A few years ago, as a birthday present, my wife bought me a few packs of spore impregnate dowels for growing various kinds of culinary mushroom. There are so many kits to choose from and buying these exotic mushrooms from the supermarket can be an expensive game.
How to grow mushrooms on logs
Logs should be cut during the tree’s dormant season, between leaf fall in autumn and early spring, and it is recommended that the dowels are planted in the log no longer than 6 weeks after the log has been cut. The wooden dowels are impregnated with mushroom mycelium ready to ‘plant’ into a hardwood log. Drill holes and insert the dowels before sealing the log with a layer of wax. Position logs in a shady wooded area or wrapped in black polythene and buried underground. The mushroom mycelium may take between 6 and 18 months to colonise a log. Once logs are fully colonised they can be moved to a warm, sheltered, moist area in dappled-shade where they will begin to fruit.
Each species differs and they will only fruit when environmental conditions are right for them. Small, white nodes will appear from the log and these will develop into mushrooms within a week. Maintain humidity and moisture levels during this time and do not move the log. To harvest them, grasp the mushrooms at the base of the stem and twist them away from the log. Logs will continue to fruit for up to 4 weeks. When growing mushrooms allow several months recuperation time for the mycelium to regenerate before producing another crop
Dowel products to try
Why not try something a little bit different, and grow your own mushrooms? Kits provided with detailed instructions and require no specialist equipment.
Shitake mushrooms (lentinula edodes) – Have been cultivated and nurtured in Japan for more than a thousand years, and are now a sought after ingredient for many Oriental dishes. A good accompaniment to meats, stir-fries and heavy sauces. Kits also contain Wax, Wax Applicator and Instructions.
Oyster Straw dowels
Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) – have a thick, soft texture with a subtle flavour and can be eaten cooked or raw. They often used in Oriental cooking. An easy to use kit.
Gourmet Collection dowels
Dowel kit contains Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), Shitake mushrooms (lentinula edodes) and Lions’ Mane (Hericium erinaceus).
Lion’s Mane dowels
Lions’ Mane (Hericium erinaceus) – Have been used traditionally in China and Japan for hundreds of years, and are renowned for their medicinal benefits. This unusual variety has a taste likened to lobster when cooked with butter, but can be eaten boiled, grilled or as an ingredient to many other dishes. Kits also contain Wax, Wax Applicator and Instructions.
Some people are allergic to mushrooms or mushroom spores and others may become sensitised by high concentrations of spores.