Thursday, November 09, 2006





What to do with my oversized tree stump? Grow Mushrooms! Last spring, I went to a "Mushroom Cultivation Seminar" at Field and Forest Products, http://www.fieldforest.net/ and tried my hand at innoculating an oak log with shiitake mushroom spawn plugs. Well beginning that same fall, I began to harvest mushrooms at a rate of about 2-3 every other week, and except for winter time, I still do! So armed with this rookie sucess, I decided to try a log still rooted....top pic is what I hope my finished product will be! I figure that the spawn may be aggressive enough to keep the stump "too busy" to put out new shoots, and I may get some yummy gourmet mushrooms out of it! (No psychadellics...really!) So after consulting with the experts, the strain settled upon was "Italian" oyster, due to the season as well as the aggressive nature of this type of spawn. So my friends at Field and Forest hooked me up with "plug spawn" (spawn impregnated in wooden plugs), a drill bit with a stop collar to drill correct depth, and "plug wax" to cover the plugs to hold in moisture. (Total cost $43 plus tax) Well, given the size of the stump, I bought 750 plugs...yea, drilling got very old very fast! But I powered thru, all the while drilling but not exactly counting. So then time to hammer in 750 plugs...yet another repetitive motion task that got really old! So as I finished in the dark with my truck headlights to assist, I realized I'd drilled too many holes for my plugs. And although the instructions say to cover each one with wax immediately, I was sooo over it...plus I figured the usual moisture loss would be mitigated by the fact that this log was still rooted. So I decided to purchase more plugs to finish the job...again without actually counting.....

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to do that. Maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is so cool. I thought of doing this too. Keep us posted as to how they grow.

lisa said...

I will definately post progress! These mushroom projects are actually quite easy and fun...I started with a "tabletop kit" in the house, then progressed to a log to be kept outside. It's really low to no maintenance...I just take a peek every week or so to see if I have any to harvest, and water the log as I water my flowers when it's really dry out. Otherwise, the log lays around in the shade and sprouts mushrooms. (Wish I could be that productive when I lay around!)

Stuart said...

That's a fantastic idea Lisa. When I read the title of your post in my reader I thought you were going to write about the removal of said stump.

Instead, you decide to keep it and use it in an ingenous way. Excellent.

How many mushrooms do you expect to get from each plug?

UKBob said...

I could do with you and your drill round here as the wife wants some curtain rails putting up - don't go getting all manic with it though! Hope the mushroom thingy works out okay.

lisa said...

Stuart-the number of mushrooms from each hole tends to vary by variety...shiitakes sprout one, sometimes two. The italian oyster variety I'm using here kinda grow like a bouquet of flowers...one to four or so from a central stalk. Yummy!

lisa said...

And Bob, good luck with those curtains! Funny thing with projects...my outdoor ones tend to induce less cursing or bleeding than the indoor variety. I take it as a sign that I belong outdoors!