Shiitake log rolling

April 11th, 2010
Willow Springs Farm | Blog
Shiitake mushroom preparation is well underway, with about 35, 4-foot logs inoculated and set up.
The process is fairly straightforward: drill a hole, load the “palm inoculator” with sawdust spawn, fill the hole with sawdust spawn, cover the hole with hot wax. Wait 6-18 months, and voila…or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work grin
The biggest difficulty I am expecting to deal with is maintaining the inoculated logs at the ideal temperature and moisture content over the summer.  I’ve picked a spot in the wooded area of the property, directly downhill from the pond, to set up the logs.  The idea I’m banking on is that the trees will provide a enough shade to keep the water I’m siphoning from the pond from evaporating quickly in the hot, dry Sierra foothills summer.  I’m also placing a couple of layers of burlap over each log-cabin stacked pile, as well as a tarp, all in effort to keep temperatures and humidity levels in check.
The irrigation for this utilizes a siphon.  I created a rudimentary filter by attaching some 1/8” hardware cloth around one end of a standard irrigation tube, tied a rock to it, and threw it into the pond.  On the other end I had a simple valve attached.  I got a little bit of pond water in my mouth while filling up the tube, but oh well. Once the water had filled up the tube completely, I shut the valve and walked the tube downhill to the log stacks.  I attached another tube to the other end of the valve and ran it over top of the logs.  Poked a few holes in it, opened the valve, and it worked as planned, emitting a shower of water that should keep all the logs wet enough.
Here’s a quick cost breakdown of the project:
$300 - slightly less than a cord of custom cut logs.
$75 - sawdust spawn
$30 - palm inoculator tool
$12 - 7/16” titanium drill bit
$417 total cost

Posted in: Farm Financials

One Response to “Shiitake log rolling”

toni Says:
Apr 12th, 2010 at 8:21 am

Interesting post, Matthew.  It will be interesting to follow your mushroom project to fruition.  You may be interested in reading this article:

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