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Can I make more shiitaki logs from existing logs? How about making new oyster kits?

 
                          
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I've just drilled and plugged a bunch of logs with shiitaki plugs.
As well purchased an oyster mushroom kit (pre bagged 'log').

Is is reasonably straightforward to gain self sufficiency with the cultures I've purchased? I scanned through the 3 pages on this board but didn't notice anyone asking this.
Thanks!
 
M.K. Dorje
Posts: 153
Location: Orgyen
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In general, it's quite possible to keep oyster mushrooms going, as well as the mycelium for your transfers is still strong, fresh and clean. For example, if your oyster "log" is made out of compressed sawdust, you can set aside a little chunk of it and grow more spawn with it on more fresh, moist sawdust in a bag. This spawn can in turn be used to inoculate fresh hardwood logs, as well as start yet another batch of spawn with some more fresh, moist sawdust in a bag. This way, you can keep a culture going for quite a while. Oysters can also be grown with stem butts and spore emulsion, and on phone books, on coffee grounds, etc. with the spawn transfer method. Shiitake is a bit more difficult to keep going, because it has weaker mycelium and contaminates easily, but it can be done.
 
Brenda Groth
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i have a small crop of naturally occuring oyster mushrooms on a small aspen log..and was wondering if i could transfer some of the mycilium to other aspen logs?? I am allowing this small fruiting to mature so that they can cast off their own spores as well.
 
M.K. Dorje
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Location: Orgyen
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You might be able to cut chunks of wood with oyster mycelium in it and then place the chunks in a plastic bag with moist, clean, fresh hardwood sawdust. (Or maybe you could run the oyster log through a chipper machine and use the resulting chips to start a culture.) Allow for some air exchange, but keep the contents moist. After a while, you will hopefully see the mycelium grow into the sawdust. Then you can cut hardwood logs and inoculate them. Or, inoculate a bunch of used organic coffee grounds in a bucket. Or maybe even try inoculating organic toilet paper rolls. Some folks here use phonebooks. They also use stem butts to start some of their cultures, which works really well for several different species, especially king stropharia. Be sure to check out the thread about this method on this site.
 
osker brown
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Location: Southern Appalachia
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With naturally occurring oysters you could probably just stack the fruiting log on other fresh logs. Oysters are extremely prolific spore producers, and will out compete most fungi.
 
John Saltveit
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Shiitakes don't take well to low tech pasteurization methods like oysters do. I have bought plain dowels, boiled them and put them in a bag with spawn, then drilled the dowels into fresh wood at a later point. The mycelium grew. Just make sure it's an oyster, turkey tail, or some other aggressive kind that is amenable to pasteurization methods.

JOhn S
PDX OR
 
To Ma
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Ditto what John said...

Shiitakes are much harder to keep running...they are quite a bit pickier than oysters and other more adaptive and aggressive mushroom species.
you can easily keep your oyster kits mycelium running by transferring the mycelium to a new medium when it's finished fruiting.
Oyster mushrooms also re-grow from the stem butts....wrap them in damp cardboard or even a damp hessian sack and away they go!
 
Peter Ellis
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Martin Crawford describes his method for growing shitake for inoculation in his "Creating a Forest Garden" book. Involves putting a couple of established shitake growing logs in a black plastic bag for a couple of months, after which the bag is generally lined with mycelium that he uses to inoculate other logs.


Seems to me that it ought to be possible to take any producing log, cut a couple of inches off the end and make a bunch of plugs for inserting into a new log.

Just theory, but can anyone tell me why it would not work?
 
Milo Jones
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Peter Ellis wrote:Martin Crawford describes his method for growing shitake for inoculation in his "Creating a Forest Garden" book. Involves putting a couple of established shitake growing logs in a black plastic bag for a couple of months, after which the bag is generally lined with mycelium that he uses to inoculate other logs.


Seems to me that it ought to be possible to take any producing log, cut a couple of inches off the end and make a bunch of plugs for inserting into a new log.

Just theory, but can anyone tell me why it would not work?


It can absolutely work. The only reason you haven't read about it is because all the research is geared to commercial production. In a commercial environment the risk of contamination and less than ideal strain selection and colonization is a serious financial risk. In the home environment you may be willing to take that risk.
 
John Saltveit
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Excellent perspective. This is exactly the kind of innovation that we need to be doing to help people take control of their health, our environments, and our lives.
John S
PDX OR
 
Dan Tutor
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fireweed farm wrote:I've just drilled and plugged a bunch of logs with shiitaki plugs.
As well purchased an oyster mushroom kit (pre bagged 'log').

Is is reasonably straightforward to gain self sufficiency with the cultures I've purchased? I scanned through the 3 pages on this board but didn't notice anyone asking this.
Thanks!

Get your hands on as many books by paul stamets as you can.
It is a feasible thing to select your best shiitakes and preserve their genetics either through taking a spore print or cloning in liquid media or agar. From here you can make spawn of your choosing from your proven specimen, improving yields and acclimating the strain to your locale.
That said, it's a lot more complicated than saving seed, and requires a sterile environment for the culturing work, whether a flow hood, sterile/sterilized room, glove box, or at least a sterilized still air box.

You may have better luck with the oysters!
 
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