20,000 years ago in China in the days of the Fa, there was a clan called the Forest People. They had a custom that when a boy child was born, the Father would go out and cut down an oak tree that was at least 4 feet in diameter and inoculate 20 feet of this log with Shiitake mushroom spawn from his Father's log ~ just as his Father had done before him. This child was told that when he became a virtuous man this log would begin to produce magic mushrooms that would take care of him and his family as food and wealth for the rest of his life. These logs would colonize in 20 years and produce for 100 years. Even in this ancient time, he would be rich!
Shiitakes are the fruit of an animal. Fungi are animals that exhibit social behavior patterns. As science says humans are more highly evolved, the fungi are more broadly evolved. They have a much broader chemical spectrum than mammal tissue makeup. Much broader in protein make up, mineral quality and quantity, in vitamins and polysaccharides. They make various antibiotics, antibiotic base structures, enzymes, growth enhancers, growth retarder and just boo coos of currently undefined stuff that we can absorb to help with deuterated portions of our DNA and RNA molecules. This deterioration could be from age, radiation treatment, disease or just normal variation in our DNA and protein synthesis ~ from one individual to next. The older the log, the more stressed or the more loved ~ the more weird stuff present. Banging on them, shocking them, simulated lightning, much crazy stuff is done by Easterner's claiming all kinds of crazy results. Verifiable human nutrition studies support much of this. Many of the Chinese "tall tales" are fascinating ~ music and love are their ancient standard. Log nutritional content also varies due to type of tree. In other words, they are very chemically responsive to environment and care.
Some people hang them outside on ropes bringing them in when pinning starts. Some store them in the refrigerator while dormant. The Chinese say that there are as many ways to raise shiitakes as there are Chinese people. I suggest picking one program and stay with it. Realize we are trying to do a controlled rot in harmony with some very aggressive Florida insects and fungi. The logs themselves can control most stuff but I recommend soaking 24 hours for bugs and wiping with alcohol for fungi when present.
Since The Farm, in Summertown, Tennessee, first brought shiitakes to Western culture in 1971, many interesting stories can be heard about "emotional response". Negative emotional environments (arguments or unhealthy acts like cigarette smoke) cause instant wilting. Singing and classical music cause measurable increases in growth weights. Fruiting increases when logs are placed in groups. They love the acids and oxygen from rain noticeably responding to thunder and lightning. Some growers use flashing lights, play thunderstorm music with electrical shocking even rock and roll. Some communities hold peace mediation groups in the center of fruiting circles of logs. Remember that each log is one complete animal and creature so threat them more like pets ~ just never ignore them. China has 4 natural Shiitake varieties. A northern winter and summer variety and a southern winter and summer variety. I use the southern winter and summer varieties recommended by Clay Co Extension Service and Clay County growers. Clay County, Florida, is one of the most commercially concentrated mushroom growing area on Earth. The large natural varieties are not exported from the East and are not grow commercially in the West except by small local producers like us. ALL commercially available varieties are a hybrid prolific created varieties that are grown on sawdust and not logs. These have relatively the same flavor but the chemical composition is quite lacking as compared to the large natural varieties. Most Eastern pharmaceutical companies use prolifics grown on logs. Prolific varieties fruit in 2 to 4 months on sawdust and 6 months on logs ~ after spawn inoculation. Large varieties take 2 years, longer in larger logs. Prolific varieties sell for $5 lb where large varieties sell for $15 in West and $50 lb in East. Many large caps sell for over $100 each.
