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. Start your own flock in the woods by planting small, freshly cut, inoculated oak log pieces.
Maitake is slow to colonize logs, so we highly recommend sterilizing the wood first to help avoid competitors. To get started, you will need sawdust spawn, a large pressure cooker (22 quart is best), and large autoclavable bags (we sell them in sets of 6 with plugs and collars). Cut oak pieces that measure about 8 inches in diameter by 8 inches in length during the dormant season. A single piece is then placed inside each autoclavable bag and the bag is closed using the collar and plug and sterilized at 15 psi for 1.5 hours. Allow the wood to cool inside the pressure cooker. Once cooled, aseptically inoculate the wood by pouring a heavy dose of sawdust spawn into the bag. Reseal bag and incubate at room temperature for 3-4 months. After incubation, remove log from bag and bury vertically in a shaded spot so that the top of the log is one inch below the soil surface. Mark the location of the buried log. Fruiting may occur as early as fall of the first season.
Maitake sawdust spawn is available in 2.5 lb. or 5.5 lb. bags and will inoculate 6 or 12 pieces respectively. Sawdust spawn, 18" x 23" autoclavable bags, collars, and foam plugs used for Maitake cultivation are sold separately or in kits (Small Maitake Kit will do 6 logs; Large Maitake Kit will do 12).
Volume discount pricing applies to large (5.5 lb.) bags only:
1 bag: $25.00
2 - 6 bags: $24.00 ea.
7 - 10 bags: $22.00 ea.
11 - 49 bags: $16.00 ea.
50+ bags: $12.50 ea.