Shiitake Mushrooms, Easy To Grow In Your Own BackYard

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Here is the easiest Shiitake Mushroom Spawn Kit I could find for sale, since it’s difficult to find Shiitake Mushrooms in the wild.
Shiitake Mushroom Indoor Home Spawn Kit
Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushrooms growing on a log
Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushrooms growing on a log (Photot By: Sakurai Midori / Wikimedia Commons)

Shiitake Mushroom(Lentinula edodes) is a mushroom native to Japan.  It is not seen growing wild in The United States.  This is a popular mushroom in Asia but has just recently started being introduced to European and American Markets.  What makes this mushroom so interesting is that unlike many other popular mushrooms like Portabella, Shiitake is very easy to grow  yourself.

How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms

This mushroom is very easy to grow in your own backyard.  All you need is a small hardwood log(beech, maple or oak works well) a drill and a bag of Wooden Shiitake Mushroom plugs( colonized with mycelium) purchased online.  Drill some holes in the hardwood log then hammer in the Shiitake Mushroom Plugs and your done.  It takes about a year to start seeing mushrooms grow, but you should get one or two years of harvest from each log. Doing this once a year can give you years of Shiitake mushroom harvesting.

Edibility and Culinary Use

Shiitake has a taste known in Japanese as umami, in English that translated to mean a savory taste, similar to “meaty” mushrooms like portabella.  Shiitake Mushrooms are used in many ways in Asian cuisine.  Some ways they are eaten are raw in vegetable dishes, cooked in vegetable dishes, in soups, also they are dried and rehydrated. The Shitake Mushroom has been cultivated in Korea, China and Japan for over 1000 years.

Health Benefits

There are some medicinal properties of Shiitake Mushrooms, consumption may improve the immune system and may help treat cancer.  Shiitake Mushrooms contain a compound called Active Hexose Correlated Compound(AHCC) which is isolated from Shiitake and is a popular alternative medicine for cancer patients in Japan.  Shiitake also has an impressive amount of nutrients including ergosterol which can form Vitamin D2 when exposed to UV light, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, Potassium, Zinc and more.

Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushrooms growing on a log
Lentinula edodes, Shiitake Mushrooms growing on a log (Photo By: Adam Arendell (julius) at Mushroom Observer / Wikimedia Commons)

Cautions

There is less danger of miss-identifying this mushroom because you will probably be growing it yourself, although when growing mushrooms outside there is always a chance of the wood being inoculated accidentally with a wild species of mushroom. But the chances of that species looking similar to Shiitake and being poisonous are rare.  Raw or undercooked Shiitake Mushrooms have caused allergic reactions in about 2% of people.

Conclusion

This is a great mushroom for growing yourself, it’s easy to grow and it tastes great.  The wooden mushroom plugs are available to purchase online.  Add Shiitake Mushroom to your diet for a great taste and some health benefits.


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