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An afternoon of Mushroom Innoculation…

Elly and I attended a great afternoon affair at Laurie and Bob’s five acre farm on Engel-Moler Road. And what was the purpose of this get together that drew a couple of dozen conservationists, Sustainable Shepherdstowners, and your average local mushroom enthusiast? Why, to innoculate oak logs with mushroom spores so that they can be put in the dark to grow and develop edible shitake mushrooms for the Fall.

The process is fairly simple, but requires a lot of muscle effort and concentration. The logs that have been cut and stacked which will be used for the innoculation are put, one at a time, across a couple of sawhorses. Then holes are drilled all around each log at approximately four inch intervals.

Once the holes are drilled, small pegs with the preset mushroom fungus in them are pounded into each hole with a hammer or a rubber mallet.

After the pegs are malleted into the logs, each one is covered with a coat of melted wax which is brushed onto the top of the peg. At the lower left corner of the close-up photo you can see the splotch of wax on top of the peg. In the upper right of the picture is an exposed peg that hasn’t been waxed.

Finally, the finished logs are stacked. They will be covered with a fabric sheet to keep the light out and the logs will be kept damp.

We followed up the afternoon activities with snacks and conversations and a mini-concert of bagpipes and drums. Lots of fun and learned a lot about growing mushrooms.