Much research is underway in the East and West. Many of the impressive health properties are from complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides that have strong immune system building properties. Their ability to inhibit tumor growth works by enhancing host defenses rather than directly affecting tumor cells. These polysaccharides cause the activation of macrophages and T-lymphocytes, stimulation of interferon (a cellular protein produced in response to infection which acts to inhibit viral growth), and the overall enhancement of cell-mediated immune response (Jeff Chilton). They have no toxic effects on humans and are proven clinically safe. We can nutritionally fight viruses, lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Lentinan, an immunostimulant derived from shiitakes, has been used to treat cancer, AIDS, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, and other conditions with impressive results. Researchers S. Suzuki and Oshima published that a raw shiitake eaten daily for one week lowered serum cholesterol by 12%. Redbook Magazine, January 2003, reported that cosmetic companies are making shiitake skin creams because shiitakes contain kojic acid. Kojic acid, according to Natural-skin-care specialist Nora Traviss, "prevents the formation of melanin, or age spots, resulting in a brighter, more even complexion." In addition, kojic acid has an astringent quality that temporarily tightens the skin and makes it taut. Manufacturers of shiitake skin creams include BeComing, SCO, and Chanel. Koljic acid helps intestine walls and organ stay fit and healthy reducing the effects of aging. The Japanese are currently marketing a very expensive radiation/chemo actual cure based on the large fresh ones. Most all "New Age" elixirs are shiitake based with the dried prolifics varieties being used. Much is lost in drying but they do dry easily and store well for years. For sawdust raised prolifics:
Units are per 100g of mushrooms
Component Fresh Mushrooms Dried Mushrooms
Moisture 92.8g 15.8g
Protein 1.5g 12.5g
Fat 0.4g 1.6g
Carbohydrate: Sugar 5.4g 60.0g
Carbohydrate: Fiber 0.6g 5.5g
Ash 0.3g 4.6g
Calcium 8mg 16mg
Phosphorus 39mg 240mg
Iron 0.7mg 3.9mg
Potassium na 1534mg
Sodium low 13/1079mg2
Magnesium na 132/247
Vitamin B1 0.4mg 1.00mg
Vitamin B2 0.4mg 1.00mg
Niacin 4.5mg 10.0mg
Ascorbic acid .3mg cooked 9.4mg/60mg
Provitamin D-2 na .06-.27%
Refuse rate 10% 10%
1 Shiitake has all essential amino acids but is limited in methionine, cystine, & valine.
2 Reported values may vary due to shiitake strains, substrate and methods of analysis. USDA complete analysis:
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2487/2 and http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2488/2.
As we have grow increasing concerned about the future of Earth's forests, many are discovering that mushrooms have something to contribute to forest preservation and forest health. In addition, they leave incredible compost and improved soil structure in their wake. Our current forestry methods stop forest evolution and do not consider mushrooms as a crop. We could raise more protein in our national forest at far less expensive than the beef or pork industry does with their high cost facilities, fences and drugs. Just think, if our forest rangers grew into the Forest Clan they would be rich and we would be healthy!
Shiitake are easy to grow and beautiful art. Shiitake contains all essential amino acids plus a great blend of vitamins, minerals and magical carbs. Shiitake strengthens the immune system against cancer and viral infections.Shiitake dramatically reduces serum cholesterol and blood pressure. Shiitake absorbs fat and helps you lose weight.
AVAILABLE with 3 varieties of Shiitakes spawn in 2 types of Oak logs!!
1. Keep damp but not wet. Keep shaded but not dark.
2. Japanese method ~ Soak every 3 days or when dry.
OR Chinese method ~ Use drip line with timer and cover with tarp.
3. Store between 5 and 95 F.
4. Turn logs occasionally (or every 3 months).
5. Prolific variety fruits October.
6. Winter variety fruit November to January.
7. Summer variety fruits February (Spring and sometimes Summer/Fall).
8. Soak log for 24 hours to encourage fruiting ~ keeping white splotches growing on ends.
9. Pick every 3 days.
10. Dry mushrooms in non-humid, low light area until leathery. Or freeze immediately.
11. Mushrooms kept in refrig. naturally dry ~ no air tight containers.
12. Always protect from Squirrels and deer!
13. Soak for 24 hrs for insects or during dry periods. Wipe with alcohol for "colorful" fungi growth.
1. Place large heavy high quality plastic bag in box, paper box will do.
2. Place well soaked shiitake log in bag in box.
3. Fold plastic bag closed but do not seal.
4. Monitor water saturation of log by weight or heaviness frequently.
5. When log is dry or light in weight add a wet bath towel inside box.
6. Store in cool place less than 70F. Temperatures between 40F and 60F are best. Rotate log occasionally.
7. Place log on 2 bricks inside bag for better growth pattern.
8. Needs small amount of occasional light.
9. Freeze log in freezer to stimulate.
10. Store in refrigerator in paper bag for resting periods or long term storage.
How long have humans been stumped by stumps? Ever consider eating your stump? I have. I had 2 oak stumps near my shiitake mushroom grow area pop out with shiitakes. When I stepped on one and it completely mushed under my boot so I decided to look alittle closer. It seems that the mycelium or growth colony had grown down into the roots and had eaten the entire stump, completely deteriorating an eighteen inch stump within 3 years. How handy!
Oyster mushrooms seem to work best, colonizing faster and most easily. Oyster mushrooms colonize most any kind of wood. Shiitakes like hard woods and colonize more slowly. Reishe and meitake should work, along with any other log living variety, however, these are harder to get started and only fruit between 60 and 80 degrees. The first time out I suggest oyster mushroom sawdust plugs. One might even consider on a larger stump using several different mycelium varieties at once but let's get the process first.
