Producing Shiitake Mushrooms: A Guide for Small-Scale Outdoor Cultivation on Logs

The two most popular mushrooms in the world are the common button mushroom (Agaricus species) and the shiitake or black forest mushroom (Lentinus edodes). Until recently, only imported, dried shiitake mushrooms could be purchased in the United States. Shiitake mushroom production began in this country about 15 years ago, and with it came a new demand for fresh mushrooms. The demand is increasing rapidly as consumers discover the delicious, meaty flavor of fresh shiitake mushrooms. With these mushrooms commanding an average wholesale price of $4 to $5 a pound, thousands of farmers and investors across the country are interested in producing them.