These are recently-inoculated shiitake logs that I have laid out in a wooded area at Grow! Twin Cities. The logs are close to the ground so that they don’t dry out too much and so that woodland plants will grow up around them, but are held off the ground with freshly cut saplings so that the logs are less likely to pick up competing fungi and molds. I decided to try this laying technique (which you use only for the first year) after seeing this done at Field and Forest Products in Wisconsin.
These are all inoculated with cold-weather strains of shiitake that fruit well in cold weather and produce the highest quality mushrooms, but you can do very little to control when they fruit. These logs will more or less stay where they are for their productive life, so I chose my largest diameter logs for these cold weather strains.
Things are going alright so far, except that the local woodpeckers have taken a liking to the mushroom spawn or the wax that covers it. I’ll soon have bird netting up to deter them, or else there’ll be no spawn left to colonize these logs!