My method is to use a fresh cut stump leaving it tall, 3 feet sticking out of ground if possible. This will give you alot more fruiting area grow room for picking mushrooms for you to eat, help colonize the base and be an area at a different temperature from the soil temperature, increasing the fruiting range or temperature at which your mushrooms grow on the extend portion.
It is okay if the stump is shorter but alittle sticking out of the ground is good. You will need to cut a 6 inch disk from the top one of the stump and set it aside. Now just plug around the log portion sticking out of the ground with the usual ~ every 8 inch spacing length wise on logs, every 2 inches around the circumference of log. If stump is short then plug around the base and top every 2 inches. Take some of your sawdust plugs and smash them up on the top of your stump. Scatter this spawn evenly and place the 6 inch disk you cut and set aside earlier on top of the just smashed up spawn. You could nail a band across it to hold it in place or not but cover this with a clear plastic bag of industrial strength and tie around it with a rope then nail down rope if need be. Bag will help pull up soil water as well as give a growth chamber to get your stump started. Cover the whole deal with a tarp to further protect it from invading competitive fungi and help with moisture. I placed attractive rocks around stump on tarp as weights with a huge hunk of rose quartz on top!
My stumps began fruiting at the soil line first then on top with massive amounts. The massive amounts were the roots being digested by the mycelium then being brought to the surface. Remember that mycelium is animal and that mushrooms are its fruit. We are using plugs grown from old logs. These are dowel made from compressed sawdust. They are 3/8 inch in diameter requiring a 3/8 inch drill bit for hole drilling. Plugs are 1/2 inch long and should be hammered into stump to just below the bark line (counter sunk). Drilling the holes alittle deep and leaving some sawdust in the bottom of these holes tends to serve as baby food for the new mycelium making a small starting point growth chamber in every hole. Fill in the top of the holes with wax by burning a bees wax candle, dripping wax in the holes to prevent other fungus colonizations especially around base. Water the stump around base near fruiting time for best production. Stumps seem to produce more each year and should give minimal production for several years depending on size and type of wood/mycelium. Most stumps are gone for most purposes in 3 years. Oysters are the fastest. Shiitakes the most nutritious and longest lasting but only on hard woods. Reishi and maitake are great for large long term stump gardens as in a huge Live Oak stump in the front yard from storm damage or your children's favorite tree. Fruit tree stumps and different woods give us different flavors as do the different mushrooms. Multi-fruiting stumps should be done in sections not levels. I do not suggest using more than 3 varieties in any one stump unless it is a huge stump with many natural sections. Put different types in different sections with warmer fruiting varieties toward sun, cold away. Get the recipe book!
Shiitakes attract deer and squirrels. I hear loose cows/horses will "get into them". A large shiitake stump should make an excellent long term deer attracter. A chicken wire cage over stump should stop any wildlife who wants to eat your stump.
To hold a workshop at your stump contact Pat High, www.pmhigh.com, 386-546-6554, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soak fresh killed shiitake fed squirrel in vinegar for 24 hours for wild taste. Or soak in salt water for natural taste.
Cut into 4 quarter pieces. Coat with batter ~ corn meal, flour, nut meal with egg & alittle water. Ad Japanese wasabi powder to batter for extra wild taste ~ rabbit especially.
Fry in fresh corn oil ~ Cover for making very tender.
Soak squirrel over night in wine or vinegar if tough or wild.
Put fresh, cooked or powdered shiitake in blender with alittle milk or water. Add to traditional dumpling recipe with alittle added nut meal (pecan or walnut esp). Roll out, cut into strips.
Cut squirrel into 4 quarters. Place in baking dish with quarter cup of wine or sherry. Add butter, black pepper, shiitakes and a nice fresh vegetable, hard squash &/or onion, garlic, salt or soy sauce.
Bake for 15 minutes and then add dumpling to hot boiling squirrel liquid one at the time. Coating well. Bake 15 more minutes, maybe 30.
Take large quarter of venison. Soak over night in vinegar or wine if tough or strong wild flavor.
I find venison dry so I add one to 2 stick of butter, a good bit of fresh sliced ginger, several large sliced shiitakes, a quarter cup of wine or sherry, alotta black pepper, alittle red, soy sauce or salt.
Wrap in foil or place in covered dish and bake at 350F or 300F for large piece for 3 to 5 hours.
Slices nicer alittle cool but while still hot.
Add nuts &\or ground beef and one looses alotta the mushroom flavor for an excellent "nut burger" or flavor changer.
Place raw or cooked shiitakes in a blender until smooth.
Added to noodles will coat noodles. They will taste/appear to be shiitake noodles. EXCELLENT!
Added to soups ~ makes incredible broth and total flavor.
Added to dumplings or breads ~ excellent!!!
