Appalachian Food

I’ve Got Mushrooms!

Growing shiitake mushrooms at home

On a snowy day last March the Blind Pig family embarked on our Shiitake Mushroom growing venture.

Once you inoculate the logs-it takes the mushroom spawn a good while to distribute through the logs and for mushroom growth to begin. Our log stacks are just beyond my clothesline-so every time I hang out clothes I glance over at them to make sure none have fallen. But other than that I haven’t kept a real close eye on them-knowing it might be next summer before I got any mushrooms.

The remenants of the hurricane that flooded so much of coastal NC recently-gave us a few days of rain too. Last Sunday I started thinking about that rain and wondering if it did anything for our mushrooms. I went to check-and wow there was mushrooms growing everywhere!

growing mushrooms on logs
In just a few minutes-I had an ice cream bucket full. I ran back inside to show The Deer Hunter-to prove all our hard work late last winter was going to pay off big. He was impressed-but then me and him both started worrying what if they aren’t the right mushrooms-what if they’re POISON! Basically we let our imagination run away with us. I mean what else could they be-they look like Shiitake and we put Shiitake spawn in the logs.

But just in case I sent a few pics off to Frank from the he assured me I should eat up-and enjoy the labors of our work. So I did and they were the best mushrooms I have ever eaten. (if you’re interested in growing Shiitakes-the folks at can’t be beat for advice and low prices)


We’re still planning on soaking the logs for ‘forced fruiting’ but I’m not sure we’ll do it before next spring-since winter is on it’s way with a chilly 33 here in Brasstown this morning. But when we start soaking-I’ll be sure to show you the process.



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  • Reply
    October 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Oh those mushrooms look so good! The blacksmith for years ate mushrooms until one day they made him sick. The next time he got more sick. No way will he try them again, I’m pretty sure he’d died, thats how sick he was the last time. But I still love them.
    I remember hearing that hymn before, it’s a good one!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I love mushrooms. My wife Heidi just slow cooked a concoction yesterday of mushrooms, carrots, onions, chicken, chicken broth, celery and one or two other goodies that I just can’t remember but I do remember it was real good because I had 3 bowls worth.
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    October 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Good job, Tipper. I see many, many recipes and uses as I look at internet articles.
    Thanks for the wonderful harmony. It’s a peaceful singing.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Mushrooms grow abundantly in many parts of Cyprus, yet I hate them! Most of my friends and family think I’m weird! But then again, one man’s meat is another man’s poison!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Trisha-the song is not only from Appalachia-its from HERE!! I wrote about it last winter here’s the link:

  • Reply
    trisha too
    October 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Wow, you DO have mushrooms!!!
    Fanny Crosby wrote something like a million and two hymns–she must have been an amazing lady.
    Hey, my dear daughter is singing
    “I Wonder As I Wander” in choir, and the music says it’s an Appalachian song. What can you tell us about that?
    (AND Son #2 just bought a mandolin, by the way!)

  • Reply
    October 16, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Those are nice looking mushrooms. I know what you mean, though, about being afraid of eating them. The first time we picked morals and cooked them, nobody wanted to be the first one to take a bite.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Tipper, I love most all of Fanny J. Crosby’s hymns… The harmony is nice –and they are easy to sing.
    Congrats on your mushrooms… Glad you are enjoying the fruits of your labors… We pay big bucks for our mushrooms in the store… ha

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Excellent! I have thought about doing this myself, so now your good work will spur me on!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    October 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    tipper i am so happy that your mushrooms grew and that you and your family are so blessed by nature.. and i adore the harmony of the boys… and wish i could be there with you all πŸ™‚
    thank you so very much for sharing as usual..
    big ladybug hugs… and snuggles..
    its been cold here in pa too…

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,….do those ever look good…
    I want to grow mushrooms that look like yours…We have the oak trees…and some shade..I always wondered though if the spawn from other mushrooms, in our shady woods, would contaminate the logs with a poisonous species?…
    We have morels growing in our yard near the apple trees… but the heat and dry spring kept them at bay this year…
    We are lucky to have a mushroom plant close by county and we can go out there and buy a bag for a few dollars at the guard stand..but they are not Shiitakes…just button mushrooms not the flavor of Shiitakes…guess I’ll just have to eat those collards and turnip greens tonight no ‘shrooms here..
    Lovely hymns too…good going guys!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Those mushrooms look amazing! When I get relocated, I will be checking into doing this for fun AND for great mushrooms…

