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Old 07-08-2014, 06:42 PM   #1
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Default Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

The Japanese word "maitake" means "dancing mushroom" because people in ancient times were said to dance for joy when they found these mushrooms, which were literally worth their weight in silver. In North America it is called Hen of the Woods because its appearance looks like the ruffled feathers of a chicken.

Now, we will try our hand at growing the dancing mushroom.

Why Grow Maitake

Even Web MD touts the health benefits of Maitake mushrooms.
Maitake mushroom is used to treat cancer and also to relieve some of the side effects of chemical treatment (chemotherapy) for cancer. It is also used for HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, hay fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss or control, and infertility due to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome.
We had pretty good success with our Shiitake mushroom log culture inoculation last spring. Thus, I am hopeful that our temperate zone 7 climate will favor the maitake.

There is a good bit of money savings associated with good health. Adding home grown mushrooms to your diet of other garden foods, saves money. If nothing else, that is another expense you have eliminated. If it is a pharmaceutical expense, then all the better. A lot of those chemicals they sell just make us dependent and weak due to side effects, and there is often a natural alternative that is just as good with fewer unintended consequences.

Procedures for Growing


It may be that the log culture used for growing shiitake will not work so well with maitake. My research indicates that the best culture for naturally growing maitake (and reishi) mushrooms is on decomposing oak stumps. We do not have any freshly cut stumps presently so we are trying log culture.

First, I ordered some spawn from Mushroom Mountain in Liberty, South Carolina. The mycelia produced locally will give me a better chance of successfully growing this mushroom. As you can see from the picture above, the mycelia are contained in small dowels.

About three weeks before the spawn arrived, I cut a large branch from my white oak tree, and cut it further into three three foot-long sections. The log was between 5 - 8 inches in diameter.


Next, I used a drill to cut holes the same size as the dowels in a diamond pattern around the logs. The holes were about 4-5 inches apart. The idea is that the mycelium will spread throughout the wood and produce fruit next year or maybe two years from now.

I tapped the dowels into the holes and sealed the top with melted bees' wax. It's rainy season here in western North Carolina. I set the logs against the north side of a large white oak. This should keep them protected from the sun and the prevailing wind. You want the logs to stay moist to promote growth of the maitake mycelium.

The best practice is to bury the logs in sandy soil so that they will stay moist. I will probably do this later when I figure out where I would like to set up my maitake patch.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

Nice! I have been drinking a lot of kombucha lately. I may have to try running off a batch.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

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Nice! I have been drinking a lot of kombucha lately. I may have to try running off a batch.
I harvested a bunch of my shiitaki mushrooms earlier this year. Found a great recipe.

1. Mix some worcester sauce, olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and red wine to make a sauce.

2. Remove the stems and place the shiitaki caps upside down (gills up) in the baking pan. Spoon the sauce into the gills.

3. Bake them in the oven at 325 for 40 minutes.

These are so awesome. I cannot wait until I can harvest another batch. Problem is I think the deer figured out they could eat the shiitaki. Bastards.
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Old 07-10-2014, 05:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

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Originally Posted by The Yancey View Post
Nice! I have been drinking a lot of kombucha lately. I may have to try running off a batch.
People might want to see what the American Cancer Society says about Kombucha Tea before they start ingesting it.

http://www.cancer.org/treatment/trea...n/kombucha-tea

Quote:
Because deaths have been linked with the tea, drinking excessive amounts is not recommended. Several experts warn that since home-brewing facilities vary a great deal, the tea could become contaminated with harmful germs. These germs could be especially dangerous to people with HIV, cancer, or other immune problems. Anthrax of the skin has been reported, as has jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes that is usually caused by liver damage. Allergic reactions, possibly to molds in the tea, have been reported.
Kombucha tea should not be brewed in ceramic, lead crystal, or painted containers, as the acidity of the tea can cause it to absorb harmful elements from its container. Lead poisoning has been reported in at least two people who brewed Kombucha tea in a ceramic pot.
Since the potential health risks of Kombucha tea are unknown, anyone with an immune deficiency or any other medical condition should consult a physician before drinking the tea. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use this tea. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

These better be magic mushrooms or gtfo.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

Just judging by the title, I really thought this was a spam post that the mods hadn't gotten around to yet!

What's the weather like up in Tryon? I've considered doing something like that here in Lexington but I'm not sure if the weather is condusive. Good idea about burying them in sand though....perhaps a kiddy pool or something in the walk-in crawl space.

Do you find it to be cost effective, or is it just a good hobby?
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

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Just judging by the title, I really thought this was a spam post that the mods hadn't gotten around to yet!

What's the weather like up in Tryon? I've considered doing something like that here in Lexington but I'm not sure if the weather is condusive. Good idea about burying them in sand though....perhaps a kiddy pool or something in the walk-in crawl space.

Do you find it to be cost effective, or is it just a good hobby?
Tryon is zone 7 with about 60 inches of rain a year. Columbia is probably upper zone 8. The climate is pretty similar. You can find micro climates around you that are likely very similar to mine. Mushrooms are a good crop because they grow in the shade where a lot of other stuff cannot be grown.

The mushroom growing is cost effective in that shiitaki is very expensive. I dabble around a lot in producing my own food (veggies, fruit, berries, dairy, poultry) up here. I don't sell the mushrooms, but if I expanded, it could be a lucrative hobby. I have some friends that sell shiitaki at the local farmer's market.
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Old 07-16-2014, 11:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

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Tryon is zone 7 with about 60 inches of rain a year. Columbia is probably upper zone 8. The climate is pretty similar. You can find micro climates around you that are likely very similar to mine. Mushrooms are a good crop because they grow in the shade where a lot of other stuff cannot be grown.

The mushroom growing is cost effective in that shiitaki is very expensive. I dabble around a lot in producing my own food (veggies, fruit, berries, dairy, poultry) up here. I don't sell the mushrooms, but if I expanded, it could be a lucrative hobby. I have some friends that sell shiitaki at the local farmer's market.
My concern would be the heat more than anything, would that bother them as long as they're wet enough? I figure if they're in the shade I could just set up a drip irrigation system to mist them every so often through the hottest parts of the day. I've got plenty of forest around me so finding shade isn't difficult. I could also put the logs in the walk-in portion of the crawl space underneath the house that we use for storing tools and such, which doesn't experience the same temp extremes.
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Save Money By Growing Your Medicine: Starting A Maitake Mushroom Patch

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My concern would be the heat more than anything, would that bother them as long as they're wet enough? I figure if they're in the shade I could just set up a drip irrigation system to mist them every so often through the hottest parts of the day. I've got plenty of forest around me so finding shade isn't difficult. I could also put the logs in the walk-in portion of the crawl space underneath the house that we use for storing tools and such, which doesn't experience the same temp extremes.
I think you would be better off with the forest. There is a natural moisture level from the trees that would be absent if you put the logs under your house.
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