Site Selection & Log Prep
The idea to start a mushroom farm came from our friend Nick who was the president of the Cornell Mushroom Club when he came to the Blue Heron Festival with Steve's son Logan. He showed us where we had ideal growing conditions in our hemlock groves. The next spring we worked together to inoculate over 800 logs. This involves drilling holes, inserting spawn, and waxing all openings and ends.
After inoculation, the logs are stacked and left to rest until the next spring. During this time the spawn, which is made up of living shiitake mycelium, grows within the log and colonizes it.
Fruiting & Harvesting
The logs, and the mycelium within, take 12-18 months to build up enough energy to fruit. To get the logs to fruit on a consisent schedule, we soak one batch each day.
About a week after soaking we'll start to see mushrooms pushing out. At this time the logs are stacked "teepee" style to make them easier to harvest.
The shiitakes are cut from the log one by one, weighed, packed and refrigerated.
Shiitakes have an earthy smokey flavor with a meaty texture, and are ideal for making sauces, omelets, stir fries, and soup. Shiitakes can be eaten raw, but mostly they are cooked. The nutritional value of the mushrooms is exceptional with good amounts of protein, vitamin D, and fiber. Medicinally, shiitake are valued for their anti-cancer effects, immune system boosting, and for reducing cholesterol.
Starting More Logs
Our goal is to increase production so that there is a steady and ample supply for everyone. To do this we start more logs each year. Please let us know if you're interested in helping with this process. It's a "fun-gi" thing to do!