Garden (and mushroom) Season is ON
It’s Garden Season…finally! We had enough dry weather to do some garden work and inoculate some mushroom logs. First up as always is weeding. After we got the rid of the weeds, we rebuilt the bed for the herbs, and covered with a nice layer of wood chips. This area was a pile of rocks and weeds a little over a year ago and is finally taking shape. Eventually we’ll add chips to the pathways, but not until we have the various planting areas covered.
Since we’re installing a fence around the pastures this year (hopefully), we need to first clear out the overgrown old fence line, thick with alders that have merged with the old field fence and rotten posts. One good way to use the logs? Inoculate them with mushrooms!
We already have a small number of logs growing shiitake and pearl oyster mushrooms, and actually had a small harvest of them last fall. This year we added to them with plugs from Fungi Perfecti. The first year we obtained plugs from Cascadia Mushrooms too and both are great local companies.
This year we added more shiitake, blue oyster, and reishi – a nice mix for food and medicinal tea (to go along with the turkey tail we have growing on the property). The process is pretty easy but time consuming. After letting the logs sit for a while, we drill holes in a diamond pattern all along the log. We purchased an adapter for using the angle grinder, but the mushroom drill bit we bought is too thick for the adapter, so we had to use the drill. It would have been faster with the angle grinder and next year we’ll get the right size!
Next, fill the holes with the plugs and tap them into the log with a mallet. I enjoyed the tone of the logs as I hit them with the mallet and played my impromptu marimba while Erica filled the holes.
Once filled, the last step is covering the plugs with food grade wax, then stacking them in a shady area where the mycelium can grow throughout the logs, eventually producing (fruiting) mushrooms. Stay tuned…