Fresh off the Grid: Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms

beefheart carrots

If it’s going to go on and be so mild this winter, we’re going to have carrots for Christmas.

Knobby carrots, eh?  They’re made that shape.  Called “beefheart,” they grow short and stumpy, which is a more successful shape in Georgia clay than long and skinny.

The seeds went in in fall, as usual.  But it’s so mild, the carrots are maturing now instead of as I expected, chilling small all winter then bulking up in spring.

And, our first shiitake mushroom, ever, appeared on Thanksgiving Day.

Got the idea from some neighbors who grow mushrooms at home.

Shiitake mushroom growing on oak log in my yard

So, in January or February, take some green (ie, fresh cut) hardwood (ie, not conifer) logs, about at least 8 in in diameter and as long as you can carry.

Drill little holes evenly spaced all around the log.  Fill those holes with damp sawdust and mushroom spore.

Seal the holes with food-grade wax. Stack logs in a shady place and wait 9 or 10 months.

Voila!  Mushrooms.  Or, well, in our case “mushroom.” The same logs will bear on and off for 3 or 4 years.  I do expect to get at least several more ‘shrooms per log. Maybe even this year.


First annual shiitake harvest

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