This past Saturday, Feb. 27'th, STARworks Garden hosted a Shiitake Cultivation Workshop, with instructors Greg Bender and Hugh Martin. 33 people came, eager to learn. Some people confessed they had wanted to do this for many years, and finally had an opportunity to try it out with help from experienced mushroom growers before making an investment in tools and materials and embarking on a new journey.
Workshop started out with a "lecture" -an inspirational video by Paul Stamets, a presentation from Hugh Martin about Shiitake mushrooms and a question/answer session.
We had a quick lunch of homemade soup and bread that Adam and I were busy making the night before...
Greg Bender did a demonstration on the "how to" and answered more questions, and for about an hour after that the STARworks Glass Hot Shop was buzzing like a beehive!
Here's our Glass Instructor Nick Fruin, drilling the oak logs - which is the first step to log inoculation process. Thank you Nick, for so graciously opening up your hot shop for out messy workshop, AND for fixing our technical problem with computers!!! You rock!
Next is the plugging... These plungers work great! I can't imagine having to stuff the drilled holes by hand! This time we used a warm weather variety spawn, WW70, which is described as: A real eye pleaser, this strain produces large, flat but dense dark brown caps in summers’ heat and humidity. A reliable strain for force fruiting for summer farmers market, it will also fruit naturally with the change of the seasons. (from Field and Forest Products)
We got all of our tools and spawn from Field and Forest. They have been growing mushrooms for the past 27 years and can offer great products and expertise.
Here's a group shot of people waxing their logs. Greg and Hugh were busy running around, assisting people, so I didn't catch them with my camera - maybe next time:)
Now we just have to sit back and wait for the mushrooms to grow! Right?
Before that though - we'll have another workshop - this time about Oyster mushrooms, on Saturday, March the 13'th. Oyster mushrooms have not yet gained the same lever of popularity
as the Shiitakes, but as I have had the opportunity to gather and eat some wild, native oyster strains from the woods at my home, I can tell you - they are absolutely delicious!