Mushroom Logs

For my birthday a few weeks ago, Dustin got me the coolest present: two shiitake growing kits! I absolutely love mushrooms, to eat and just in general, so I was pretty excited to get them growing.

Contents of the kit
The kits included a log about 40 cm long that has been seeded with spores, a plastic bin for storing it in while the mushrooms are growing, a plastic bag for keeping in moisture, a plastic wedge for standing up the log, and instructions. The log has circular spots cut out of it in regular intervals where the mushrooms are supposed to sprout from.

First, the log was soaked in ~16° water for 24 hours until it was completely water logged. I then drained the water and propped it up in the white plastic bin and wrapped the whole thing up in a plastic bag to keep in all of the moisture and humidity. It has to be kept at a temperature range between 14° and 22° while the mushrooms are growing. Our bedroom and living room are the only places we heat in our apartment, and outside is far too cold, so I opted for sticking it in our bedroom closet.

After a few days of forgetting about it, I noticed a few little white bumps emerging from some of the circular grooves. In no time at all, they have been swelling to lovely little mushrooms. It should take another week or so before they reach the perfect size, but I amazed at how fast they have been growing!

Mushroom log before soaking

Circular spot "seeded" with spores
Incubator bag

About to sprout

Baby mushrooms!

The great thing about these logs is that mushrooms can be produced multiple times before you have to throw the log away. After each two week mushroom growing cycle, you allow the log to dry out and "rest" for about a month and a half. Then you can soak it again and start over. You can also buy super large 2 meter logs that have been seeded with spores but I am not sure if Dustin would be too happy with me shoving those into our closet!


Cheryl said...

That is SO COOL...and the mushrooms are so cute...I didn't know that is how shiitake mushrooms are grown.

Laura said...

A Japanese woman who is now living in Toronto told me that she tried to bring some of these kits back in her suitcase to Canada. For some reason, she found that they didn't grow once she got there. She thinks it maybe wasn't humid enough. I could always try bringing a log back in August and seeing how they grow in Manitoba :)

Carol said...

I still get the catalog Dustin ordered the summer you were down here. It looks so fun with all these strange things emerging from the log or bag. When I move to Manitoba, I'll get one, so I won't miss my walks in the woods.

The Freys said...

Reminds me strikingly of James brewing beer in our bedroom closet (the only warm place in the house)

Laura said...

I bet James would justify getting a two meter shiitake log (or two)! We also have some things growing and fermenting in our closet, but that will have to wait until another post which is hopefully coming soon!