LIONS MANE, the "smart" mushroom
People with a touch of obsessive compulsive, and a keen eye for nature's perfect alignments, are gonna LOVE these limited edition 2018 "Silver and Blue" Lion's Mane mushroom Totem Logs!
Each log is approx 8" diameter x 12" tall and crafted into three pieces (5"+4"+3" sections), inoculated, waxed, re-stacked and secured. All you have to do is take it home, put it in place...and wait. We've done all the work FOR you!
When you first get your Lion's Mane Totem Log home, the perfect place for it is is standing upright n a shallow platter or plate in the center of your feast table. There, it can be variously decorated or adorned as your celebrations unfold, and is sure to fascinate interesting conversations for many meals to come. On your hallway/entry table is also a good place. So is tucked into an unused fireplace. Use your imagination! Your log requires nothing more from you but stable human-range temperature and humidity ...and maybe some festive decorations, if you are so inclined...until spring.
As you get to know your log, and your log, you, you will see that rather than drill holes THROUGH the bark as with our traditional mushroom logs, we inoculated the INNER or cut "faces" of these logs, so that the bark remains pristine and unmarred. These logs have the magnificent luster of the "silvery blue slivers" of light in very early spring sunrise in the beautiful pacific northwest Red Alder forest.
There's no need to feed or water your log until Spring, although you may. Come spring, you will decide whether to keep your totem log inside or move it outside. You can do both, or either, or a combination of outside and inside. Your Lion's Mane mushroom gets all it's food and water from the log., so don't let it dry out. Lion's Mane prefers contact with mineral soil, so to make your new totem log feel "cozy" put an inch or so of any type of mineral dirt (vis.compost) or sand or rocks onto a decorative tray or in a shallow bowl, and stand you log on top. No need to bury your log, but you may, and no more than 1/2" deep, if you want. No need to water the soil, unless that makes you feel good.
Come spring, If you decide to keep your totem log INSIDE, simply submerge your log overnight in cold water every 46 days or so and put it back into place between waterings....and wait. As soon as your totem is fully colonized, it will respond to the overnight soaking and bloom within 30-45 days. You can force flush your log like this several times a year. If your log doesn't bloom right away, repeat until it does. You can also "mist" your log if you've a mind to, or need to fuss, or if the bark starts looking dry to you, or you feel that your log needs a "freshening" as it might get from a nice rain in nature. Its also ok...and nice, to put your log outside in the rain, for nature to water, and its ok if you forget about it out there, in the snow. just bring it back in.
Normal inside room light is perfect for your totem log, no need for dark, but a dark spot is just fine. light from an indoor house light is fine, and a nice way to spotlight your log. Avoid direct sun, as thru a window. Also avoid drying air, as from a furnace fan or wood stove. Your mushroom log does not make food from sunlight as plants do, but it does like a normal light-dark cycle and it feels best with its feet touching the mineral soil, as in nature.
Meanwhile, while you relax, reflect, and enjoy your totem log, know that inside your magnificently handcrafted old world totem log, mushroom colonization is happening. The Lion's Mane spawn (sourced from Paul Stamet's fungi.com farm in Olympia, WA) is knitting a thick mat of connections inside your log. This mat IS the actual mushroom. Later, this "mycelium mat" will cross the space between your three totem log pieces, and "knit" the three pieces back together again into a single whole (this can take 24 months, depending so, be patient) ...it is a miraculous thing!
While you are waiting, you can readjust and realign the totem pieces at will, and move it to different places at will. You can even separate the tree pieces entirely, if you want, and grow three, separate mushroom logs! Nature is forgiving. Express yourself!
After your still-hidden Lion's Mane mushroom mycelium fully colonizes your totem log it will want to bloom or "flush," producing the visible part of the mushroom, and the part we EAT. This flush will happen many times over the life of your log (8-10 years, up to three or four times a year.) To force flush your totem log, simply soak your log overnight, submerged in cold water. put your log back into its place...and wait. Once your log STarts producing fruit, you can "time" your harvests, for instance, harvesting for the holidays or a special occasion. You can "rest" your log between flushes...for instance, during vacation... by doing NOTHING, then when you are ready, start the process again with a force flush soak, as described.
