Shiitake Cultivation on Logs
Creative Commons CC BY 4.0
Shiitake are delicious and easy to grow. They can be an excellent alternative crop because much of the work required can be done in the off-season. In addition, Shiitake grows in the shade of a forest and so does not compete for cultivated land. Shiitake are a source of vitamins, minerals, and up to 30\% protein with all essential amino acids. The objective of this one day hands-on workshop is to introduce farmers to the basic steps required to grow shiitake on logs. The course begins with an overview of fungal 'behavior' - the ecology and physiology of how they grow, fruit, reproduce, and interact with other organisms. This will provide a foundation for understanding how to cultivate and care for your logs and their fungal guests. We will learn to identify oaks, fell trees, and identify a suitable locations for logs. During incubation and fruiting stages. Lunch will provide an informal opportunity for questions. Following lunch, we will learn how to inoculate logs with shiitake spawn, and then set up a demonstration production line. Finally, we will discuss taking care of logs, forcing them to fruit on schedule, and some ideas on marketing. I hope that by the end of this class, students will leave ready to start a small shiitake production operation on their own.