Thursday, May 14, 2009

This Fungus is Food

Today, I got an inoculated shiitake log from my friend Eddie Rhoades of Bittersweet Gardens in Marietta. The log is dogwood, and it has little wax spots that show on the outside where holes were drilled to admit the purchased spore plugs.

I will need to soak the log in non-chlorinated water for a while, to get the log plenty damp inside, then sink one end of it into soil in a shady place. The log will be standing vertically. In a year or less, I should be able to harvest some shiitake mushrooms from the log. According to Eddie, the log will produce for at least two years, and possibly three.

One really great aspect of this endeavor is that the log should provide more food from the shady backyard. None of my backyard is sunny enough for tomatoes, but parts of it are sunny enough (barely) for some fruits, like raspberries. The plants would make more fruit if more sun hit those bushes, but for the shiitake mushrooms, more sun is not needed. In fact, it could be detrimental.

Plenty of yards in the Atlanta area don't have enough sun for a vegetable garden, but they could probably grow excellent gourmet mushrooms on logs.

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