Shiitake Mushroom Workshop

       A community member taps a dowel into her                                      mushroom log.  

       A community member taps a dowel into her                                      mushroom log.

 

On Saturday, March 26th, one of our very own talented gardeners Jeremy Rushlow led a hands-on Shiitake Mushroom Workshop at Hope Gardens. The workshop was conducted from 2-4 pm, and was open to amateur gardeners, seasoned growers and mushroom lovers alike. At this event, participants were instructed in how to inoculate their very own Shiitake mushroom logs, as well as how to harvest their mushrooms in the future.

The logs used in this workshop were from Sweet Gum trees that were downed a few weeks in advance, giving the antifungal compounds produced by the tree a chance to break down. If this step is skipped and a new log is inoculated right away, these chemicals could attack the mushrooms, so this step is very important! Once the logs are ready to go, holes are drilled into the bark and wooden dowels containing Shiitake mushroom spawn are gently tapped inside. These holes are then covered with wax to seal in moisture and create an ideal growing environment for the mushrooms. Amazingly enough, this process only takes about 15 minutes - and when you’re done, you have the beginnings of your very own mushroom colony!

   Jeremy demonstrates how to drill the holes for the                                  dowels into a log.

   Jeremy demonstrates how to drill the holes for the                                  dowels into a log.

By the end of the day, the Shiitake Workshop participants had not only gained valuable insight into the art of growing and harvesting mushrooms, but also had successfully inoculated 13 mushroom logs! Through this workshop, community members added a fun (and yummy!) skill to their gardening repertoire. And since the finished mushroom logs can fruit up to five times a year, these growers can cultivate garden-fresh mushrooms all season long. Talk about tasty!

Wish you were at this workshop? Want to amp up your gardening game? Join us at one of our garden workdays held every Saturday from 10am-12pm, or weekly meetings held every Monday at 7:15 pm in 1789 Venture Lab. We can’t wait to meet you!