Things are a bit all over the shop at the moment. I’m house sitting for my daughter while she is in Hawaii (tough for the youngies!), and while I have access to a real oven I’m madly baking like a crazy woman. I’m getting a lot of basics done of stuff to freeze for the up coming engagement party of our youngest son. Starting with good old sausage rolls (400 so far), mini quiches (72 so far), I have plans for my veggie rolls and will expand the menu selection to some more exotics as the day gets closer. I haven’t used a real oven for so long it’s quite funny, I have burns on my hands where I’ve juggled baking trays and I’d forgotten about how hot an oven gets on its extremities. In between house sitting and baking, I did manage to get s new batch of mushroom logs inoculated at the weekend. My old logs are about 5 years old and yields have been very sporadic so replenishing this wonderful crop was overdue.
I purchased some spawn from Forest Fungi, this time I’m doing logs of both shiitake and pioppiono varieties. The shiitake have been very successful, so I’m hoping for great results again. The spawn come on pre-inoccculated wooden dowels that you insert into tree wood. The magic begins as the mycelium spreads throughout the wood and ends up producing mushrooms if the proper environment is met.
These are the packaged dowels, the white stuff is the start of the mushroom magic. Tools at the ready, drill with a 5/16 drill bit, hammer (this little treasure is one my dearly loved dad made for me about 50 years ago!) and I dragged some cheese wax out of the cupboard where things are patiently waiting for me to get back into making cheese.Holes drilled 3-4 inches apart on the log, I’m using offcuts from prunings of our pin-oak and some thinnings of the english oak in the back yard. Hole is drilled into the log and a dowel inserted into the hole then tapped with the hammer till it is at bark level.The surface is then sealed with bees wax or in my case cheese wax to prevent undesirable fungi taking over the log.That’s it! I’ve put the new logs into their new home, labelled with a coke can I cut up and will keep them damp and humid for a few months. The logs then have a soaking in a bath and with all being good, mushies will appear. The logs on the right are the old hosts, see how much they have aged compared to the newbies. The old logs are as light as anything. definitely was time to renew!