Gardener or Gourmet, Give Dad Shiitake Mushroom Logs

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A unique, surprising gift that keeps popping out healthful shiitake mushrooms for up to four years.

In nature shiitake mushrooms grow on fallen tree branches and are harvested twice a year. In the kitchen or family room they pop out on shiitake log kits every two months.

Shiitake farmer Doug Williams of Lost Creek Mushroom Farm has been watching the deep-brown mushrooms bloom on hardwood logs since 1988. “We drill holes in the logs and fill the holes with shiitake spawn. In eight to ten months, they’re ready to grow mushrooms. We shock a log into producing, or ‘fruiting’, by immersing it in ice water and soaking it for 24 hours. The mushrooms think it’s the fall or spring fruiting season and break out through the bark.”

For home growers Williams advises keeping logs in indirect light. “They need room light or outdoor shade and an overnight soak in room-temperature water about every two weeks. Six to ten days later, the mushrooms are ready to harvest.”

Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture and hearty flavor. "They absorb the flavors of other foods they’re cooked with, like garlic, onion, meats, vegetables, even fruit. I sautéed them with blackberry preserves,” Williams said. “Delicious.”

High in protein and low in fat, with compounds that lower cholesterol and boost the immune system, shiitakes are a favorite with people who watch calories and cholesterol.

Lost Creek Mushroom Farm has several kits that produce shiitakes every two months for up to four years. Kits include the log or logs ready to fruit, instructions, and recipes. Logs are guaranteed to grow.

Two logs will provide shiitakes every month. Prices range from $15.95 for a 5-6 inch ‘Shroomie to $75 for two 20-inch logs with soaking trays. The Ma and Pa kit with two 8-10 inch logs sells for $36.50. All prices include shipping.

Shiitake mushroom kits are available online at http://www.shiitakemushroomlog.com and http://www.cowboy.net/~lcmf. Order or request a free brochure from Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, PO Box 520, Perkins, OK 74059, or by calling 1-800-792-0053.

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Sandra Williams
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