We were granted access to understand just what mushrooms and their roots can do. In one room Stamets showed us several jars of liquid extracts of mushrooms, potent elixirs that contained advanced strains of some mycelia. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. Winstead communicates directly with his buying community. Unlike plants, mushrooms do … “Outdoor-grown shiitake logs like shade,” Winstead said. Besides assessing one’s local log or sawdust resources for deciding which to use for growing shiitake, an aspiring mushroom farmer should also consider potential customers. Looking for shiitake mushroom recipes? Also, thimble spawn is available. “My first customers were at the Bellingham Farmers’ Market (in northwestern Washington State),” Winstead said. The results from the current study are comparable in magnitude to the other mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) LCA studies completed. Total GWP impacts range from 2.13 to 2.95 kg CO 2 e/kg of mushroom product depending on the GWP metric selected (Table 1). When I began growing mushrooms I wanted to focus on the even more exotic varieties and not something as popular as shiitake, but over the years (partly inspired by market demand) I have focused more than 90 percent of my business on this mushroom, and it is the one species I will eat any day of the week.”, Winstead continued, “Shiitake is one of the most used and studied of the medicinal mushrooms. The holes are filled with loose sawdust spawn, which is a mixture of sawdust and the chosen fungal mycelium, then sealed with food-grade wax. It turned out to be a big misunderstanding. Winstead said 99 percent of the fresh and dried shiitake available at stores and restaurants are grown indoors on sawdust. The drilling and filling process is slightly different for these alternatives, but the overall process is similar. The resulting sterilized sawdust is inoculated with shiitake mycelium and the bag set aside, often in a growing room, for the mycelium to grow or “run” — doing its natural job of breaking down wood. Its ability to defend itself from outside pathogens makes it valuable in medicine and as food. Shiitake is native to East Asia. It was founded by Alex Winstead, who studied mycology, botany and organic chemistry in college before starting the mushroom farm in his rented suburban basement and garage. Partially cover and simmer gently over medium-low, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are soft and the sauce has reduced to coat the meat rather thickly, about 30 minutes. Commercial production was introduced in the 1930s first by inoculating select logs, and later by growing mushrooms on sterilized sawdust, which sped up production. Taste and season with salt. Aspiring shiitake farmers can also check local agriculture extension services. Sources of the logs are usually either the farmer’s own woodlot or logs resulting from timberland improvement. It resembled cole slaw but it smelled like earth—rich, living, slightly pungent Earth that I can’t help but inhale one more time. “Conversely, if a log is grown indoors under controlled conditions the opposite will be true and the mushroom will resemble a typical commercial sawdust-grown shiitake. Burly and bearded, Stamets has the look of a man who knows something about mushrooms. “Here, smell this,” Stamets says, pushing a handful of bunched up mycelium toward my nose. “It is both a pleasure to grow with a fascinating life cycle, and it is my favorite mushroom to eat day-to-day. Environment for Mushroom Growth. But it’s the lesser known specimens, strains like turkey tail, oyster and agarikon mushrooms that Stamets wants to study for ways they can, in his words, save the planet. White button mushrooms have antioxidants that can reduce risk of heart disease. Some suppliers who give live workshops also offer consultation as well as print and online learning resources. There’s immense power in mycelium, he says, for things like boosting human immunity, cleaning up oil spills, and guarding against outbreaks of disease. “In our area this is not a very hard thing to find. Some of the information can be adapted to any location. For the aspiring shiitake mushroom farmer, live workshops, preferably in a similar bio-region, can be invaluable. It can cause stomach discomfort, blood … Shiitake mushroom is the most widely cultivated and one of the most thoroughly researched and documented medicinal mushrooms. Cascadia Mushrooms of Bellingham, Washington, is a USDA and Washington State Department of Agriculture certified organic producer of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake. One of the key roles that mushrooms play in natural systems is the decomposition of dead organic matter. The farm sells mushroom kits and spawn through farmers’ markets as well as online through its website and garden centers. Once the basics are understood, a grower can then adapt somewhat to his or her own growing region and goals for the farm. Shiitake extract may also cause digestive problems and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Meatless Mondays: Shiitake Mushroom Consommé ... Not only is eating less animal protein a healthy diet choice, but curbing your meat consumption can have a significant environmental impact too. In the wild, shiitake mushrooms grow on fallen forest hardwood logs, and there are many different strains of shiitake. She also writes for the Micro Eco-Farming Center. Stamets is one of the world’s leading mycologists (meaning that he studies mushrooms and their root... On a small mushroom farm tucked away about an hour south of Seattle, Paul Stamets has his nose in the dirt. Once that row is complete, the log is rolled to start another row 2 inches away, and this is repeated until the log is covered with as many holes as possible without them being too close together. It is also known to reduce inflammation. Its history dates back thousands of years and research continues today on the beneficial effects of shiitake in combating cancer and viruses as well as being an excellent source of vitamin D, beta glucans, healthy protein and amino acids.”