Adding shiitakes to a market farm
publication date: Jan 1, 2016
Log-grown shiitake mushrooms have been a small but valued part of our central Missouri diversified farm since 2010 for several reasons. They have consistently been among our CSA members’ favorite items, and we think we know why: shiitakes contribute flavor-enhancing umami compounds, resulting in dishes that are extraordinarily delicious. Most of the work falls in the less-busy winter season, when logs are cut and inoculated. Production happens during the normal market/CSA season, generating extra income with a minimum of extra work during that busy time of year. According to the 2014 book Farming the Forest (cited below), each shiitake log might cost $1.50 - $3.00 to get started, but can yield $50-$60 of mushrooms in its lifetime at a price range of $10-$20/lb. Organic certification for mushroom production is straightforward. These factors make shiitake mushrooms an excellent addition to many diversified farms’ offerings.
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