We do sell “loose” mushrooms as well, please be in touch for pricing and availability.
Shiitake stems should be removed from caps. Simply break them away. Trim the end that grew out of the log, as you might find a tough nub or even a small chip of bark. If you feel any “cleaning” of these mushrooms is necessary, use a mushroom brush or a very soft, never-used-for-painting paint brush (that’s what we use. very soft. very fast). The stems are very tasty, with a chewier texture than the cap. Don’t discard so much taste! You can immediately chop the stems, fresh, in your food processor. Or you can slice them thin. Then include in your mushroom prep, or store separate to use later in soups or stocks or teas (the stems are diced, of course, and work really well in a soup or stock, or eggs!).
For some fantastic information, some great recipes, check out the Mushrooming Together blog.
Here’s some valuable information I will share with you. The source is Field & Forest Products
Putting Up Your Harvest:“Too Many Mushrooms!” This happy complaint is always followed by a request for advice on the best way to preserve them… All mushrooms keep their freshest taste when sliced or chopped, sauteed with a bit of butter or oil, and then placed in the freezer. Freeze in amounts that you’ll most frequently use for one dish, usually 1-2 cups. Experiment with additions: Shiitake sauteed qwith onion, garlic and a pinch of salt, add a dash of soy sauce; Oyster mushrooms with onion and chopped red pepper; Wine Caps with walnut oil and thyme. A cup of these mushrooms thawed and heated can make a delicious, quick meal when used as a burrito filling, a topping for eggs or meats, or when blended to make soup.
….Most mushrooms can also be dried, but many often lose much of their flavor once rehydrated. Exceptional successes can be achieved with both Shiitake and Maitake. Shiitake can be dried as whole caps or slices; stems can also be dried and pulverized for adding flavor to stews and soups.
Medicine and Mushrooms:The western world is slowly discovering what Asian herbalists have known for thousands of years… that, apart from their nutritional value, mushrooms are good for you! In Asia, mushrooms have traditionally been prescribed in conjunction with chemotherapies and other therapies we label “alternative”. In recent years western medicine has taken a more serious look at the potential medicinal properties of various mushroom species. Though studies are ongoing, some promising results have surfaced which link mushroom components with aiding treatments for cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease….
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), is prized for anticancer effects, immune system boosting and reducing cholesterol. It is also a good source of protein.
this is an enormous shiitake, unusually large, full pan sized!
some wine caps in their straw home
shiitake on the log, ready to be picked
the undersided gills
a grey dove oyster mushroom growing on it’s “totem log”
an italian oyster on it’s totem log
some more gorgeous shiitake on log
above, our shiitake growing on natural logs
below are some of our spring Oyster Mushrooms, lovely and delicious
and a close up of our harvested spring shiitake mushroom, beautiful and tasty too!
January 22, 2013: Vitamin D:
Mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D in the vegetable kingdom
Mushrooms convert UV light into Vitamin D, as does the human body
All mushrooms contain Vitamin D2
Mushrooms grown outdoors (all of ours are), exposed to natural UV light, are higher in Vitamin D
Dried mushrooms have higher Vitamin D than fresh
Vitamin D is a powerful immune enhancer
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin we humans acquire from exposure to sunlight or from foods containing it.
(source Eden Foods)
14 February 2012
My work on mushrooms this time of year is in the woods! Not many other places I’d rather be – the snow hanging heavy in the trees, white all around, sounds dampened, and the slightest sun and it all becomes brilliant! Yeah, not a lot of other places I’d rather be.
I am in the woods this time of year to cut wood. I trade our abundance of dead, standing elm (firewood) for thinnings of oak. The oak is growing thick and crowded. Selective thinnings remove “excess” and leave the remaining oaks “more”. More of what they need to grow larger and healthier into the future.
I am also planning our spawn orders. Basically ordering seeds. I’ll be innoculating the freshest oak shortly. We are really excited, and in great anticipation of eating mushrooms!
28 October 2011
below you’ll see a recent photo of the Wine Cap bed…. peaceful, resting…. innoculating!
I will thicken the straw mulch for the winter. Add some more spawn in the spring. I’m assured we’ll have blooms and blooms and blooms in the spring! Ahhhh, dear spring!
12 October 2011 – Mushroom CSA 2011
We’ve been eagerly watching and tending the Oyster and Wine Cap varieties of mushrooms. These are the types we anticipated delivering in half pound batches, six times in 2011.
I anticipated Oysters first, Wine Caps second, and a period of great overlap too! We did innoculations beyond big enough to support our sign-up’s. We seeded multiple varieties in various ways as a back-up measure too. I had very high levels of confidence – given what I’d been taught, what I’d learned, and then what I did!
I’ve been humbled. Which is good. What have I learned? There is very little hardcopy written information on cultivating these varieties of mushrooms. One of the trainers I learned from here in Michigan also had poor results with the Wine Caps in the first year of innoculation (definitely not with the Oysters). I’ve been in touch with the company which supplied our spawn (seed) (Field and Forest Products). They’ve really got the experience, and most of it, I think now, is passed on orally – or, at this point, via email and their new-this-year blog. One of the mushroom trainings I attended last winter was lead by one of their founders, Joe Krawczyk. The Wine Caps and the Oysters are almost impossible to “force”. (You can “force” the shiitake.)
