Mushroom logs

all together
Ready to go

Despite S’s disapproval I have stolen the bottom part of three of my freshly felled alder trunks to try out my mushroom spawn kits.  These were a present from a sister and I am very keen to see how they do for me.  I have not tried growing mushrooms on wood logs before.  I once had a home buttom mushroom kit, which was fun, albeit not that productive.  I have also tried (and failed) before with growing oyster mushrooms on newspaper logs, but I’m hoping to have another go on newspaper with the rest of this spawn kit.  The kit came from Ann Millar albeit through a third party I think.

It is important that the logs used are freshly felled.  This is partly so that they have not been infected with other non-edible competing fungi, and partly so that the moisture content is high enough for the spawn to live and grow.  The instructions with the kit suggest not more than three weeks old, which seems a very short period of viability.  The logs are a little small in diameter, but I don’t think that should matter too much – they may not last as well as a bigger log.  They are supposed to be 10 – 15 cm, and I think mine taper down to less than this.   I suppose the biggest risk is thay may dry out.

The mushroom spawn comes on wooden dowels, they have now reached their best before date – but have been sitting in the fridge so should be good to go.  The process is simple:  Drill appropriate sized holes in the fresh logs, insert spawn infected dowels, wrap in plastic and leave in a dark place for 6 to 18 months till spawn permeates logs, initiate fruiting by moving to light damp location, pick mushrooms, rest and repeat.  Since I have three sorts of mushroom spawn, I have also labelled the three logs with a metal label tied round with string.

all finished
All finished, ready to wrap

They have been placed in separate binliners (to save cross infection) under a bit of pond liner under a trailer.  They should be out of the way there for a bit.  I’ll check on them every now and then to see how they look.

tucked away
Not very exciting picture of exciting log hiding place.

8 thoughts on “Mushroom logs

    1. I don’t think that trailer has moved since it was parked there years ago, so at present I’m not worried. When the logs are ready to fruit they can be moved into the light so it won’t be a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating. I’ve grown oyster mushrooms and shiitakes from kits—they did pretty well.
    Growing mushrooms from spawn in freshly felled logs sounds more fun, though, and I hope you get some tasty mushrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was a bit worried about that too, but I’m just following instructions! I think they need to be wrapped to stop them drying out. The alternative was to be buried in leaf litter, and I really haven’t got enough of that.


      1. Hmm .. I did a bit of reading, and it looks like keeping the logs moist & aerated is a bit challenging: “Mushrooms don’t need as much fresh air as we do, but they still need it. Without any air exchange carbon dioxide levels build up and your mushrooms will emerge as stunted, spindly things that are all stalks and no caps. Very disappointing.

        “Solution: Make sure your project has a flow of fresh air. Don’t place things in areas with no air exchange.

        “If you’re growing in a sealed environment, you may want to open it a few times a day for fresh air. Just be aware that when you introduce fresh air you also introduce the possibility of contaminants and lower humidity levels. It’s a delicate dance!”

        Liked by 2 people

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