Growing Oyster and Shiitake Mushrooms

20 months ago I got hold of some hard wood logs into which to insert my innoculated mushroom dowels!  And on Saturday I discovered the first flush of oyster mushrooms was repaying this investment with beautiful clusters of grey/blue capped fruits mysteriously sprouting from beneath the wax covered drill holes.

You can read about the quest for the logs here

The process in the interveening 20 months has been quite simple.  I have kept the logs covered with an old black PJ taste tablecoth and attempted to keep as damp as possible.  Three weeks ago I followed advice to "shock" the logs.  This is a technique to suddenly change the conditions that they are in so that the fungal mycelium which would now be a network within the log feels that it is time to reproduce.  The result is the edible mushroom itself and the reproductive driver is the spores produced on the gills.  I shocked the logs by throwing them into the river Drone and leaving for a day (two days may have been better) then replacing on the log stack. 

 

There is some useful advice on how to look after your logs here.

Here is a video of me finding the mushrooms:  

Oyster mushrooms being grown on a hard wood log. The logs were drilled 20 months ago and inoculated plugs inserted before being sealed with wax. After storing outside (and not keeping quite as damp as they should be) the logs were shocked 3 weeks ago by submerging for a day in the river drone.

And finally here is the excitement of the actual harvest:

Growing oyster mushrooms by inserting inoculated dowels into hard wood logs - the dowels have the spores of the mushroom and when sufficient mycelium is formed the logs will start fruiting.