These varieties, as shiitake, really respond when the weather shifts with the seasons. So, what does that mean? August – September are usual times to expect solid blooms. I waited. Time passed, as did those months. Okay. September – October? I really thought the cool snap two weeks ago would’ve really popped them (meant in a good way). It hasn’t.
Their innoculation period – basically the time they infest the medium, colonize and root – has a general guideline range. We are well within that range, and have been. We planted very early spring for same season fall harvests. Then the mushrooms break through the winter, and fruit heavy next spring too. Our spawn source is saying, “Patience! More Time!”.
We’ve seen small blooms of the mushroom varieties through the last 4 weeks. I’ve been anticipating a “later” mushroom season. I anticipated seeing a trickle at first, leading to a torrent afterward.
At this point I really don’t think this will happen this year. Each and every source I consult assures me, as best they can!, that the spawn run is right on schedule. Just not my schedule!
So, I cannot deliver half pound mushroom batches to you six times this year. Would you like a full refund? Or, would you like me to keep your payment and deliver to you next year? Or, do you have another suggestion? (Here we are, together, putting the CSA commitment to the test!) Please let me know, either way. Email is probably best, helps me have a record. You’re welcome to call, if that’s better for you.
thank you for your patience and understanding!
7 october 2011 – Oyster
Yesterday was our first harvest of Oysters! It was very small and eventful! We harvested 1.5 pounds of Gray Dove Oyster mushrooms. They appeared almost other-wordly; gray almost silver, flawless, beautiful…
We ate a small batch last night – so absolutely delicious! Oh how we love cooked mushrooms!
We will do our absolute best to deliver your share to you this fall. If we cannot satisfy the commitment before they cease for the winter, we will pause and continue as soon as they show in the spring! (The CSA Mushroom Share 2011 is a combination of Wine Caps and Oysters, see more info below.)
This information is taken directly from Field and Forest Products : “Oysters are delicious chopped and sauteed, with or without the addition of onions, garlic and other seasonings. For “putting them by”, fill a small zipper bag and freeze for future easy and tastey additions to a soup, entree or breakfast omelet. You can also dry them however the result is somewhat tasteless and tough. One of our favorite easy meals is to thaw a package of frozen sauteed Oyster mushrooms, warm them through in a skillet and add chopped scallions and bacon pieces and spoon into a warm tortilla with or without grated cheese. Kids will not just eat these… they will like them.”
Sautee before freezing for future use!
7 October 2011 – Wine Cap
We’ve seen signs of Wine Caps being right on the cusp of emerging! (The CSA Mushroom Share for 2011 is a combination of Wine Caps and Oysters.) The Wine Caps are larger, more substantial, less delicate than the Oysters. The fully developed Wine Caps may remind you of Portabella in size, and are great for grilling and making sandwhiches!
With both the Wine Caps and the Shiitake, you do not eat the stems! They can be quite tough! The best suggestion I’ve heard for the stems: Dry them. Then grind them into a powder. Freeze. Use the powder to make a mushroom broth or stock, or a tea.
This information is quoted directly from Field and Forest Products, “Slice and sautee caps and add to sauces or spoon over pasta, meats or toast. Fully developed mushroom caps are best painted with olive oil and grilled. The small ones are delicious braised or stewed whole.”
31 July 2011 – Shiitake
Early this year we innoculated 250 natural logs with shiitake spawn. The logs are oak and maple. We do not have sizable oak or maple in quantity on our property. We traded firewood from our place (almost exclusively dead and standing elm) to neighbors. Neighbors who were in the midst of oak and maple timber stand thinnings already!
Part of my intrigue with the shiitake process involves the potential for forest and timber management. Both trainings I attended highlighted this aspect – value adding and health of timber stands.
We have quantity of dead and standing elm. This is really great firewood, though I can hardly keep up year to year. We only burn so much wood to heat our home. Other neighbors have “too dense” oak or maple stands, which would benefit from thinnings. All of the cutting I’ve done has been selective – benefitting those specimen trees remaining.
The neighborliness has been very rewarding too, of course. It’s given me more of a chance to visit and work with more of my neighbors. This is good for all of us.
Above you see some of those 250 innoculated logs. (The white spots on the logs, visible in some of the pictures, are the actual sites on the log where I “planted” the innoculant.) They are “resting” in their “laying yard”. As another aspect of woods management, we have a few small patches of plantation evergreens. The county forester says their too small for commercial interest.
But, they’re twenty-some years old. They’ve become leggy, thin, poles reaching high. At this point they are thinned by half. So, roughly, every other row is removed. This leaves the remaining trees more space, less competition. It forces the remaining trees to grow stronger, more independent. They are less intertwined with their neighbors, and must stand alone.
If we grow our tomatoes too close for too long in their flats, they become leggy and struggle to adequately stand on their own once transplanted outside. They’ve grown so close in such a tight stand together that they really lean on one another. Once you remove that neighboring support they often collapse. This is what the evergreen thinning is hoping to avoid in these plantation settings.
The shiitake need a very shaded, wind-protected, high humidity setting to thoroughly innoculate the logs in their first year. The plantation is a highly recommended site for this!
I chose a row which had grown poorly, thinly already. I had to remove only about 10 trees to make a full, open aisle. So far, so good – as far as I can tell!
March 2011 – Mushroom Offering
We will be adding a selection of mushrooms for the 2011 season, as well as offerings for the 2012 season. I will be plugging away at this web page as best I can – feel free to contact us if interested in the mushroom offerings! You can check the csa sign-up tab to read some info about the mushrooms………