Around early October I decided to try and squeeze in a Fall Shiitake harvest so I set about soaking my white oak logs in the cold mountain stream adjacent to where they were stacked. These particular logs were inoculated three years ago in a Grow Appalachia workshop. The process of soaking them in cold water for 24 hours is called “forcing” and can be done approximately every eight weeks on fully colonized logs, during the non freezing months. The purpose of this is to “force” the logs into production. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of the delicious fungi I was able to harvest just prior to the bitter cold snap we experienced the second week in November.


Fresh Shiitake in the second week of November.

Fall and winter are good times for the inoculation of new logs and on December 16th we will be hosting our final 2014 Grow Appalachia workshop. I’ll give you one guess on the topic. If you guessed mushroom production, you got it! We will be inoculating logs with Shiitake as well as Lion’s Mane spawn. We will employ the traditional drill and fill method with the plug spawn and also we will be trying for the first time, the totem method with the sawdust spawn. I look forward to tasty fungus being harvested from those logs for years to come.


Shiitake and Lion’s Mane spawn.