I am very curious as to what you guys do with all those mushrooms. Do you just use them for your own purposes or do you sell some? I can't wait to see how you do it, as I have more questions along the way.
Hi Jane, oh yes, we sell them! They go to our local co-op and several local restaurants and sometimes a couple high-end food boutiques. Jeremy also sells "log kits" - logs that are all inoculated and ready to go. People just have to water them and take care of them and they'll get mushrooms. I'll be sure to post more info this year than I have in the past!
Why do you have to use new logs? why can't you use the logs from last year? If you can't reuse the logs from last year, what do you do with the old logs?
We're still using the logs from last year and the year before. The logs will keep growing mushrooms up to 5 or 6 years (depending on who you read). If you inoculate 200 logs and then don't do any more, you'll have to start all over again in a few years. Also, the yield goes down each year from each set of logs. For one thing, you lose some logs to fungal growth and other things. (Those logs go in the firewood pile - for when we get a wood stove someday!) Also, the logs lose a bit of productivity every year. You might get 1/2 pound of mushrooms per log the first year, a little less the next year, etc, until they just aren't producing. They stop producing because there is no food left for the mushroom spores. They have eaten through everything. That's shiitakes at least. I guess you can re-inoculate spent shiitake logs with oyster mushroom spawn. There you go - more than you ever thought you'd know about mushrooms! =)
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