It’s Shiitake Time!
Way back in March, one of our long time volunteers Elizebeth Ogden purchased Shiitake Mushroom spoors for us . This was our first time growing Shiitake Mushrooms so we decided to inject ten logs, to see if we would have any luck growing the mushrooms. We didn’t expect any results from the spoors this early,  we thought it might take at least a year for the spoors to grow. But what should our wondering eyes behold, five little shiitake mushrooms growing in the rain.

Shiitake mushrooms should be picked when the cap is approximately 50 to 70 percent open. This occurs shortly after the veil between the cap and stem breaks. At this stage, the gills are exposed but the cap edges are still rolls under the cap.
After picking the mushrooms should be put in a container designed for maximum ventilation and, therefore, maximum cooling.
To slow deterioration as much as possible, shiitake should be cooled immediately after picking.
At no time should any mushrooms be frozen because this will damage the product. After the initial cooling, maintain the cold, humid airflow. Under ideal conditions, shiitake mushrooms can be kept
1 week and look very good. After the first week, quality doctorates quickly and as much as 1 percent moisture loss per day can occur. Drying can preserve mushrooms for 6 months to a year. 

According to the articles I have read, Shiitakes have a more robust flavor than the standard button mushrooms, which makes them go a little farther. By using only half the amount of mushrooms the recipe requires, they can be used in almost any recipe.
Since they are a nutritional powerhouse, they make a great meat substitute. They are a healthy alternative to meat for people trying to cut back on fat.