Mid-August: time for the first autumn soaking of the shii-take logs! A moment that highlights the beginning of the end of the summer period and a signal that the mushroom season has begun. A mixture of retrospect and anticipation. On the Edible Wood Farm in Gaanderen (close to the former Edible Log Farm in Doetinchem, eastern Netherlands) about 50 logs that had been inoculated in the winter of 2018 were given their first bath this week. Some of the logs have suffered from the sunny spring days when there were no leaves on the trees and the moisture content is not what it should be. Young mycelium needs moisture to to grow and a log that is too dry can start losing its bark. The bark is comparable to a buffer zone that protects the moisture content. An edible wood log without bark is useless and can be downgraded to firewood. A big pity for all the work, time and costs. This Edible Wood Farm is in a young beech forest with a closed crown canopy. It is very shady and that is really good for the mushrooms and logs. The water supply is also better in this forest (compared to Doetinchem) and when the logs (during a dry period) have been watered with a sprinkler the droplets remain long in the air which gives it a magical misty effect.
Goofy, the dog, was my assistant. We had been given a giant puffball by the local forester. It will be on the menu this weekend.