Scientific Name: Lentinula edodes
Shiitake mushrooms gathered off fallen logs have been the most popular mushroom in Asia for centuries. In the last century, techniques have been developed to cultivate them intentionally, with commercial production at last becoming feasible. Demand for this distinctive, nutritious and sturdy mushroom continues to rise in today’s health conscious cuisine.
Cultivation: Shiitake are cultivated using trees or wood as a growing medium, or substrate. Two viable methods are in wide use today, small-scale “natural” log cultivation, and “synthetic” or sawdust “log” cultivation, used mostly by large-scale commercial operations. Natural log cultivation is the oldest method and imitates nature closely. Low initial costs make it ideal for small scale growers, but the process is physically demanding. It requires “planting” hardwood logs felled in the dormant season...they can be logs or branches freshly-cut from healthy, living hardwood trees, often gathered from timber stand improvement cuts.
Click here to view our how-to video on Shiitake log inoculation.
Shiitake Strains: deciding which strain to use can be a little confusing, but you really can’t go wrong... They ALL work. We offer three types of Shiitake strains (all are certified organic): Wide Range (WR), Warm Weather (WW), Cold Weather (CW). For further information click on one of the three types below.
NOTE: These designations indicate the conditions under which these strains can be fruited, and they are NOT an indication of which type of climate they grow best.