One of the things I love about being a writer is the opportunity to discover and explore new things that pique my interest. Last fall, my interest was definitely piqued when I read about a mushroom cultivation class at my local folk school. Just a few emails later, I had secured the interest of my editor at Edible Sarasota too. So, with an assignment for the winter issue lined up, I arranged an interview and private lesson with the class instructor, at my home.
This week, my article on mushroom gardening hit the stands... and about May (with any luck) I should start to see signs of colonization on my very own shiitake mushroom log!
Read the full article, including a recipe for an Oyster Mushroom & Goat Cheese Frittata, here (pages 46-48).
The Making of My Shiitake Mushroom Log
Starting with a cured Live Oak cutting a little over 2 feet long, I drilled holes into the sap line (approx. 1 1/4" deep), in an evenly-spaced (approx 4") diamond pattern, all around the log.To inoculate the log, I used a rubber mallet to swiftly drive these little plugs of shiitake mushroom spawn into the drilled holes. These were then sealed over with melted wax. After soaking my log in water for 24 hours, it was ready to be moved to a shady, north-facing location in my garden.
Now, I water and wait... In the meantime, I've found a wealth of delicious ways to enjoy my mushrooms once they are (finally) ready to harvest!
Want to read up on edible mushrooms? Check these books out at your local library:
~ Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America - A Field to Kitchen Guide
~ Smithsonian Handbooks: Mushrooms
~ The Mushroom Book -Recipes for Earthly Delights