We love mushrooms! In autumn we can sometimes pick them from our fields. Recently we read about growing our own shiitake mushrooms. We bought some 'dowels' (see the photo below) and prepared some logs. About three weeks ago we chose a suitable branch from an old plum tree. I cut it down and put it in the shed to dry a little.
These are the 'dowels'. They are pieces of wood that have the shiitake mushroom fungus inside. You can see the fungus has made them a little furry!
First I drilled holes about 10 cm apart for the dowels. I put some red tape on the drill bit so I knew how deep to drill. By turning the log I got 18 holes in this piece of wood.
Next Thom helped hammer the dowels into the holes. He didn't like the loud noise of the drill so he wore earmuffs!
To stop other fungus from getting into the logs, my wife put some bees wax on top of the dowels to seal the holes.
Finally we put the logs in a cool, shady place. The bricks are to keep the logs off the ground. It takes about six months for the mushrooms to fruit, I hope it works! The mushrooms continue to fruit until the logs have been completely eaten by the fungus. I have never eaten them fresh, here in Gisborne you can only buy dried shiitake!