. The industry of composting urban waste for disposal differs from our mushroom composting goals. | Engineered by. 1. Under the soil everywhere on Earth is the largest network of organism-to-organism communication—the natural Internet, he calls it. Extensively cultivated throughout the world, this mushroom is … Winstead says that growing them “indoors versus outdoors” also plays an important part in the quality of the mushroom. improve environmental performance of shiitake were selected, and potential impact reductions were assessed. It can be seen that 1 kg of shiitake production caused potential impacts of 1.87 kg CO2 eq, 0.02 kg SO2 eq and 0.59 kg oil eq in the categories of Once I was able to produce more shiitake, my mushrooms got the interest of Bellingham’s Community Food Coop and the Mount Bakery Cafe, both of which have supported my farm and me from the get-go and continue to this day to be some of my favorite and best clients. “Isn’t it amazing, ahh, I could smell this all day.”. “If you take one of our shiitake sawdust blocks and grow it outdoors it will be almost identical to those grown on logs,” said Winstead. People today, especially in our region, want to be connected to their food and the people who help bring it to them. Dried shiitake can last for two or more years in a sealed container. Chitin is bendable yet tough. Finally, Cascadia Mushrooms sells mushroom compost in limited quantities, by appointment, direct from the farm. They also have an excellent shelf life. Urban composters promote slow temperature composting (110-130 °F) in small piles that support very active thermophilic fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. It also has many beneficial vitamins and minerals.This mushroom contains Lentinan. If workshops aren’t available nearby or if they are otherwise not possible to attend, a new mushroom farmer can also get a feel for shiitake growing in a learn-as-you-go way by obtaining pre-inoculated shiitake logs from a supplier and practicing growing shiitake within their own farm’s environment, asking the supplier questions along the way. In: S.T. During dry summers we cover our stacks in 60 percent shade cloth, and I turn a sprinkler on them once a week for a couple hours when it’s not raining. A week before our visit, in fact, a company he declined to identify called and asked him to name his price in exchange for some of his most hard-to-find strains that have potential for new drugs. Cascadia Mushrooms has a different theory and grows only a small portion as log-grown, using sawdust as the growing medium for most of its crop. In a Ted Talk that Stamets gave in 2011, he tried to make the case that mushrooms have potential to do more for the planet than any other life form, humans included. Oyster mushrooms in particular are being tested for their ability to clean up oil spills. Spiritual healing and wellbeing could be their most important impact on humans.” – Shiitake Mama A search for “shiitake” at the university’s website will lead to these resources. Being a part of people’s lives and sharing my work with them is the most rewarding part of my job, and it’s really the reason my business exists.”. Fresh shiitake can be cooked and eaten with a freshly harvested flavor up to 7 or 10 days after picking. The way he talks—dropping terms like “formation of amloid” and “pre-sporulating extracts”—are a friendly reminder that I don’t. Eco Farming Daily is a publication of Acres U.S.A. © Acres U.S.A. All rights reserved. Studies show that Reishi can have a number of other positive effects on the body such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-viral (through its interferon production), lowers blood pressure. Skin and Bones. Shiitake mushrooms have been a staple food in many Asian households for many centuries. SporeShift Mushrooms NZ is a small scale organic mushroom farm in North Canterbury supplying a variety of high quality, gourmet mushrooms to local restaurants, markets and shops. I have chosen mushrooms as my sole farm product, so growing on sawdust was the right choice for me.”