The Ganoderma lucidum mushrooms, also known as the reishi or lingzhi mushrooms, have served as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Ancient Asian remedies use Ganoderma lucidum to treat stress and sleeplessness, to boost the immune system and to reduce the size of some cancerous tumours. The mushroom can be cooked and eaten with meals or steeped in a tea for the medicinal benefits. Ganoderma grows naturally in the wild, but you can also cultivate the mushroom on a log to provide a constant supply for you and your family.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Spawn dowels
Find or cut a hardwood log measuring 3 to 4 feet long and at least 1 foot in diameter. The log must be separated from the main tree for at least 3 weeks and up to 3 months. Oak, elm and hemlock logs are popular choices to grow Ganoderma lucidum.
Measure 2 inches from the end of the log at one end. Drill a hole that matches the size of your mushroom spawn dowel rods.
Drill holes to accommodate all of your dowel rods. Space holes at least 4 inches apart to allow room for the mushrooms to grow.
Insert a dowel into each hole. The dowels are inoculated with Ganoderma spores, which will thrive and grow in the damp, dark environment of the log. If necessary, tap the dowel into place with a mallet or hammer until it is flush with the log’s surface.
Water the log with nonchlorinated water for 2 to 3 minutes to ensure that it is wet all the way through. Store the log in a shady, cool area with a constant temperature between 18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius.
Cover the log with a tarp to retain moisture in the log. Check on the log every 3 to 4 days and water the log if it has begun to dry out. Depending on temperature and humidity, the mushrooms will sprout within 6 to 12 months.
Tips and warnings
- Find logs in local public forest areas or on your own property. You can also consult professional tree servicers for spare logs.
- Spawn dowels are available through many health or organic food suppliers, as well as some landscaping companies and Internet retailers. You can also soak your own dowels in water and mushroom spawn, which you will need to obtain from these retailers. If possible use a dowel that is the same type of wood as your log.
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