Last week we had our second mushroom inoculation workshop at Pine Mountain. For our second go around we were extremely lucky to have Timi Reedy, a very knowledgeable mushroom enthusiast from Rockcastle County, with us to lead the workshop in inoculating logs. Timi taught us how to use 3 different inoculation methods with 3 different types of mushrooms and also shared lots of great information about cultivating mushrooms, cooking mushrooms, and the great health benefits of including mushrooms in your diet!
Here is a bit of what we learned:
Inoculation methods for logs
Drilling Holes: In small log cultivation you drill holes in the logs, place spawn (mycelium)into the holes (spawn can be in plug form or loose), and cover the holes with hot wax.
Totem pole: Start with a logs that have a larger diameter, cut a small section off the top and bottom, spread sawdust spawn between sections of logs, and then cover with a plastic bag for a few months, or until a white film (the mycelium) forms on much of the log surface. Then pull the bag off.
Chain saw wedge: Cut a medium size wedge out of each end of your log, fill the hole with loose spawn, place the chunk of log that you cut out back into place and wrap log with duct tape to hold it in place, then cover with a small plastic bag on each end.
Types of Mushrooms we worked with
Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are some of the most commonly cultivated mushrooms in the world. Oyster mushrooms are the easiest edible fungi to cultivate because they are extremely aggressive, produce prolific amounts with little input and can be grown in a number of different mediums. Oysters can be grown on many hardwood species, but do best on cottonwood, poplar, tulip poplar, and soft maples. Oysters are also a tasty addition to almost any meal and provide you with a source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, iron, vitamins B1 and B2, minerals, and an antioxidant.
Lion’s mane: Lion’s mane mushrooms are crazy. Crazy in a really good way though. First of all lions mane mushrooms are also commonly referred to as Monkey Head, Pom Pom, Hericium erinaceus (the Latin name which means hedgehog), and many more equally descriptive nicknames. The reason they have so many great names? Because they really look like all of these things! Lion’s Mane can be found growing wild on trees in North American forests and can also be cultivated on hardwood logs such as Red Oak and Beech. These mushrooms are said to taste like lobster and are made up of 20% protein, and contain antioxidants as well. However, the most amazing thing about Lion’s Mane mushrooms are their neuroregenerative properties. Certain molecules in these mushrooms are known to stimulate neural growth and studies have shown that regular ingestion of lions mane can help with a variety of health problems including; Alzheimer’s, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s, and general inflammation. Now if only our mushroom logs would fruit overnight……..
Here is an interesting article from the Huffington Post about the health benefits of Lion’s Mane
Shiitakes: Shiitakes are wonderful, I shared bunches of information about them in this previous blog post, so I won’t bore you with more.
This website is a great resource if you are interested in cultivating your own mushrooms: fieldforest.net
A big thanks to Timi Reedy for a wonderful and informative workshop, we can’t wait to try our mushrooms!