Snowed in? Time to Grow Mushrooms from Spawn

So this post is coming out a little late. But never late than never. A snow storm blew in, not a huge one but big enough to slow things down around here and keep us from going anywhere. So what do we do when we can not leave home? Keep working the homestead! So we worked on the house and started inoculating mushroom logs.

The annual snow storm

Every winter we get hit by at least one good snow, or ice, storm that pins us down for a few days. This years storm finally hit us. So, we canceled our plans for the weekend and settled in until to stay dry and warm. These storms are a mixed blessing in a log home, they supercharge the drafts. On the up side we can find the drafts, on the downside it can be hard to keep the house warm.

Unfortunately this years storm hit us in the middle of the work week. Since I was working I could not work on plugging the drafts as we found them. We had to commit to memory where drafts were and then go back and fill them in later. So we did not get them all this time, but we believe we found the worst of them.

Most of our drafts are from cracked logs or places where logs meet. Fixing them is as simple as putting a backing in then filling it in with chinking. Afterward I wipe away the excess chinking so that we have a nice clean finish.

Mushroom Inoculation

Our main project for the weekend, inoculating mushroom logs. The logs we used are the ones that Sarah cut up when we did her chainsaw lesson. They are approximately 4″-6″ diameter and around 4′ long. The mushroom spawn is from North Spore.

Inoculating mushroom logs is not difficult but it is time consuming. Once you have a log you need to drill tons of wholes in it to place the spawn into. Since we are using plug spawn the wholes needed to be 5/8″ wide and about as deep as the plugs. We drilled wholes in a diamond pattern with approximately 4″ between them.

Once all the wholes are drilled the plugs get tapped into place with a hammer. Next, cover the wholes with melted wax then set someplace shady and cool. The wax helps with moisture retention in the logs. With any luck, next year we will get lots of mushrooms from these logs.

We still have more spawn to inoculate logs with. So far we have 3 Chicken of the Woods logs and and 2 Shiitake logs. From the spawn we ordered we still more Shiitake, Reishi, Hen of the Woods, Lion’s Mane, and Nameko to go. We will keep you posted as we get them going. We are super excited to grow our own mushrooms!

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