Introduction: Part F: Making a Mushroom Log, Harvesting and Caring for a Finished Log
Once your mycelium has grown throughout the substrate and looks white you are ready to initiate fruiting. To do this you will change light, Carbon Dioxide, and temperature levels
1. The log will fruit better if it senses a 12 hour light-dark cycle. So remove from dark incubator (Cooler) and place somewhere out of direct sunlight in your house.
2. To change Carbon Dioxide levels make 10-X shaped holes in the upper part of the bag. they should be 1/4-1/2’ across. Close the top with a twist tie. This will allow the mushrooms to breath without drying out the mushroom farm.
3. Drop temperatures slightly by removing from heated cooler.
Storing the MiniFarm:
1. Leave the MiniFarm in its own bag.
2. Place the MiniFarm in an indoor place where it could get direct sunlight. This will protect it from heat and drafts.
3. Try to place the MiniFarm in a cool spot. For the best results, the temperature should be between 50-70 degrees fahrenheit.
During Growth of the MiniFarm:
1. In a week or two you should see some swelling that will soon become small round mushrooms. These swellings will typically appear on the surface of the substrate or sides of the block.
2. (Spotting) Any white and brown shades of growth is good. As the Shiitake caps grow you can remove the twist tie and open the top of the bag 3-4 inches. This will give the mushrooms more oxygen and will allow them to grow.
What to look out for: If any blue-green mold occurs it is best to remove the infected area with a knife but, be sure to make shallow cuts. If a brown liquid accumulates at the bottom of the bag it may be best to change it to a clean dry growing bag.
1. The Shiitake mushrooms will take a few days to reach their full size. They will be ready to harvest when the cottony white veil beneath the caps has fully broken away from the stem. They are now at their flavor prime, according to Japanese tradition their helpful properties are now at their potency.
2. Twist and pull off the base of the stem of themushroom. Your Shiitake crop can now be stored in a refrigerator. It should be kept in a brown paper bag until you're ready to eat them. Shiitake mushrooms are very delicate and are best to eaten when they are fresh off the farm.
Soaking the MiniFarm:
Your MiniFarm will loose some moisture after some time. This means that it will stop producing Shiitake mushrooms.
What to do: If 8 weeks pass without new crops emerging you should try this; Use a sharp knife to make some long ¼” deep incisions on the sides of the MiniFarm. Next submerge the MiniFarm block in a bowl or sink of cold water overnight with a 5 pound weight on the block. Let the block drain for 10 minutes then return it to a clean bag. This treatment will often allow for 1 or more late crops to grow.
The MiniFarm will eventually transform its entire food reserve into the Shiitake mushrooms you have enjoyed. It is best that you put your Shiitake mushroom block to your garden where it will enrich your soil.
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