Pearl Oyster Season Begins

The first set of 100 pearl oyster mushroom spores from Sharondale Farm are in. I purchased them through Southern Exposure Seed Exchange along with other heritage seeds. My dear neighbor cut a number of logs from one of my many sugar maple trees and I set them to soak for a little over 12 hours (do not to exceed 24).

The process is conveniently simple:

  1. Drill holes with a 5/16” bit in soaked log. Logs need to be at least 3” in diameter. Mine were approximately 4” wide and 3 to 4 feet long. I drilled holes down the length every 6”. The next row was spaced about 2” apart and also drilled 6” apart down the length only positioned so it was zig-zagged from row-to-row. So basically, I started the second row’s hold midway between the holes in row one. The third row was identical to the first and the 4th to the 2nd row. Make sense?

  2. The plugs were hammered into each of the holes then sealed with cheese wax. I also sealed the ends of both logs.

  3. Logs are ready to be placed in a cool, moist location. Add mulch around logs, midway up height of log. Make sure they are kept moist - do not let dry out. A place out of direct sunlight helps significantly.

  4. Wait for nature to do its thing. These spores can take 6 to 12 months so patience is definitely in order.

My only question was if I should drill around the entire log or avoid the section that will actually be placed on the ground. In my mind, I imagined that the mushrooms would “bloom” from the location of each spore, much like planting any seed. Sharondale Farm quickly responded to my email inquiry. What happens is the mushrooms will fruit from the exposed portion of the log once the mycelium has grown together as one organism in the sapwood. Basically, the mycelium invades the entire log creating one organism. Body snatchers. Creepy but cool!