Pickling means acid treatment. Mild acids like vinegars are popular. Place uncooked shiitake with garlic, whatever or just shiitakes in scalded canning jar.
On stove, boil in pot, a solution of half vinegar and half water with various herbs and peppers. Salt to taste. Salt will help with preservation so add some. Alittle clove is interesting, also. Ginger, basil or turmeric are all great! Dill works.
Pour or dip boiling hot solution into packed jars. Cover with scalded lids immediately. Let sit 2 weeks to pickle in cool place.
Place seperately on paper. Several layers of newspaper or cardboard. Place in dry place until rubbery. Check and move about. Then continue process until crunchy. I place in attic or above the wood stove overnight until very crunchy. Bag/jar and seal.
To re-hydrate ~ soak in warm water for an hour, slice and add to any recipe.
Muscatake Wine Mixed one third chopped shiitakes with 2 thirds muscadine grapes. Smash up. Followed a normal batch 10 gallon process. Placed in bottles at 2 months. Added sugar to half for a sweet shiitake muscadine wine. Ultra Most Excellent!!!
Boil chopped, blendered smooth or whole shiitakes with peppers, broccoli garlic &/or whatever for 3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add small amount of salt to help with preservation or larger amounts for salty hors d'oeuvres. Spoon into heated, scalded jars and seal tight. Cool slowly.
Many oils boil at a lower temperature than water. Shiitakes canned at lower temperature than the boiling point of water are considered a raw food product. The water based vitamins and nutrients that denature/are destroyed by such action are preserved in low temperature oil canning. Olive oil and even lower temperature green tea oil are good examples of low temperature cooking oils. Sesame oil is high temperature cooking oil that is an example of an oil that when added makes product able to take exposure to higher temperature and longer term storage.
Boil chopped, blendered smooth or whole shiitakes along with peppers, broccoli, garlic &/or whatever for 3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add small amount of salt to help with preservation or larger amounts for salty hors d'oeuvres. Spoon into heated, scalded jars and seal tight with scaled lids. Cool slowly. Left over oil is incredible for salads, whatever!!!
For Animal or Human ~ Burns, abrasions, skin conditions, aging, age spots
Half boil shiitakes in nice oil or oil combination with, maybe, some herb leaves. I use olive or peanut oil with a dash of rose and hemp oil. Lavender oil is antiseptic. Blend smooth in blender or food processor. Heat back to boil for 3 minutes. Use double boiler if need be. Spoon into small scalded canning jars and cover with scalded canning lid. One can add milk to the mix for added skin care but does not keep as well.
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
3 cups sliced shiitake caps
6 cups whole grain bread crumbs
(containing nuts or ground beef optional)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper for mild
1/2 cup chicken broth
Prep time ~ 15 minutes
Cook time ~ 40 minutes
Stuffing or casserole:
Preheat oven to 325F. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add celery, onion and shiitakes. Saute' for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Stir bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, sage, salt and peppers. Stir in chicken broth, enough to moisten bread. Stuff vegetables, birds, fish, pork or beef for grill or baking. Baking time is based of the stuffed thing. Zucchini or acorn squash are excellent!
Or bake in casserole dish for 40 minutes if baked in bread pan for slicing (for sandwiches or wraps). Less if in thin dish.
Per Serving: For no nut stuffing ~ 274 calories, 44g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 8g fat, 3g fiber, 15mg cholesterol, 624mg sodium mostly from the salt.
Add ground meat, chopped shiitake, chopped veggies, egg before chicken broth and moisten until will make patties. Pattiess can be frozen, grilled or fried. I use bacon grease (shame on me)! Make patties thin for wraps.
Take large fresh shiitake. Dip in butter or olive oil or batter. Grill, bake or fry. Add cheese slice, bun, lettuce, tomato, the works Grilled Shiitake Burger! Treat like traditional "hamburger". Add ground nuts or wasabi for additional flavor.
30 fresh shiitake caps
2/3 cup good-quality sake
4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sugar
Clean the mushroom caps and remove stems. In a saucepan, combine the sake, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the mushrooms. Simmer for 7 minutes. Remove mushrooms and use in a salad immediately, or cool to use later with grilled meats.
1 Cup self raising corn meal (or natural corn meal with baking powder/soda added. Use baking soda with buttermilk and baking powder with milk).
1/4 cup fresh chopped shiitakes.
1/4 cup pecan meal or finely chopped nuts if available.
1 Tablespoon cooking oil.
Pour in hot greases iron skillet and place in preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes or until golden. Remove and run knife around outter ring of iron skillet. Place plate over iron skillet and turn over while hot. Slice like pie. Butter while Hot!
Pour batter on hot grittle. Turn when bubbles appear. Fry golden on both sides. Butter while Hot!
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