Initial inoculation

Started ~24 shiitake logs with the help of friends. Red and sugar maples from the family forest near the mountains, inoculated at the family farm.

We used a pickup for powering an angle grinder, as that worked much better than a 12V cordless drill. We stacked wood pallets as tables. Logs were inoculated with plug spawn from Field & Forest (need to follow up and note the strain, but it was ordered as part of their large plug spawn starter kit in addition to some plugs from a fellow grower who teamed up for this work day. We covered plugs with parafin wax which was applied at room temperature, which didn’t work very well in general and especially because it was fairly cold out. We also had melted cheese wax warmed over an electric stove top heater plugged into the truck, applied via spoons and paint brushes (bristled and spongy kinds); the spongy paint brushes were good and the spoons were preferred by many. My grandma served volunteers sandwiches and we had water and lots of smiles on site.

Text below is from the event description that was shared with volunteers. We had a turn out of about a dozen people and the workshop went well.

I’m starting my first batch of shiitake logs and would be happy to have you involved in the inoculation effort if you’re interested! This is on a volunteer basis – I don’t yet have the experience to give a technical workshop, nor the capacity to send volunteers home with any physical items. Due to the small setup, I’m trying to keep this small (5-10 people total). To help with coordination and dealing with that small limit, please RSVP whether you’ll come or not!

If there’s an overwhelming RSVP for this event, I’ll need to limit it to the first bunch of volunteers who expressed interest. This will not be the only chance to learn more about shiitakes and forest farming however, so do not fret!

In terms of what to expect & bring:
We’ll be outdoors under some tree canopy, on the edge of a farm in Baldwinsville. You can park a short walk away from where we’ll be working. There’s drinking water on site. I’ll supply the logs and inoculation gear, so if you just want to bring yourself, that would be enough to do some learning and lend a hand 🙂 I have just about a dozen logs of my own to inoculate, and there may be another dozen from a shiitake grower who may inoculate some of her logs during this work day.

Please let me know if you can bring:
> work gloves (don’t need to be very thick) – for yourself or others.
> warm layers of clothes
> a hammer – for yourself or others.

Otherwise just dress for the weather, and lug your mug/waterbottle!

If my grandma and I manage it, there may also be a shiitake dish to enjoy with the work day!

What do you think?