About a month ago, on our “day of clarity” (which I will share more about later), we were pleased to attend a Shiitake Workshop being run by Rory’s very multi-talented and crafty friend, Darin. So, after a glorious breakfast filled with dreams and decisions, we hopped on our bikes in the rain and made our way for north Portland.
Look at all the lovely specimens we had to choose from…
Darin decided to run the workshop after he came across a source for beautiful Oregon Oak limbs that were ideal for Shiitake and Maitake Mushroom Cultivation. Apparently it is pretty difficult to procure the oak in the proper condition, as it MUST be fresh cut winter oak and less than 4 weeks old. He had been looking for years and had finally found the goods in perfect condition.. and we, of course, couldn’t resist the opportunity.
He had all the necessary materials and tools set up so all we had to do was show up and it was awesome. We were excited to learn how to inoculate the oak logs with living mushroom mycelium plugs.
For now our inoculated Oregon Oak is leaning against the north side of our fence where it is kept moist but out of direct sunlight. I believe the log will do just fine especially with all the rain that springtime in Portland brings. We are definitely looking forward to years of harvests with our shiitake mushroom log.
After choosing our log, Darin showed us the proper way to scrape the log free of moss & other growth..
Darin constructed a measuring tool which would help us to accurately drill holes every 4 inches..
Holding the log, marker and drill was the key to success here…
We made holes all the way down the log and wiped away the shavings in order to fill the hole with spawns..
the shiitake spawns!
Using a hammer, I would tap in the plugs one at a time down the line until they were below the bark line..
Darin followed behind me with some soy based wax, that was heated up, to seal the plugs..
He applied it with an old paint brush..
Any food based wax (soy or cheese etc) will do…
Then you repeat the same process, drilling another line of holes 4inches away from the last row, but on a diagonal (so that the next set of holes aren’t directly next to the first ones). Keep making rows until you are all the way around the log.
There were some smaller mushroom enthusiasts working in the shed…
Just as we were finishing there was a eager youngin’ scraping off her log…
Darin also had a few hand crafted bee hives with observation slots..
Look at em go! Hard at work..
Finished honey comb ready for harvest..
Another homemade beehive for their Mason Bees…
Now… how to get this baby home? (Don’t worry he didn’t actually do this… the dad pictured above was nice enough to drop it off at our house..)