Grow Your Own Shiitake
Shiitake have been cultivated for over two thousand years,
and remain the most frequently cultivated fungus on planet earth.
Log cultivation of yesteryear has been adapted to what we
now call the shiitake “block” method. Here’s how it works
*Each mushroom block is fully colonized, dried, ready to fruit,
and may be held for up to six months (preferably 1-2 months).
1) Completely submerge blocks in water overnight, a 5 gallon bucket
and a few stones works well
2) Create a moist shady environment with both good air circulation,
and protection from the wind (which will dry the surface too quickly).
This can be accomplished with any number of containers you may
have available around the house. Old coolers attached with plastic
(see demo), as well as stacked concrete blocks can produce fruitings if kept between 50-70 degrees.
3) Place freshly soaked blocks into the “grow” area either side by side, or on top of each other. Sprinkle 1-2 times daily until baby mushrooms (primordia) appear. The key is not to let the brown surface dry completely. They will look brown, rounded, and viscid. Look closely, they may form on the bottom of the block.
4) Continue misting daily until harvest, or before the caps uplift.
5) For future fruiting, dry blocks in the sun, soak and repeat 2-3 more times
*Fruiting may be timed with favorable weather conditions, such as spring rains, to increase success and productivity. Soak blocks prior to thunderstorms and allow nature to produce your rapid cycle shiitake mushroom kit.