Nurture your valentine with a little love from the 'shrooms. Shiitakes have behaviors and, like us, respond to nurturing, affection and respect. Growing shiitakes on a log is fun -- for years.
Perkins, OK (PRWEB) January 25, 2012
"Something living, something new, something pretty, practical too." These are the qualities of a unique gift idea, The Queen Anne Shiitake Log Kit from Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, according to designer Sandra Williams. The Queen Anne is a 12-inch shiitake log is seated in an Italian-style embossed metal vase. The log will grow organic mushrooms every two months for three to four years.
Williams, owner of Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, added “This is a gift that keeps giving. It adds interest and beauty to a room. For people who love gardening and appreciate style, this is the perfect Valentine gift.”
Shiitakes are the world’s second-most sought after mushrooms. They are famous for their flavor, meaty texture, and nutrition: high in protein, low in fat, and rich in minerals. Prized for their health benefits, shiitakes can strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and create feelings of gladness.
Williams says the mushrooms growing on the all-natural logs have an aesthetic appeal as well, “They’re just lovely. A deep, rich brown with little white markings around the rim. I’ve been growing shiitakes for over 25 years, and their beauty can still take my breath away.”
“Shiitakes, like most mushrooms, thrive in their natural habitat – in this case real trees.” The logs are hardwoods such as oak, gum, and hickory. Lost Creek Mushroom Farm gets the logs in the winter when the sap is down. Williams' husband Doug drills holes with high-speed drills. Sandra and a few friends stuff spawn, the mushroom seed material, into the holes, then seal them with food-grade cheese wax. After months of incubation, during which the shiitake create mycelia (thin fibers that run through the entire log), the log is “colonized.” Then it will fruit -- produce mushrooms.
“Our log kits are ready to fruit. They're eager to fruit and will produce mushrooms in larger and larger quantities as the log matures. Soak a log every two weeks in non-chlorinated room-temperature water. ‘Shock’ it with an ice-water bath to trigger the fruiting. Tiny mushroom buds, called pins, pop out through the bark in a few days. Within a week or so, the plump brown ‘fruits of the shroom’ are ready to harvest.”
The Queen Anne Kit sells for $48.00, including shipping and handling. Lost Creek Mushroom Farm has log kits, shiitake gift baskets and more, priced from $18-$80, s&h included. Kits include a log, instructions and recipes. Logs 10 inches and longer are fully guaranteed to fruit. The Shiitake Sampler Cookbook by Janet Bratkovich adds value to gift log kits at $7.95.
Williams and her husband Doug have twice served as volunteers in Ghana, West Africa, teaching mushroom production. They brought two people from Ghana to the US to tour mushroom farms. A portion of sales is donated to their Mushrooms in Ghana Project, a program of the Magical Child Foundation, providing laboratory equipment and training so farmers, most of them women, can support their families and communities.
The Queen Anne Kit is only available online at http://www.shiitakemushroomlog.com, and by phone, 800-792-0053. Amazon.com lists Lost Creek Mushroom Farm log kits and gift baskets at slightly higher prices. Mail orders go to Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, PO Box 520, Perkins, OK 74059-0520.