CDC- Shiitake Mushroom Workshop

What: Shiitake Mushroom Workshop
When: Sunday, April 2, 2017 starting at 9 a.m.
Where: 249 Stanton Road, Coeymans Hollow
Cost: $10 & limited to 12 participants
Note: You must pre-register before March 1st! Call (518) 756-2232


Want to grow Shiitake mushrooms? This workshop will cover the basics of inoculating hardwood logs so you can grow a year-round supply. NYFOA member Gerry McDonald has been growing Shiitake mushrooms on his property in Coeymans Hollow for 6 years. He currently harvests enough fresh Shiitakes for in-season use and dries enough for use during the colder months.

Participants will learn techniques for inoculating hardwood bolts with Shiitake spawn. In summary, bolts, (preferably oak) are drilled with a number of 5/16 holes about 1¼ inch deep. Inoculated dowels are pounded into the holes, which are then sealed with hot wax. About 30-40 plugs are put into each bolt. The bolts can then be stored outside in a relatively moist environment to allow for the spawn to run through and colonize the wood. In about 6 to 12 months, you can expect to harvest a small amount of mushrooms. Thereafter, the bolts will fruit more heavily for several years. We’ll discuss techniques for forcing the bolts to fruit when you want them to. We’ll also take a tour of the McDonald’s shiitake growing yard and discuss the characteristics that make a good growing yard.

You Must be Pre-registered because space is limited

  • Cost: $10.00 will cover the cost of the materials needed to inoculate 2 or possibly 3 smaller logs including 100 hardwood dowels inoculated with Shiitake mycelium.
  • Fresh cut oak bolts suitable for plugging will be available for additional cost of $5.00 each.

Materials to bring if you have them:

  • Portable drill
  • 5/16 bit. Sizes 1/64 larger and smaller can be helpful when the inoculated dowels are slightly off spec
  • Hammer or rubber mallet
  • Hardwood bolts if you want to inoculate your own wood and save on cost.

Materials we will provide:

  • Hardwood plugs inoculated with shiitake mycelium
  • Sealing wax
  • Stove and pans for heating wax
  • Daubers for applying hot wax
  • Metal tags and nails for marking the logs with inoculation information

Log Bolt specs:

Oak is preferable, but it’s reported that other hardwoods such as sugar maple and beech can also work well. The bolts need to be fresh cut in winter or early spring before sap starts to run. This ensures the highest sugar content in the wood. Avoid any wood that’s dried out. I cut bolts that are 3 to 6 inches diameter because they are easier to handle and seem to colonize well. I cut them 3 feet long because they fit inside a 55 gallon drum used as a soaking tub.


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