. EcoFarmingDaily.com is the world’s most useful farming, ranching and growing website. It might also cause an increased sensitivity to the sun, allergic skin reactions, and breathing problems. Connecting with the community and telling folks my story has always been my best sales strategy. At FUNGUY’S MUSHROOMS, mushrooms are grown with passion! “We grow almost all of our mushrooms on alder sawdust that is supplemented with bran and rye,” said Winstead. These side effects are often when the mushrooms are consumed in large amounts but people with a sensitive stomach or multiple food allergies should eat these mushrooms with caution. In fact, songyi mushrooms (also known as matsutake) have been used for skin lightening in Japan, Korea and China for centuries . In addition, mushroom cultivation … Destroy Cancer Cells. Pages 3-20. It is widely used as a medicinal plant in traditional medicine due to the many health benefits documented in ancient medical books. Summer is also when most of the logs are in their fruiting cycle, so we submerge them in water for 24 hours about once a month to stimulate mushroom growth.”. The process isn’t an instant fix for a disaster, but it was shown to fully eliminate oil organically, without using the type of controversial chemical dispersants used in the Gulf of Mexico after 2010’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Eritadenine from shiitake may exert antihypercholemic effects and regulate lipid metabolism by inhibiting S-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase activity, and supplementation with both eritadenine and shiitake mushroom upregulated CYP7A1 mRNA expression that was decreased in hypercholesterolemic mice . There are many particulars involved in growing shiitake, from finding a reputable spawn supplier to recognizing the ideal moisture content in local logs used for inoculation, but growers say it gets easier. A lot of people simply think of mushrooms as lawn pests, or as food. This gave Winstead the opportunity to try growing different varieties of mushrooms and test which ones people liked the most and which ones he could grow successfully. The “Do Not Trespass” signs and warnings that you’re being videotaped are part of Stamets’ plan to keep the farm secure, both from would-be thieves looking for valuable mushroom strains, and occasionally, from the government. Eventually, shiitake mushrooms may become a prosperous main crop as they have for Cascadia Mushrooms, or perhaps a valuable addition to other crops on the farm. Is log-grown specifically in demand in the farmer’s customer base? And they are more: From our simple white button mushrooms to life-changing psychedelics, fungi and mushrooms are spiritual teachers. Fun Facts - The Shiitake (pronounced she-TAH-key) Mushroom is also referred to as the Forest Mushroom, Black Mushroom, or Oak Mushroom. The famous physician from the Chinese Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644), Wu Ri, wrote extensively about this mushroom, noting its ability to increase energy, cure colds, and eliminate worms . Our Mushroom Logs are seeded with Certified Organic mushroom spawn and produced with a 100% recycled plant based natural substrate using methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Shiitake mushrooms have been used as an herbal remedy for a variety of ailments, and is … Paul Stamets just loves to smell it. He even goes to Burning Man, the desert festival in Northern Nevada, every year to talk about them. Adapted from the article, "Earth's Natural Internet" by Paul Stamets,published in the Fall 1999 issue of Whole Earth Magazine Mushroom growing isn't just a rapidly expanding agribusiness; it's also a significant tool for the restoration, replenishment and remediation of Earth's overburdened ecosphere. COURSE DESCRIPTION & GOALS: This online self-study course covers the basics of growing your own gourmet mushrooms, whether at home or as part of a business. He told them no thanks. We hope you enjoy eating our mushrooms as much as we enjoy growing them! When taken by mouth: Shiitake mushroom is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. Shiitake Strains. Research suggests that shiitake mushrooms help fight cancer cells and the … They are proven healers for humans, animals, plants, and the Earth. Shiitake Mushrooms Side Effects & Safety Side Effects The most common side effect that usually occurs from consuming raw or undercooked shiitake is “shiitake dermatitis” — a characteristic skin irritation sometimes followed by fever and digestive issues [ 67 , 68 , 69 ]. Shiitake mushrooms are a type of edible fungus that is native to Asia and can be consumed raw, cooked, or in nutritional supplement form as a powdered extract of the mushroom's contents. For example, the owners of Field and Forest, a mushroom farm in Wisconsin, offer a helpful free video on their site which shows the process of inoculating logs with all three types of shiitake spawn — sawdust, plug and thimble. Shiitake in Japanese means “mushroom of the shii or oak tree.” We grow ours in stacks in a grove of cottonwood trees. The Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center of Lanesboro, Minnesota, for example, researched 52 different strains of shiitake to determine the best for cultivation on hardwood logs. For log-grown shiitake, mushrooms are grown on hardwood branches or logs usually cut late fall to spring during the dormant season so the logs have the best possible moisture content. Almost any basic structure can be adapted for growing shiitake. Like most people, we at Fungi Perfecti are concerned about the depletion of resources, … Ecological Role - The Shiitake Mushroom is an excellent food source for snails, slugs, wildlife (such as birds, squirrel, and deer), and people. Some strains that start about the size of a fingernail can grow into 200,000 pounds of biomass in just a few months. Every