Shiitake plugs (Lentinula edodes)

From £5.50

Shiitake are among the most popular and widely used mushrooms worldwide. They have a strong earthy taste and velvety texture as well as a host of health benefits. Shiitake are one of the few food sources naturally rich in Vitamin D.

If you wish to reconnect with your roots and enjoy harvesting from a fully natural process, then the cultivation of mushrooms from logs is the method for you. Once set up, this passive and non-energy dependent method can produce up to 4 harvests per season over 5-7 years. This makes it a great option for a permaculture or off grid lifestyle.

It is a very simple process and involves drilling into the wood and implanting a dowel that holds the living mycelium. This will then occupy the log and when the conditions are right, produce mushrooms that are ready for eating. A damp shady position is ideal for cultivation using this method meaning that it is not only suitable for use in the countryside but in our cities too! An in depth guide on how to inoculate logs and further care is available.


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Log types: Logs of healthy freshly cut (0-2 months) hardwoods are most suitable such as Oak, Ash, Birch and Chestnut. While soft woods like poplar will produce and may even colonise faster they likely wont yield as much or for as many years. Avoid coniferous wood types.

Log size: Up to 1.25m long and 10-20cm diameter is ideal (the larger the log the longer to colonisation and the greater the production)

How to inoculate: Use roughly 40-50 plugs per 50cm length (you can speed up colonisation by increasing the density). Use an 8mm drill bit to a depth of 5-6cm and spacing of 10-15cm between holes. Seal with a natural food grade wax to help retain moisture and keep out competing organisms.

When to inoculate: Logs can be plugged anytime although not in frosty conditions is best. Best time to cut is when trees are dormant (winter and early spring).

Fruiting Season: Spring and Autumn with roughly 3 months rest period between flushes

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