Effect of Limited Environmental Controls on Shiitake Mushroom Production in the Southern Coastal Plain
This producer will utilize oak wood, one of the South’s most plentiful and renewable resources, to generate income for small farms. His project will also involve the use of unused poultry houses, to be able to manipulate temperature, in the production of high-quality Shiitake mushrooms in the Southern Coastal Plain
The primary difficulty in marketing Shiitake mushrooms in the summertime is the variability in quality due, in part, to climate. Buyers need a consistent source of good quality product in quantities they can depend on. In colder regions of the country, heating a wide range of strains for winter production is quite common. In areas where the temperature will stay below freezing for months at a time, productive logs are warmed indoors for approximately two weeks and then shocked with cold and irrigation. Afterward, a temperature range of 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained until the time of harvest. The producer will adapt this method to southern growing conditions in the winter.
The producer plans to determine the feasibility of limited environmental controls on Shiitake mushrooms grown on logs in the Southern Coastal Plain and to develop an energy and labor efficient method that would allow log producers to produce high-quality mushrooms during times of environmental stress. He will accomplish this by developing a production method utilizing an abandoned shed and an old Thermo-King refrigeration unit from a semi-trailer.