other new row starts halfway between the previous row’s holes so distance between holes is staggered and a diamond shape is created by the holes once the drilling is complete. The flavorful shiitake mushroom is native to Asia where it has been harvested wild from forestlands for centuries. White button mushrooms have antioxidants that can reduce risk of heart disease. Allrecipes has more than 150 trusted shiitake mushroom recipes complete with ratings, reviews and serving tips. Stamets is one of the world’s leading mycologists (meaning that he studies mushrooms and their root structure known as mycelium). This type of spawn replaces the need for waxing by providing styrofoam caps already attached to the spawn. What makes fungi so unique—and the preferred pronunciation is fun-juy rather than fun-guy—is the fact that their cell walls are made of a molecule called chitin instead of cellulose that you’d find in plants. This will let them know if the labor and local resources for growing appear to be workable, while the particulars for growing shiitake in their climate are learned at the same time. When dried to about 10% water, the contents of numerous nutrients increase substantially. Full course description. Once proper growth in the spawn has been observed, various shocking methods — such as temperature change or physical agitation — induce mushroom fruiting for harvest. Reishi Plugs: The Reishi mushroom can increase the production of interleukin1 and 2, resulting in inhibition of tumor growth. Choice of substrate formula depends on what is available locally, the regional climate and the strain of shiitake grown. This mushroom has gained a lot of culinary ground since it was once wild harvested in the forests of Asia. All rights reserved. Remedy: Songyi mushroom and kojic acid from shiitake mushroom If your skin tone is uneven or if you have sun-related dark spots, mushroom extracts are a safe, natural way to target the problem. Shiitake may cause some side effects, such as skin rashes. He’d rather uncover the future secrets of mushrooms on his own. “In my experience, it’s not the log itself that grows a different mushroom but whether they are grown outdoors or indoors, the climate and temperature at the time of growth and the shiitake strain being cultivated.”. Eventually moving to its current location, Cascadia Mushrooms now offers fresh shiitake and other mushroom varieties directly to consumers and professionals through the farm’s website, farmers’ markets and relationships developed with chefs and grocers. But it’s the lesser known specimens, strains like turkey tail, oyster and agarikon mushrooms that Stamets wants to study for ways they can, in his words, save the planet. Add mushrooms, epazote (or cilantro), Tabasco sauce and masa harina. Winstead’s Cascadia Mushrooms has prospered from the increasing popularity of shiitake. On a small mushroom farm tucked away about an hour south of Seattle, Paul Stamets has his nose in the dirt. Mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows by feeding off of decaying tree bark or other materials. Their procedures are designed to replenish organic matter and humus in the soil by rapidly reducing carbohydrates and organic matter by 50% in one week. It can cause stomach discomfort, blood abnormalities, and skin swelling (inflammation). The Agaricus bisporus is the world's most widely cultivated mushroom, with a worldwide production of 4 Mt in 2009 (Ma et al., 2014, Sonnenberg et al., 2011).The A. bisporus, usually known as the Common mushroom, is a basidiomycete mushroom from the Agaricaceae family, native to Europe and North America. These mushrooms hold the record as the second most popular and the third most cultivated mushroom in existence today. To learn more, visit. Also, in some states, a certified kitchen is required to produce and sell value-added food products such as mushroom soup, but the production needs of the other shiitake products can usually be set up on a typical working farm. A row of holes is drilled into the log 4 to 8 inches apart and about 1 inch deep. This article appeared in the November 2014 issue of Acres U.S.A. Barbara Berst Adams is the author of the books, Micro Eco-Farming, and The New Agritourism: Hosting Community & Tourists on Your Farm. Alternatives to loose sawdust spawn for log inoculation include shiitake plug spawn, which are solid plugs that are hammered in. “Pharmaceutical companies want this stuff baaaadly,” he told us. Chang et al. It possesses powerful antioxidant properties that help the body fight the damage of free radicals. © 1996 - 2019 National Geographic Society. While the scientific evidence isn’t there yet, there is still a notion that it may have an effect. The industry shifted to growing primarily on sawdust under controlled conditions over the last 25 years. On the other hand, if someone is looking for supplemental income that is seasonal and requires little up-front investment or they want to enhance other farm offerings, shiitake log farming is a good choice and can add diversity to a small farm operation. “But only 5,000 are employed.”