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Tipper the mushroom farmer!!
    And as usual I love hearing Pap and Paul’s singing.
    I love those old time hymns!!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    October 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Loved the Louvin Brothers-like hymn harmony, and glad that you mentioned Fanny Crosby, who penned so many favorite hymns, including Pass me Not, O Gentle Savior, Blessed Assurance, and Near the Cross. She wrote one which I’ve never heard played that is especially poignant (given her blindness) – Eye Hath Not Seen.
    Re: mushrooms – I love them grilled, sauteed, or baked as well as mixed with other stuff. Unfortunately, the after effects are such that I’d have been as well off to consume a healthy bait of raw ramps in terms of people wanting to vacate my neighborhood πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Congratulations, nicely done! They look amazing,and must taste out of this world, having been home grown. I wish I had more space, I’d give it a try! When is granny gonna’ tell us how she makes her fried pies?

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    That is so neat-I can’t wait to hear about the process. So much better than mushroom hunting -you know what your getting!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I was wondering about your mushrooms a while back, if they were going to make this year. They
    look great! But I don’t know anything about them. When I get a
    loaded pizza, I pull them off.
    As for the singing, Paul and Pap
    and the gang and the girls just
    fill my heart with gladness. Thank
    you for sharing all that great
    Christian music…Ken

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Those mushrooms are beautiful; I can just taste them sauted in some butter and put on top of a good grilled steak! I’m the only one who eats them at my house. The hymn was very lovely; I love the old ones like that.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Nothing special yet-so far I fried some-and sauteed some : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 11:11 am

    i was singin along with pass me not oh gentle savior. old favorite from the past. many years since i heard it. delicious to eat and also PRETTY, the mushrooms are beautiful.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 15, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Tipper–I do declare that you and the rest of the brasstown bunch have fingers in so many pies–figurative and literal–that I peart nigh get tired just reading about it. I love mushrooms but have never ventured into growing them. However, in my turkey hunting rambles around the country, I have on several occasions come across pots of culinary gold in the form of morels. Once in Missouri I killed a fine gobbler right at fly-down time and then picked more than a bushel of morels. Talk about a feast, and to top things off, I was staying in an old one-room school house which had been turned into a small hunt camp, and the abandoned garden which had belonged to the school marm had a fine patche of asparagus. I still get to drooling just thinking about it.
    Neat blog, and I particularly enjoy those which touch things about which I know little, as was the case here.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Donna W
    October 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Wow, I’m interested in this business of growing mushrooms. I have to try this; I’ll click on the links and see what I can learn. As for Pap and Paul, you know I’m one of their biggest fans.

  • Reply
    Tammy N
    October 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

    They are very nice! This is the second blog I’ve run across with these type. Congrats on your harvest!☺

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

    While I know nothing about mushrooms, I do know you have every right to be prejudice when it comes to their singing. You have a very talented family.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Congratulations! I love being able to step out back and pick my own mushrooms too! Well done!

  • Reply
    Rachel D.
    October 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

    That is so exciting, and a real money saver now that you are established and good to go for awhile!
    Any special recipes you are making with the mushrooms?

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Nice harmony! I’ll have to check my logs and see if I have any mushrooms. Yours look wonderful!! How did you cook them?
    This cool weather makes me think of soup and you know how good mushrooms are in soup!

  • Reply
    October 15, 2010 at 8:58 am

    That is so exciting! Good for you!

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    October 15, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Tipper isn’t there some sort of “tea” you can make with these mushrooms that is supposed to treat a lot of health issues? My cousin gave us what looked like muddy water but had mushroom pieces floating in it. You drank a cup a day. My Mom tried it said she felt good but a few days into it she said she felt like her heart was racing so she stopped.I am sure it didn’t mix well with her meds.

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