharing them.  When we moved from that 'little mountain'... the logs were decaying into the ground... only the little metal tags with their numbers were left.  I'm glad... because ...Skip would have had to find a way to bring them all ... with us!  :)))

1 comment:

  1. I remember when you got the Shiitake mushroom and began working with them. You were excited about them. It is always nice to be able to work a hobby that one can enjoy. Love, Ms. Nancy