mushrooms ~

~ Wine Cap ~
- image from the internet -

Yesterday I attended a workshop for learning how to cultivate mushrooms at Awesome Acres / hosted by Trish Seubert.

~ the fruiting shed ~

Trish's workshop was on the inoculation of the Shiitake Mushroom, Double Jewel, on logs.  She was using Plug Spawn - which looks like a wooden dowel.

She has a nice set up ... rollers for the logs to set on ... 

Holes are drilled into the logs the length and width of the plugs in a diamond pattern the whole length and circumference of the log.

The plugs are then hammered into the holes.

Followed by a brush of warm wax to seal the holes ... 
... don't forget to wax the ends too.  

~ then off they go after getting a name tag to get stacked for a 6 - 18 months, depending on the strain ... I know ... up to a WHOLE YEAR! Talk about a long incubation period ... doesn't an elephant take that long?
~ the laying yard ~

Trish explained how the stacks need to remain low to the ground for moisture retention.  Makes sense to me.

After a year the logs are ready to force into fruiting.  They will do it naturally if the temp and humidity conditions are ideal ... but forcing them to fruit gives you mushrooms when YOU want them :) which is ideal for marketing.

The logs are shocked.  They are soaked in a tub of cold water for 24 hours.  Trish uses a 4 foot long stock tank for this purpose ... because that's the length of her logs.  (you can see the tank in the second picture)

Then they are placed in the fruiting shed ~ until the beautiful little mushrooms appear.

The are stacked standing so you get mushrooms 360 degrees around the log.

A fruiting shed really isn't a requirement of raising mushrooms.  They can be left outside.  Trish says she does it this way because of convenience.  She really has a nice set up ~ complete with a misting watering system in the fruiting shed.  I think I want one :)

See the little shiitakes starting on this log.  She had soaked them on Wednesday and on Saturday they began to fruit. Awesome! 

A 40" log will yield around 2-4 lbs. of mushrooms for several years.  Each flush of mushrooms will average 1/4 to 1/3 lbs and each log is capable of producing fruit about a dozen times a season under optimal conditions.  Each log will produce 4 to 8 years before becoming fully spent.

Trish also had a buffet of mushroom dishes to share. Shiitake Dip, Stuffed Wine Caps with turkey sausage and pork sausage, Pickled Oysters and Shiitakes, a kettle of mushroom soup (I need that recipe!) and some apple bars for dessert.
They were all delish!

Then ... back home to my place ~ Dear Hubby and I, along with our daughter Staci did our mushroom inoculation.  We did another method for planting ~ called the Totem method.  We are planting two different strains of Oyster Mushrooms.  

~ Blue Dolphin Oyster ~
- image from the internet -

~ PoHu Oyster ~
- image from the internet -

Our supplies ... the Sawdust Oyster Spawn, logs (cut and numbered - I'll explain), rubber gloves, plastic bags,  pipe and twist ties. The saw for cutting the pipe.

First ... location ... location.... location.  Can't stress that enough for the growth of mushrooms.  You need an area to grow them where you haven't seen other mushrooms growing.  We do not want our spawn exposed to other strains of mushrooms.

Our spot ... off the edge of our yard amongst some small balsam trees that will provide an adequate amount of shade throughout the day.  We cleared most of the woods litter from the area.

Next ... the inoculation of the logs.

You take a heavy black Contractors garbage bag.  The reason for the contractors bag is because you want something that will hold up to the weather for the next 3 months.  
In the bag you sprinkle a cup of the sawdust spawn on the bottom and then place your first log.  (cut about 12" long and 12" in diameter)

Notice the number on the log.  We purposely number the logs as they are cut so we can stack them by numbers to assure a perfect fit when the next log is set.  You start from the large butt end of the log working your way up as you cut.  This is for stability ~ nobody want's a floppy totem :)

On top of the bottom log you place a layer of mushroom spore sawdust.

Topped by your next numbered log ~

more sawdust ...

... the reason for the rubber glove?  This spawn if from a sterile environment and you don't want to expose it to any body chemicals that may be on your hands.  

Next the cap.  This log is only cut about 6 inches thick.
On top of the cap goes a piece of pipe ~ which is the breather hole.

The bag is then pulled up and secured with tie straps.

All done with the oyster mushrooms ...

The totems will remain in the bags for 3 months ... then the plastic will come off and they should begin fruiting for several years to come.  We should have our first harvest around the end of August.  

- image from the internet -

Next up ... we'll be doing our Shiitake mushrooms on the logs and planting our Wine Caps in the straw/wood chips. 

All guarded by: Mr. Moose

For more information on growing mushrooms visit
This is where I ordered our mushroom spores from.
They have tons of info.

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. Now that was very interesting. I had no idea how mushrooms were grown. Thanks!

  2. I'm with J & M. I thought you just went looking for mushrooms. What a project. No wonder the cost os some mushrooms it a little high. I never knew they were so labor intense if you grew them.

    Either way you have described the fostering, is no simple task that is for DANGED sure.

    Love you guys, you certainly gave me a greater appreciation of the lowly mushroom.
    HUgs and a lot of Love.

  3. Mr.Moose has an important bounty to guard, this is just the neatest thing, I learned so much here today!

  4. This was fascinating. Didn't know there was real science behind mushroom growth. LOVE Mr. Moose too.

  5. i am not a fan of mushrooms, but i hope yours do well for you!

  6. Won't be long and we will rename you the Schroomers. That looks like it's gonna actually work...what an interesting class you took too. So they waxum...hmmm. Did Slimmer go with you? Very cool. I like the totem way.

  7. Very, very interesting and quit innovative!

  8. Most interesting post. Hunting for morels if the trout aren't biting is as far as I take this subject though...:)

  9. Hi Mel, thank you for sharing these great photos with Today's Flowers. Looked like a fun time too.

  10. Found your blog through Travels With Emma--never knew you could grow mushrooms!! Have you ever tried morels? And I wonder Mel if you could tell me what version of the Bible you are using for your scripture quotes? Thanks!!

  11. Mel, I will never again complain about the price, but will now think about what it takes to grow them.
    thanks for such an interesting post...

  12. One question - Did Slimmer go to the training session with you or did he have to take your word for it when you told him how to do it? LOL
    Looking good! Cant wait to see how this turns out for you.
    'love & hugs from afar'

  13. This is interesting, thank you for sharing!