Our favourite, shiitake (Letinula edodes) is an edible mushrooms which is easy to grow. All you need is somewhat more patience than you do for e.g. oyster mushroom. Logs inoculated with Shiitake spawn need twelve to eighteen months until the first mushrooms appear. After that there should be several harvests a year for many years. In contrast to other mushroom types, the logs are not buried in the soil so you can take them with you if you want to move house!! The mushrooms are firm to the bite and should thus be well cooked. They are also suitable for drying. Shiitake mushroom should be ideally harvested when the edge of the cap is still slightly rolled in.
Tip: fresh Shiitake mushrooms can easily be semi-dried by storing them at room temperature for two to three days with sufficient air circulation. For example you can put them on a metal rack. They can then be cooked in a frying pan or saucepan in the usual way. The drying process gives them even more aroma.
Shiitake is grown on long and thin logs or branches, the best wood types are oak, beech or hornbeam. Log dimensions: approx. 120 cm long and 12 cm in diameter.
Our substrate kits for shiitake (see below) consist of mushroom spawn and sterilized wood chips which are specially manufactured for growing mushrooms. The ingredients are mixed together with water and filled into the supplied perforated plastic bags. The first mushrooms should be available for harvesting after about ten weeks.