Considering the massive failures I have realized trying to cultivate shiitake and oyster mushrooms in the confines of my apartment (although it’s not over yet, I assure you), it’s nice to have a stake in the outdoor shiitake logs we helped our friends set up a couple of years ago. After the initial year and a half where it looked like nothing was going to happen, we were rewarded one October and the logs have been producing pretty steadily ever since then.
Last weekend, we paid our friends a visit and were rewarded with a small batch of mushrooms that we sauteed and froze for later use. However, this year we are competing with a large number of yellow slugs (Limax flavus), who also appreciate the delicate flavor and medicinal qualities of fresh shiitakes and like to leave them riddled with holes à la The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The slugs are both fascinating and icky and it was clear that something needed to be done about them before every single slug in Columbia county was feasting on our mycological pot of gold. As expected, our friend, Daniel, knew exactly what to do and on a rainy Sunday he enlisted our youngest child in the project of wrapping each log in a strip of copper because apparently slugs don’t like copper (who knew?).
He also moved the logs away from the ravine they had previously been straddling to higher ground and arranged Blair Witch style in order to scare off any movie-going slugs.
And there we left them last week in hopes that the wire would work and the logs would continue to produce. And that they did. Within just one week the logs were teeming again with gorgeous, slug-free mushrooms as you can see by the photos he sent (it’s a good thing dogs don’t like mushrooms)! Have you every seen anything so amazing?