Spawn is now available (as of spring 2015) as bulk sawdust spawn in bags. Bulk sawdust spawn will require a drill and a bit, an inoculating tool. The holes will need to be sealed with wax to prevent the spawn from drying out and killing the mycelium. It can be used for logs or stumps. See a precis of the log inoculation process and see about Shiitake Log Production & Management.
You can only use FRESH LOGS, or freshly cut stumps. Old logs that have been laying in the bush for longer than six months WILL NOT work. They are either too dried out or contaminated with other fungi.
The best success is achieved with fresh winter cut logs. In other words they should be cut as the leaves are falling or later, and before the leaves come – before leaf bud – out in the spring. This will ensure the highest concentrations of vitamins and nutrients in the sap wood for the mycelium. Inoculation should take place in the early spring when the temperature is above 10 C or 55 F. There is no point in inoculating at much lower temperatures because the spawn will not be very active. Moreover fresh mycelium can be adversely affected by very low temperatures. Ideally inoculation should be finished before temperatures rise above 18 C or 70 F as higher temperatures can lead to more contamination.
For Shiitake, if your logs are cut in late fall or winter, inoculation can take place immediately in the spring. Logs can be cut up until the sap begins to run – best if they are cut before mid-March. If however they are cut just before leaf out, it is advisable to leave the logs for several weeks or a month so that secondary, anti-fungal substances produced by the living log can break down; these substances can inhibit the Shiitake mycelium. Be careful however not to dry out the logs. Do not leave them fully exposed to the sun, especially for long periods of time/hours in the late afternoon. The ideal moisture content should be close to 40%. If you think the logs are too dry you can soak, or sprinkle them with water for 24 hours several days prior to inoculation.
SAWDUST SPAWN IS STRICTLY MADE TO ORDER AND MUST BE PREPAID
WE PREPARE SPAWN IN MARCH AND DELIVER FROM APRIL TO JUNE; CUSTOMERS IN BC CAN REQUEST EARLIER DELIVERY
LARGE ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY MARCH 15
SMALL ORDERS CAN BE PLACED UNTIL APRIL
LOGS SHOULD BE CUT IN THE WINTER FOR SPRING INOCULATION
Each 2.5 kilo bag of spawn will inoculate 20 to 25 logs that are 4 feet long, depending on the diameter of the log. Larger diameter logs can take more spawn and thinner logs can take less. More spawn can be used around knots in the wood and wounds.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) (wide temperature range strain) and Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus, variety – Grey Dove)
1 ———– 1.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 20.00/bag. Enough spawn to inoculate 10 – 15 logs. We are not making this size of bag in 2017.
1 ———– 2.5 kg. bags………………CDN$ 40.00/bag. Enough spawn to inoculate 25 – 30 logs depending on log diameter.
2-6 ———– 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 30.00/bag
7-15 ———– 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 26.00/bag
16-30 ———– 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 23.00/bag
31-49 ———– 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 21.00/bag
50-99 ———– 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 20.00/bag
100 or more—— 2.5 kg. bags ……………..CDN$ 18.00/bag
This picture shows the development of the spawn in the log using sawdust spawn versus wooden dowel spawn. These logs were inoculated at the same time. The sawdust spawn runs more quickly through the sapwood and logs inoculated with sawdust spawn and will “fruit” earlier than those inoculated with dowel spawn. The caption below says “Sawdust plug” but refers to loose spawn (we no longer make sawdust spawn in the plug format).