Shiitake Logs

Here’s a recipe for not taking advantage of the first sunny day in a week: Go to you neighbor’s house, where they are swilling wine and cooking pizza in their wood stove. Spend afternoon eating pizza and drinking wine. Return home and half-drunkenly start doing yard work until another neighbor drives by and invites you to his house for further imbibement. Oblige.

That’s about how it went today. So needless to say, I didn’t get as much forest garden preparation done as I could have. But I have managed to purchase quite a few shrubs and trees over the last few days, even finding some of the more rare varieties I was looking for locally. I’m very excited about that, but I’ll hold off on posting in full detail until I’ve assembled the entire repertoire.

For now, I’ll just talk a little shiitake. In Japan it’s pretty routine to find inoculated logs in the home center — not sure if this is common in the States since gardening wasn’t on my radar before I came to Japan. I’ve been meaning to snag a couple of logs for while now, and the other day I finally did. The logs have a bunch of holes drilled in them that are plugged with some kind of foam containing the mushroom spores.


I’d read somewhere that all you need to do is smack the logs on the ground to release the spores, put them in a shady spot and wait for the mushrooms to start growing. However, the little pamphlet that came with the logs recommends soaking them in water for 12-24 hours first. Good thing I have a pond! And lots of driftwood to keep the logs submerged!


I’ve yet to decipher the rest of the instructions, but as long as the local crows don’t pick out all the plugs before I get the logs out of the water, I think we’re in business regarding shiitake. For now, I need to sleep off an afternoon’s worth of booze.


2 thoughts on “Shiitake Logs

  1. Picking up the logs at the local hardware store sounds much easier than the way we have to do it…. cut down the trees, let them lie for a year, drill all the holes then hammer the spores into all the holes before waiting another year or so until they start producing. Good luck with your harvest for the year…

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