Our numbers have been down a bit on shiitake so we were pretty excited about how well the logs did last week. It felt like there were a lot of mushrooms to pick!
It's hard to get a really good picture depicting just how many mushrooms there are. Picture a dozen to two dozen mushrooms on each log, 40 logs per rack, rack, after rack, after rack... It adds up! In fact, from Thursday to Sunday last week, we picked over 250 pounds of mushrooms - over 200 pounds of which were shiitake! Wahoo! That's a lot of picking! A lot of picking in a hot, sweaty high tunnel and some late night picks too. Ha!
Over the weekend we also got a bunch more rain - yay! I guess instead of raining a little about once a week or so, this summer we're going to get a ton of rain every 4-6 weeks. It's not ideal, but we'll take the rain however we can get it! The rain also came with an enormous thunder and lightning show. Lightning sometimes serves to "shock" the mushroom logs and cause them to grow mushrooms. We'll be keeping an eye out in the shade structure for an abundance of mushrooms coming on any day!
The fruiting chamber is coming along nicely! The wall panels are pretty much done and - we have a door now! Craig also started on electrical yesterday and we're talking about all the plans for the variety of systems that need to be installed.
Inside - panels are mostly up and we have a door!
From the outside - with a door!
We're excited to see what the next week brings as far as progress!
All about Log Kits
If you took our workshop this spring at WEI, it's high time to move your log kit outdoors! Jeremy always makes a log kit with the class, to demonstrate. We moved ours outside a couple weeks ago. It had some really nice mycelium growth on the top and bottom of the log.
We've got it out in our shade structure so it's in a shady spot and gets watered from time to time when we water this area. This kit is for oyster mushrooms so we probably won't see anything growing there still September at the earliest. The hardest part about log kits is remembering to look at them and check for mushrooms!
We also sell oyster and shiitake log kits at the farmers market and through Mother Earth Gardens and Egg Plant Farm Supply. We dropped off a bunch at Egg Plant over the weekend and one of them already had a shiitake popping out!
Shiitake logs are fun because you can soak the whole log in a bucket of water to force it to fruit. Ideally you soak them overnight. You don't want to soak oyster logs, but given how dry it has been, if you have an oyster log kit you can soak it in a bucket for one hour. You could do this as much as once a week. It won't make the oysters grow if they don't like how hot it it is, but it does keep the log from drying out and keeps the mycelium happy!
Don't forget we also still have our fourth year logs! They're four feet long and make great sides for garden beds. They just pop out shiitake when the conditions are right. They're $5 each and can be picked up at the farm for those who want an adventure out to the farm!
Spore says, "I can't even!" with this hot weather. "Wake me when it's cooler outside!"