The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Soaking the shiitakes

Soaking shiitake logs.I finally got my act together Tuesday and started soaking our shiitake mushroom logs.  I suspect that I could have done this earlier in the year, but during our blueberry patch clearing operation, a tree fell on the logs and I hadn't gotten around to excavating them.

The logs we're soaking are two years old.  We inoculated them in spring 2007 and ignored them all that year.  Then, in 2008, we started soaking them and harvesting mushrooms.  Each week during warm weather, I soak two or three logs for 24 hours, which prompts them to produce mushrooms.

Our soaking setup is extremely simple, but there are a few tricks.  We level the ground underneath the kiddie pool, then lay down an old carpet to protect our $11 plastic investment.  We discovered that it's much easier to keep the logs submerged by putting a cinderblock on each side and then two to four on top.  Until you try it, you probably can't imagine what a pain it can be to try to sink three bobbing, rolling logs....

If everything goes as planned, we'll be eating mushrooms next week!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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