Oyster mushroom log
Buy an Oyster log from us and start fruiting your own gourmet mushrooms at home!
Please take time to read the instruction leaflet when you receive your log. Its available here as a PDF, and you will get a leaflet when you purchase your log.
We inoculate our Oyster mushrooms into poplar logs. Oyster mycelium is particularly vigorous, and will colonise the log very quickly. Cooler weather prompts fruiting. The logs will fruit naturally over the winter. Once purchased, keep the log in a damp shady area of the garden watering the log in dry spells throughout the summer.
Oysters can be picked in a cluster, or left to grow on until the caps are four or five inches across. This fruiting process can be initiated by soaking the logs, and is also triggered by temperature changes in the spring and autumn. Best cooked slowly and gently. The Japanese use Oysters in soups where their health giving properties are most accentuated.
Logs are approximately 30cm long and between 10-25cm in diameter. An Oyster log will fruit for up to three years and you can expect 2 harvests a year.
'Shock' the logs to initiate fruiting by (i) knocking one end of the log sharply on hard ground and (ii) totally immersing it in COLD water (the icier the better!) for 48 hours. The water should be non-chlorinated, ie rainwater or tap water left to stand overnight. Place the log in a sheltered, shady spot. Logs should start fruiting within 1 - 4 weeks, forming in 'flushes'. Oyster fruits better in cold winter conditions.
Gently cut the mushrooms off the log. It's as simple as that! Oysters are best cooked slowly and gently. You can also dry them (thread on a piece of string and leave in a dark airy place), and then reconstitute them when you are ready to use.
After picking the mushrooms leave the log outside on the earth in a damp shaded place for six months to 'recuperate', then soak the log to start the second fruiting flush. Frost and snow are no problem. This resting period is for the mycelium to recolonise the sapwood of the log, and extract more nutrient for the oyster mushrooms.
The small print
Log cultivation of mushrooms is a practice that is subject to the whims of nature. With careful management, each log should produce around 2lbs of mushrooms over its lifetime, but success factors such as wind, temperature and humidity are uncontrollable. Log cultivation is not an exact science and requires patience, time and a little luck. Please persevere!