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Inscrutable Mastermind
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Discussion Starter #1
And what do you know? Pretty much right on schedule. I inoculated ****ake spawn in some fresh cut oaks on March 7th, 2013. They pretty much started fruiting exactly at 6 months.

Here is the story I originally posted in the Whitetail Deer Habitat forum:

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=463033


Here is what I harvested today:











I also innoculated some oyster spawn in bigtooth aspen and a few maple logs. The first flush was only a handful. However as I was out mowing some hunting trails today I looked over under a spruce canopy and saw a bunch of white stuff in a patch. Turned out to be a nice patch of oysters.




In this next picture, the oyster on the right is one I grew in the aspen logs.
The one on the left is the one I picked in the spruce patch.




These are the wild oysters I picked:



Here is a picture of a young one I innoculated growing on a maple:

 

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Inscrutable Mastermind
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Discussion Starter #4
Do they taste good?
I'm guessing cook them like a morel?
I don't know. I just got home from the farm and I'm drinking Wild Turkey 101 and watching the Tigers game. I've never ate a shiitake in my life and am seriously wondering what to do with my first batch.

That's really cool!

What was your motivation for cultivating shiitakes? I've read they may have some health benefits.
I was destroying some canopy of big tooth aspen on my east property and some red maple on my west. This was to bring sunlight down and have tree/shrub regeneration for deer habitat. I was going to use it for firewood and I must have come across a Youtube video about using fresh logs for growing mushrooms. Oysters do best in the aspen, so I used them.

I discovered it is a very straight-forward system. I just read the info and said I got oak and aspen so therefore I see a project.

Shiitakes are gourmet mushrooms and are best grown in oak. As noted in my link above to my original thread, I poached/stole/rustled a red oak on my neighbors property because I have a lot of oaks on my property but few to spare. I was also pissed at the neighbors for intentionally ruining some of my hunts by trespassing on my property. My buddy RMH also donated some black oaks where his brothers property is overloaded with them
 

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You should be careful of those "oysters" you picked under the Spruce. I've never heard of oysters growing on the ground. they really don't look like oysters to me> Did you check the spore print?
 

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Inscrutable Mastermind
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Doing a spore print now.

They are in thick conifer duff.

They have decurrent gills and look 100% like the oysters I have grown from spawn. They are fruiting at the same time. I can provide some closer up pictures. Did you enlarge the picture on a big screen? I would like yours and other opinions

I was under the impression that there are not very many look alikes.

It could be a Hypsizygus ulmarius, elm oyster.



"Oyster Mushroom Identification

Traits and Characteristics

The oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, is a common edible known for its oyster-shaped cap. One of the first things you should look for when trying to identify this mushroom is the presence of decurrent gills.
Decurrent means that the gills are attached to and run directly down the stem.
Other identification features:
Cap
Oyster or fan shaped, usually 2-10 inches across (5-25 cm).
Often grow in a shelf-like formation with overlapping clusters.
Smooth, with no warts or scales.
Generally white to light brown with firm, white flesh.
The gills are white, and are attached to and running down the cap and stem (decurrent).
Stem
They may not have a stem. If they do it will often be stubby and off-center if the mushroom is growing onthe side of a log. If it's growing on the top you will see a more well developed stem.No ring around the stem, and no sackaround the base.Flesh is white.
Spore print
White to lilac-gray. It's best to make the spore print on a dark background.
Habitat
These mushrooms are saprotrophic, meaning they feed on dead material,in this case wood. Thus you'll find them growing on logs or sick or dying trees.
Most often found on deciduous hardwoods (trees that lose their leaves). Beech and aspen trees arecommon. Sometimes found on conifers as well.
Smell
Said to have a mild anise odor, meaning they smell a little sweet like licorice.
Time of year
Summer and fall, or winter as well in warmer areas.

Look Alikes

This page tells you how to identify Pleurotus ostreatus, the "true" oyster mushroom. However, there are other mushrooms in the Pleurotus genus that are referred to as oysters. A few examples are:
Pleurotus citrinopileatus - The Golden Oyster
Pleurotus eryngii - King Oyster
Pleurotus pulmonarius - Phoenix Oyster
Pleurotus tuberregium - King Tuber
and many more!
These species are all edible, so if you mistake a phoenix oyster for a true
oyster, you will not be poisoned.
Another similar species is the elm oyster, Hypsizygus ulmarius. This is not a true
oyster at all, but is often mistaken for one.
To tell an elm oyster from a true oyster, take a look at the gills. The gills of a
true oyster run down the stem, the gills of an elm oyster do not. The elm oyster
is edible, although some say not as tasty.
So are there any poisonous look alikes? The poisonous Omphalotus nidiformis is
sometimes mistaken for an oyster. It grows in Japan and Australia so become
familiar with it if you live in those countries.
The same rules apply with oyster mushroom identification as with any other
species. Become familiar with them through reading and pictures, try to find
them in the wild, and check your finds with someone who knows in real life.
Taking a spore print and checking for gill attachment can be a big help."
 

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Inscrutable Mastermind
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Discussion Starter #7
The spore print is white. And the gills do kind of end at the stalk.

It is consistent with Hypsizygus ulmarius, elm oyster.







 

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I can't find anything in my books that say oysters grow in pine duff. They grow on wood. Infrequently on a buried stump. I wouldn't eat them unless I was 150% sure. White mushrooms can be deadly if you aren't sure. Just not worth the risk. Try putting them in a bag for a few minutes to see what they smell like.
 

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I just saw this post and couldn't agree more with Spoikey. Those wild mushrooms do not look like oysters to me either. They are not growing on wood, the stems are not off center and the way they are growing as a group just does not "look" like oysters. Perhaps one of the entoloma's which are prevalent right now? I can't tell you what they are for sure but I would be very cautious about eating them without further research.
 

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Inscrutable Mastermind
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Discussion Starter #11
Take a close look at the pictures on this site. The underside of these elms look like they have a slight rim around the edge. Yours do not.
OK. The mushrooms ended up in the trash. The shiitakes were delicious.

They are consistent with elm oyster.

The spawn of these are sold and described as readily growing on sawdust, wood chips, straw and even garden debris.

The younger ones had a rolled rim.

Your link had this description:"Cap: 5-15 cm; convex with a slightly inrolled margin at first, becoming almost flat, with a slightly sunken center; white, turning to creamy buff or tan; cracking and forming small scales or patches."



http://books.google.com/books?id=M9Mz99pAdXMC&pg=PT680&lpg=PT680&dq=Elm+Oyster+Mushroom+Hypsizygus+ulmarius&source=bl&ots=WOhWNaB88a&sig=84syk8yfWQ-I0e3z45fkZzzbQgk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MEVlUoeLD6L84AORzoGYCw&ved=0CG4Q6AEwCDgU#v=onepage&q=Elm%20Oyster%20Mushroom%20Hypsizygus%20ulmarius&f=false

"The cap margin of H. ulmarius is described as inrolled to incurved when young, expanding with age, even to slightly undulating. It has a flared, thin, uneven and wavy margin at maturity."
 
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