The Log Growing Method (in picture form).

The first thing that I did was to obtain a hard wood log, in this case I used a four foot piece from an Oak tree and soaked it for a couple of days before taking it out and leaving it to dry for twenty four hours. This will ensure that it has enough moisture content in it to allow the mushroom spawn to start growing.

After I had done this I set about looking for a suitable place to site the log so that it wouldn’t get disturbed. I found a place in my Brother-in-laws wood which was fenced off so no stock could get in and cause any damage. The ground was very damp so it would provide a good base to semi bury the log and provide constant dampness which the log would absorb and aid in growing the Reishi mushrooms.

I dug a shallow trench which followed the contours of the log and buried it to half its depth. I then set about getting my tools which I would be using out of my holdall ready for the next stage of the operation. I brought with me a hammer and a drift to knock the spawn impregated dowels into the holes that I would be drilling, I also brought along a cordless drill, some drill bits, a blow torch, an empty can, some beeswax, a small paint brush, a tape measure, a lighter and the mushroom dowels.

I set about drilling holes in the log starting about two inches from one end and spacing them every six inches apart, once I had done this I drilled another set of holes two inches below the first row and staggered the holes so they didn’t align with the first set. Once I had done this I placed the impregnated dowels into the holes and tapped them down so they were flush with the top of the log using a drift that I had brought with me.

After all the dowels were tapped down flush with the log I lit the blowtorch and placed some beeswax into the empty can I had brought along with me. I made sure all the paper was removed from the outside of the can. I then positioned the blowtorch so that its flame was directed at the side of the can so that the heat would melt the beeswax. Once it had melted and was a liquid in the bottom of the can I used an artists size paint brush to paint the molten wax over the embedded dowels which would seal them.

As I had quite a few mushroom dowels left over I decided to implant them in some of the hardwood trees that grow in this wood. I again drilled one inch holes around some of the trunks and tapped dowels into them. I took great care in making sure that they were sealed with wax as not only would this help the mushrooms germinate but it would also prevent any infection entering the tree. This method may in fact prove more fruitful as the water is drawn up inside the trunk of the tree from its root system which should provide moisture for the reishi musfhroom spawn.

This photograph on the left shows the dowels after they have been sealed with beeswax.

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