Garden Study Club learns how to grow mushrooms

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The February meeting of the Garden Study Club was a hands-on workshop about growing shiitake mushrooms.

The program was presented by Johnny Coley of the Person County Cooperative Extension Service and William Landis of the Franklin and Warren County Extension Service. Guests were members of the Roxboro Garden Club and Granville-Person Master Gardeners.

The participants learned how to select logs on which to grow the mushrooms, ideally hardwoods of 3 - 4 feet in length, and 4 - 8 inches in diameter. The logs were prepared by drilling holes with an electric hand-drill with a specialized bit, with holes being 6 - 8 inches apart in a diamond pattern. The fungus mycelium is in sawdust, and was inserted into the holes by the use of a plunger. The holes and end of the logs were then sealed with beeswax or cheesewax, to prevent contamination by other fungi and to seal in moisture. The logs should be kept in a shady, moist environment.

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