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fungi perfecti

 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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So Im stupid when it comes to mushroom culture and Id like to start with a small indoor kit of Shitake mushrooms from fungi perfecti. Has anyone bought any of these kits from them, and do they work as advertised? Im also interested if anyone has any practical experience with taking the culture and moving it to a mulch bed outdoors. They claim you can do that with some success after your indoor media loses it’s nutrients, what is the process for this and has anyone done it that can share? Thanks very much!

 
                            
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Living mycelium will continue to try to expand after fruiting if provided a substrate to do so. I've never used their kits, but I have received sawdust spawn from fungi perfecti and had good success. Once you're kit is fruited, you would just need to take the remaining mycelium and give it room to run. For shiitake, you'd be best sawing some logs (oak, sweetgum... I've had some fruit on wild cherry but the success rate was low) and drilling holes every 8-12 inches all around the log, packing the holes with bits of mycelium, waxing them and then setting them outside somewhere shady and moist. Time of year best for this is typically spring though and the logs should have been cut live sometime within the last couple of months.
 
Rob Sigg
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OK, that is what I thought...some where I remember someone saying you can just put it in hardwood mulch/sawdust and it will continue to grow.
 
M.K. Dorje
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Location: Orgyen
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I've never seen any sawdust block Shiitake kits grow into a sawdust/chip pile- ever. This species is probably not the best one to try the sawdust/ mulch pile inoculation method with. The kit might continue to fruit a few more times after the first three flushes or so if you put it outside in the right spot, however. The Shiitake kits I've seen are real pricey and probably not cost effective compared to buying fresh spawn and innoculating a bunch of fresh logs. Be sure to read the other "fungi" threads on this website before buying any spawn or kits from Fungi Perfecti. Great books and great products from them, but I recommend Field and Forest mushrooms in Wisconsin for spawn and kits. Just my 2 cents... Good luck!!
 
Rob Sigg
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Thank you for the other source. I just have to find some oak logs now!
 
M.K. Dorje
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Location: Orgyen
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Be sure to use freshly cut hardwood logs that have been carefully prevented from any drying by the sun or wind. In my experience, the best time to cut the logs (I usually just use 6 inch thick branches so I don't fell any trees) is in early spring right before the buds break open, If you are a beginner, it would be best to inoculate the logs heavily since Shiitake mycelium is so unagressive and can easily become contaminated. One method is to cut the logs to two foot lengths, then cover the cut ends with fresh spawn, then crimp heavy duty aluminum foil over the spawn. (You can also use a wax paper barrier in between the spawn and the aluminum foil if you are concerned about aluminum being absorbed by the mycelium.) I also cut wedges out along the length of the logs and apply fresh spawn to the wedge cuts. I then replace the wedges and wrap them with plastic wrap. I then place the logs in a big cardboard box then cover them with super clean fresh sawdust from a hardwood mill and store the box in a 70 degree room that is free from insects (especially ants!) or mold for 6 months. I have had good success with this method. In my experience, using dowel spawn and outdoor incubation has not been as successful a method, but it does work well for some growers. And be sure to read "Growing Shiitake Commercially" by Bob Harris.
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Rob S. aka Blitz wrote:
So Im stupid when it comes to mushroom culture and Id like to start with a small indoor kit of Shitake mushrooms from Fungi Perfecti. Has anyone bought any of these kits from them, and do they work as advertised? Im also interested if anyone has any practical experience with taking the culture and moving it to a mulch bed outdoors. They claim you can do that with some success after your indoor media loses it’s nutrients, what is the process for this and has anyone done it that can share? Thanks very much!



Hi Rob - I've tried the shitake, oyster and button mushroom kits from Fungi Perfecti over the last ~5 years or so and had good luck as advertised with all of them.  They don't produce huge amounts, but several pounds each in flushes.

The only one I tried to use to seed an outdoor bed was the oyster and I had old wood chips so, I don't think I gave it the best shot.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Im a little concerned after reading some material that people said the spores in the air made for a bad environment. This is a concern for me. Im going to keep researching, and maybe try some shitake outside.
 
Kay Bee
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Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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picking the mushrooms while they are still "young" can help reduce spores in the air.  I find it hard to not let them get big and open up, though

I didn't notice much of a spore drop from the shitake or button mushrooms, but the oysters - whew!  they are pretty aggressive in their efforts.  We didn't find it to be an issue in terms of sensitivity, but I've heard that it can build up over time.
 
Rob Sigg
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Location: PA-Zone 6
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Ive heard the same, thats what concerned me. Glad to know their products work though.
 
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