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I was browsing through a website for a mushroom farm in Kentucky. They claim that Shitake loses taste and other properties for health if grown on a sawdust block as opposed to oak log's.
It seems to me that as long as the fruit body actually grows, it would be the same, but IDK. Im interested in growing shitake for health reason's and would really like to make sure im getting the most bang for my buck. Can anyone shed any light on this?
Wow, that's crazy. I didn't realize it took that long for them to grow on sawdust blocks. but yeah id say it's definitely more efficient then waiting years. Looks like I'll have to order them for the next 5 months or so off of someone. What strain of shitake would you recommend for a better taste and better health on sawdust blocks?
I'd go with shiitake 75. It's beginner friendly and grows well on a variety of woods. Some of the harder to grow shiitake strains have better flavor, but wait until you get some experience under your belt before trying those.
I'm doing a strain test with over two dozen shiitake strains on a variety of hard and soft woods. I'm about half way through the test, so by this time next year I'll try to get a write up posted. RR
I think the big difference between growing on logs vs. growing in bags is a marketing thing. Whichever way you are growing them, it is in your best interest to promote it as the better product. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Growing on logs, you can market your mushrooms as "wildcrafted" or "seasonal". Imperfections such as cracked caps caused by low-humidity outdoor growing conditions have become a much desired feature in Asian markets. Having a product only available fresh during certain times of the year means you can charge a premium.
And there is no reason that mushrooms grown on sawdust in a climate-controlled environment can't be "organic" (provided you jump through the hoops to get certified) or natural. With perfect growing conditions and no exposure to insects you can easily grow perfect-looking fruit that is easy to sell all year round.
Hey thanx for the info RR. I plan on buying your dvd's as soon as I get some extra cash. Id at least like to make it worth your while for all the post's of yours that I have learned from. I'll also be looking forward to your write up. You definitely have to have alot of patience in this hobby.
Here is an excerpt from their page. Just in case your intersted in what exactly they have to say. I would of just posted the website but im not sure if im allowed.
Log-Grown Shiitake Mushrooms "Why Log-grown? Many of the shiitake mushrooms found in the supermarkets today are grown on artificial saw-dust logs. Log-grown shiitake have a richer flavor and a better shelf life. Studies on the nutritional value suggest they are superior to their saw-dust counterparts.
Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent gourmet choice as well. They are flavorful and stand up well to many culinary styles and flavors. In addition, they are an excellent protein substitute for those who wish to pursue vegetarian options.
In the Far East, the restorative powers of shiitake mushrooms are legendary. For centuries, they have been used to treat conditions such as colds and flu, poor circulation, upset stomachs and even exhaustion. Scientific studies support the fact that nutrients found in the shiitake may aid in cancer tumor treatment, reduce heart disease by reducing cholesterol and blood lipid levels, and be beneficial in treating HIV"
Quote: "Why Log-grown? Many of the shiitake mushrooms found in the supermarkets today are grown on artificial saw-dust logs. Log-grown shiitake have a richer flavor and a better shelf life. Studies on the nutritional value suggest they are superior to their saw-dust counterparts.
That's somebody's marketing line of crap and it's simply not true. First of all, sawdust is finely ground logs, not artificial. Second, the nutrients in the log are much more accessible when the log has been rendered into sawdust, so there is no way a log-grown mushroom is more nutritious. Shelf life is dependent on moisture content, storage, and how much of the stem is left on the cap after picking. It's not dependent on whether the mushroom was grown on logs or sawdust.
The biggest problem with commercial log culture is all your fruits are produced in the summer and fall when the market is already saturated. Growing on sawdust is a year around operation and the markets like it when you can offer steady supply. RR
The part about the saw-dust log being artificial confused me when I first read. How do you get artificial saw-dust? Also, When you said "The nutrients in the log are much more accessible when the log has been rendered into sawdust" makes perfect sense, and probably explains why you get fruits in 3-5 months as opposed to 3-5 years. The one thing that I wasn't sure of was when they said this.......
"Studies on the nutritional value suggest they are superior to their saw-dust counterparts".
That kind of worried me because the main reason I want to grow Shitake is for health reasons. Not to mention that I don't have the space to grow on logs. So a saw-dust block would be perfect for me.
Im so glad you called out there BS though. It's really helped me out and regain some hope! Thanx for all the info and input, I can't thank you enough. I guess Im gonna go see if I can find the Shitake 75 and a saw-dust block, I better get moving on it if I want some by spring!
You can harvest from Shiitake logs in as little as 6-18 months after inoculation, but a better harvest after 18 months, HOWEVER, logs will produce for 3-6 years if taken care of.
The only difference I see with log and sawdust is how fast sawdust blocks are, and donko mushrooms are grown primarily on logs, which the Chinese think are of higher grade.
The statement "grown on artificial saw-dust logs" really meant to be "grown on artificial logs made of sawdust". I don't think they were implying that the sawdust was artificial
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