Your log can also be grown OUTSIDE after its first winter inside getting used to things. If you want to grow your mushrooms outside, Simply place your totem log in a cool, shady, moist place, like under a tree, somewhere where you will see it easily, like maybe in that shady rainy corner of your north deck.... and let mother nature take care of the watering and timing blooming. You can "force flush" outdoor logs using the method described above.
Lion's Mane mushrooms taste like lobster and are a very-good-for-the-brain food, and delicious. Your log will flush in two evenly spaced rows around your log (where we made the original cuts) and will produce fresh, delicious, PERFECTLY ROUND icicle-dripping white snowball-looking lion's mane mushrooms, which you simply pluck off, cook, and eat.
Again, for fastest result, keep your log indoors its first winter, anywhere cool, moist, and out of direct sun. This will allow the colonization process to continue without being interrupted by the cold (Mushrooms don't die from freeze, they simply go dormant and pick up again later.)
When spring arrives, and if you want, you can simply put your log outside, somewhere shady and cool right out in the rain but out of direct sun and drying winds, somewhere not too soggy where it can have it's feet on mineral earth...and them wait some more. In fact, you can just forget about it! Be sure you see your log often, because once the bloom starts its happens FAST! Just days till you'll have fresh mushrooms. If you are concerned about squirrels or slugs, simply sprinkle your log and around your log with red pepper flakes or cayenne powder to keep them away. Outside, your log will bloom when mother nature decides.
The recycled yellow plastic stabilizing strips are stapled into place to keep the totem logs "assembled" and perfectly aligned until they arrive to their new homes...and are easily removed... but, be warned !! ... until the mycelium mat growing inside each section of your totem, is formed, and has reknit your log, the totem will be three individual pieces ...WILL you be able to keep them perfectly aligned while the miracle of nature happens right before your eyes???? Its ok....the mat will form even if you do slightly misalign things :-)... as long as the three pieces are touching.
The LION is a symbol of courage, bravery and fierceness. A TOTEM is a representation of spirit. We keep our lion's mane totem inside, perched in a favorite shallow ceramic bowl with some soil in the bottom (and which we decorate seasonally to remind us that we are all brave, courageous, and FIERCE!
Lions Mane mushrooms bloom in nature during the pacific northwest's late summer and fall, depending. It likes cool shade, with a bit of dappled light, and to be out of the wind and touching mineral earth. Avoid soggy areas, tho.
At most, and if you must fuss with your totem log, you may soak your log overnight submerged in cold water every 30-45 day or so, until it blooms, then you can do this 'soaking" between flushes, or every 45 days thereafter thru the year, to "force flush" your log year-round. The more you force flush your log, the shorter the log life will be.
Inside, grow your log standing on a decorative tray onto which you've placed a 1/2 inch of mineral soil for it to rest atop. Your mushroom will not make roots into the soil. It just likes the companionship. Lion's Mane likes its feet on the soil. You can keep the soil moist, if you want, but your Log doesn't need wet soil. We'll be happy to include an inch or so of our native (volcanic forest) soil with each log, if requested.
Inside, once it blooms ("flushes") for the first time, you Lions Mane mushroom Totem Log can be forced to "flush" up to 4 times each year! To force flush, simply soak by submerging it in cold water overnight. This fools the mushroom into thinking its spring, and time to flush. You should expect each flush to produce up to a pound or more of beautiful, delicious Lion's Mane mushrooms, and for your Lion's Mane Totem LOg to produce mushrooms for 8-10 years. You should harvest mushrooms early and often, If you keep your log continuously plucked, you can keep your log in 'flush' for an extended time.
Now, that's SMART! ....and a GREAT investment in food futures!
Lion's Mane is also BRAIN food! Read our blog, "Lion's Mane - The SMART mushroom" for more about those benefits.
2018 "Silver and Blue" Lion's Mane mushroom Red Alder Totem Logs $250. Complete instructions and masterful online support included. Domestic USA shipping available.