Japanese word shiitake is a combination of two words:
- shii (refers to “Castanopsis cuspidata“, a medium-sized evergreen tree, related to beech and oak, and native to South Japan and South Korea)
- take (literally means mushroom)
Scientific name: Lentinula edodes
Honestly, we had no plans for selling shiitake mushrooms. We started growing them simply because we love to eat them. Plus, it happened that we have very good conditions for outdoor, natural farming. The whole story started out pretty selfish: we wanted to take a refreshing walk in our mini-forest and pick up some fresh mushrooms for lunch.
And our plan worked out! However, we got a little carried away, so now after the harvest we have increased quantities of fresh mushrooms that we can’t eat by ourselves, however hard we try (and we do try). Over time, people who liked mushrooms and who were unhappy with the shiitake mushroom offerings at our shopping malls began to contact us. Thus, our small business was created!
Shiitake mushrooms are grown by inoculating organic mycelium into oak, hornbeam, and beech logs. The inoculation site is disinfected and protected with 100% natural beeswax.
After a long colonization period (about 1 year) in dark and humid conditions, white traces begin to appear on the end of the logs: signs that the log has been successfully colonized.
Our research has led to an increasing amount of information on the positive effect of shiitake fungi on human health, most notably the reduction in cholesterol levels and the inhibition of cancer cells. We will soon publish an overview of peer-reviewed scientific research.