Hobbies are a great, productive way to spend down time between tests, homework and work. If you live off campus and like shiitake mushrooms, this is something you may have an interest in.
Back in November, I saw a tutorial video on the Martha Stewart web site on how to grow your own shiitake mushrooms. Plus, the project is very easy and surprisingly cheap. Back in January, I embarked on the adventure.
Starting the project will take a couple hours but it is the longest time you will spend actively handling the mushrooms. The first thing you need to do is order the wooden dowels from fungi perfecti. It is about $15.
Then, all you need is to find some oak logs. This can be free. I asked around and was able to get some free oak logs that someone had cut in their yard day before.
Next, get all your tools together. Do not be shy when asking your friends if you can borrow a tool for the day. I had to borrow a drill since mine was not adequate.
What makes this project great is once you prepare the logs, the rest is just a waiting game. In six months, the logs will be ready to bloom. The first bloom is nothing to be excited about: I only got one mushroom. But, every six months for the next six years, the mushrooms will bloom, peaking at about two pounds a harvest.
However, I set my logs outside while it rained during Tropical Storm Lee. The amount of rain forced my mushrooms to bloom again and I got a pound of mushrooms…and they were delicious.
After harvesting and washing the mushrooms, I made Shiitake Fried Rice. Shiitake mushrooms are great for an immune system boost, especially during the colder months.
Shiitake Fried Rice Recipe:
1 cup brown rice
2 large eggs, scrambled
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, washed and sliced, discard stems
3 tsp. minced garlic
red pepper flakes
1 cup edamame, thawed (found in the frozen vegetable section)
1/2 white onion, diced
2 tbs. low sodium soy sauce
1. Wash the rice until the water is clear. Prepare rice as directed on the package for al dente. Rinse in cold water when done.
2. In a large skillet, scramble eggs seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove eggs. 2 minutes.
3. In same skillet, cook mushrooms, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. 4 minutes.
4. Add rice, onion, edamame, eggs, rice, and soy sauce. Cook until hot. Tossing continuously. 5 minutes.