Maitake

Grifola frondosa

Maitake, also known as Sheepshead or Hen of the Woods, are widely appreciated for their culinary (nutty flavor and crunchy texture) as well as medicinal properties. Maitake is slow to colonize, so we recommend pre-treating the wood prior to inoculation to discourage potential competitors. Sterilizing wood chunks in a pressure cooker is best, but good results can also be obtained by either steaming or boiling the wood. After pre-treatment, logs are inoculated and incubated indoors for 2-3 months. After incubation, plant them outdoors by partially burying logs in a shaded spot. Inoculation time is best done in March-April, and moved outdoors in June. Fall inoculation can be done as well, with logs planted as soon as the ground thaws in the spring. First fruiting may occur as early as August of the planting year or as late as several years post inoculation. Logs will continue to fruit every year for each inch of log diameter and sometimes even longer.

Maitake sawdust spawn is available in 2.5 lb. or 5.5 lb. bags and will inoculate 6 or 12 logs respectively. Spawn can be purchased separately or as a kit (kits include sawdust spawn, autoclavable bags, collars, and foam plugs.

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