Pet Logs / Shiitake Bolts

Written by Haliburton Forest
Shitake Mushroom on bolt Shitake Mushroom on bolt

Shiitake Mushrooms are an edible Japanese variety of mushroom, which have a meaty texture and a smoky taste.

Shiitake Mushrooms are grown in small logs coined "mushroom bolts", which are 40" long pieces of hardwood, 4 - 6" in diameter, with the bark still on.

Each bolt is inoculated with between 40-60 mushroom plugs containing thousands of mushroom spors. The bolts need to be kept moist for 8 months while the mycelia (fungus roots) grow and become established in the log.Shitake Mushrooms on 6 year old bolts

Bolts with established mycelia are available for sale at the Haliburton Forest office, at the woodshop and at any of the Forest Stores.

After purchasing your bolt all you need to do is soak the bolt in cold water for 24 hours and two weeks later you can expect a fruiting of fresh shiitake mushrooms. These logs can be fruited every 8 weeks (temperature permitting) for up to six years.

Shiitake mushrooms are extremely nutritious; they contain loads of anti-oxidants and other nutraceuticals. It is interesting to note, that the Shiitake mushrooms grown outside have higher levels of several nutrients, and it is felt this is due to the sunlight they are exposed to.

Non-timber forest production fits well with Haliburton Forest's goal of responsible stewardship and sustainability. Accordingly, new non-timber forest products will be developed and introduced in the future. 

Watch the following 3 minute video to learn more about our Shiitake bolts:

Haliburton Forest - Grow Your Own Shiitake Mushrooms from Powerline Films on Vimeo.

 

Read how one of our customers, Elisa Allen, describes her first experience with our Pet Logs:

I had been reading up on growing my own Shiitake Mushrooms and was trying to find a source. I was thrilled when I saw them in the Forest Store so I just had to buy one. Since it was the middle of our trip, it sat in the back of my car, rolling around for several days before we got it home. I followed the easy instructions to ‘shock it’ with ice cold water from my rain barrel (OK, I cheated – it was almost ice cold). I was ecstatic to see pins emerge by the 3rdday! I was so excited about my first harvest that I weighed it – ¾ lb!

I grew up in a Chinese family where we ate a ton of Shiitakes, but always from dried form. Eating Shiitakes fresh was an amazing delight.

Now that it is winter, I will follow Ray’s simple instructions to over-winter. I have already ordered more logs. I plan to force the fruit on each log, offset by a week or two, to ensure a steady supply of fresh mushrooms next and future summers to come!

While my mushrooms were growing, I kept an eye on my mushrooms’ progress each morning before I left for work and each night when I arrived home. It was worth the money just for the cool factor of watching them emerge from pins to fruit this first time. Everything we experienced at the Haliburton Forest, from the Wolf Center to the Canopy Tour was top notch. I have no doubt that the Shiitake Mushroom Logs will also be a quality product for years to come.