. Regional hardwood sources, local climate, including humidity, and sometimes the locality’s other native fungi species, all play an important role in how a farmer will produce shiitake. For actual spawn production, a sterile or at least very clean laboratory-type environment is preferable. Other mushrooms like the Mycena alcalina, better known as a stump fairy helmet mushroom, have the potential to break down PCBs, a cancer-causing agent once used in can manufacturing. He says he had nothing to hide, but he still didn’t trust the feds, so he ordered his employees to all take samples of different strains that could later be replicated, and then to fan out. Shiitake mushroom is LIKELY SAFE when consumed by mouth in food amounts, but it seems POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take by mouth in medicinal amounts. Privacy Notice | Sustainability Policy | Terms of Service | Code of Ethics, The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. “Compare this to diets of some European or Asian countries where more than 10 varieties are eaten regularly — both wild and cultivated species.”. Under the soil everywhere on Earth is the largest network of organism-to-organism communication—the natural Internet, he calls it. “I have fully fallen in love with shiitake,” said Winstead. Introduction. Winstead said there are many options for outdoor growing areas: pine/fir forest, shade structure, shaded greenhouse with irrigation, barn or outbuilding with some kind of misting system. If the farmer can explain his or her operating method directly to customers — such as the unique quality of the local trees used for sawdust or the natural outdoor mushroom fruiting conditions, customers can come to understand the quality and sustainability of each individual farmer’s growing methods on a more refined level. "Consuming large quantities can cause several adverse effects, the commonest of which are digestive problems like nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting etc," she added. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in medicinal amounts. The size of the logs, sometimes around 3 to 4 feet long for easy handling and 3 to 8 inches in diameter, depends partly on the source of logs, how they will be inoculated, stacked or leaned once inoculated, and otherwise tended to once they are filled with spawn and waiting for harvest. The dry ingredients for the substrate are mixed together with water and then placed in small transparent mushroom bags that are heat-resistant and breathable. “They are well-adapted to the Pacific Northwest maritime climate — this makes the growing season fairly long without the use of supplemental heating or cooling — they like to grow between 55 and 75 F.”. In the wild, shiitake mushrooms grow on fallen forest hardwood logs, and there are many different strains of shiitake. Shiitake mushroom extract, as well as extracts from other mushrooms, is sometimes used in Asia along with conventional cancer treatments. Once farmers are certain shiitake will be a good fit, they may be able to continue to learn how to prepare the sawdust or logs themselves by learning from a distance. Kabir Y, Yamaguchi M, Kimura S. Effect of shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on blood pressure and plasma lipids of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Shiitake is used as an anti-cancer drug in Japan and sanctioned for this purpose by their FDA.It has many health benefits, such as it’s ability to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. “It was a few years of trial and error, and after lots of growing and testing it was clear that shiitake was where I wanted to focus most of my efforts. Whereas our high temperature (160-180 °F) or thermogenic composting process prevents such d… The hardwood species suggested for shiitake production include oak, chinkapin, hornbeam, sweetgum, poplar, alder, maple, ironwood, beech and birch. “I began Cascadia Mushrooms at such a small scale that my first harvests wouldn’t even last a full day at the market.”. That period can last from one to four months. III. This is a hunch mycologists are used to. But the purchase of spawn is relatively inexpensive. One of Cascadia Mushrooms’ marketing secrets is very similar to successful vegetable farms. Raw shiitake mushrooms are rich sources (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of B vitamins and contain moderate levels of some dietary minerals (table). As with direct-sale local farmers who grow vegetables, the “know your local farmer” trend also plays a part in whether a farmer chooses to grow in sawdust or on logs (or both). Formulas listed below were developed for use in producing spawn for synthetic logs. Plus, there are numerous variables and precise applications to preparing sawdust or choosing and inoculating logs which benefit from a hands-on and locally adapted approach to learning. That makes him one of the lucky ones. “Mushrooms are more than food and fuel. There are some side effects that are associated with shiitake mushrooms, including gastrointestinal distress, a worsening of autoimmune disease, sensitivity to the sun and allergic reactions. Shii or oak tree. ” shiitake strains the many health benefits documented in medical! Being tested for their ability to defend itself from outside pathogens makes it valuable in medicine and as food what., live workshops, preferably in a sealed container and goals for the aspiring shiitake farmers can check! Favorite mushroom to eat day-to-day my story has always been my best sales strategy problems... 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