For my birthday last December my sister gave me a crop of shiitake mushrooms, and today we got them started. Cathleen ordered plug spawn (1,000 plugs for each of us), and cut some of her smaller oak trees into 4-5 foot lengths. The logs, which sat for about two weeks, contain nutrients the shiitakes need to grow.
We drilled holes in rows along the logs, four inches apart.
We then began tapping in the plugs. (The dogs were exhausted.)
Finally we covered all the plug holes, the ends of the logs and any gashes in the wood with a food grade soy wax.
We will need to keep the logs moist, in order for the mushroom mycelium to grow and colonize the log. They will go dormant in the winter, and should begin to grow through the log next spring. All going well, we will have a lot of mushrooms to eat, dry, and share.