Shiitake Happens

Posted by Nick  | 16 Apr 2017  | 4 comments

One-and-a-half years ago we inoculated logs of plum wood with some special fungus; the spawn of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, to be exact. It’s a waiting game. You have to give the mycelium enough time to fully impregnate the logs. After nine to eighteen months, to trigger fruiting you submerge the logs in water for forty-eight hours. Our farm came equipped with an old bathtub perfect for the job, which fills with rainwater from the adjacent shed.

We started with just four of our twelve logs as a trial, weighed down by bricks.

A couple of days later we pulled them out, propped them out of reach from the sheep’s exploratory gobs, and waited again for another couple of weeks.

We were giddy when we spotted a couple of mature shrooms which had suddenly emerged from one of the logs inoculated with shiitake.

Only two caps had sprouted, but soon, hopefully, these logs will be inundated.

Eager to fry up a sample of our very first homegrown mushrooms, we harvested the fruiting bodies from their woody abode.

Sauteed in butter and garlic is a must. Shiitake is known as a meaty mushroom, and we were surprised to find the texture quite similar to meat indeed. The taste wasn’t strong, but it was pleasant. There wasn’t enough! Here’s hoping many more pop up in the coming weeks, so we can make a proper meal of them.

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Great blog, guys. As a fellow kiwi who’d love to attempt something like this (but will probably never get a chance, my partner is staunchly opposed to anything at all agricultural), it’s great to see other people giving it a go, not to mention succeeding. As a novice photographer, I’m constantly gobsmacked by the quality of the photos you post. Best of luck!


Thanks so much, Harry, that’s a really lovely comment to receive! All the best with giving this silly lifestyle a shot, if you can ever convince your partner — the rewards are always worth the many hardships (most of the time), and it’s really not all that overwhelming if you’re willing to get your hands dirty once in a while 🙂 Thanks again!

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So exciting! Hope you get heaps more mushies turning up soon and can have a feast.


Thanks, Chrissy 🙂 Looks like we may need to soak them again and move them to a darker/wetter location. They haven’t sprouted any more since 🙁

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