We would describe the Shiitake as more technical to grow, than oyster mushrooms. Because of this, we recommend starting with the Oysters first.
There are several methods you can use.
- The DIY approach involves growing shiitake mushrooms on logs. This involves purchasing inoculated dowels, drilling holes in the log, placing the dowel into the hole. Ideally, the log needs to be from a hardwood tree, like oak or a Popular tree. For the average person, this method can be hit or miss and may take several years for it to bear fruit.
- The Best method would be to purchase an already inoculated sawdust fruiting block. The less-dense nature of the block compared to the wood, means the mycelium can colonise it more quickly, meaning it will take less time to start fruiting.
In both methods, you will also need to initiate the mushroom fruiting by simulating its natural growing conditions. We call this technique "creating the perfect autumn storm". Basically, it's a way of communicating with it, to let it know winter is coming and they better hurry up and bear children!
- Slap the block fairly hard. This simulates the tree or a branch falling in a storm.
- Soak it in water: sitting on the forest floor in a massive puddle
- Put it in the fridge: the late autumn storm is cold!
- Bring it back into the warmth: The storm has passed, and there are still a few warm days before winter, so needs to grow mushrooms fast!
See our in-depth guide: How to grow shiitake mushrooms.
How our blocks are made?
- We make our Shiitake blocks from organic pine sawdust and some soy as nutrition
- Everything is 100% kiwi made, on our little permaculture farm just south of Levin
- No chemicals or pesticides are used in the production
- We use highly sustainable production techniques with no environmental impact