The cultivation of Lentinula edodes (shiitake) is said to originate in China before being introduced to Japan by Chinese growers. Take is the Japanese word for mushroom. It was very common to find this mushroom on the Shii tree and cultivation was mainly on logs of this shii tree in Japan, hence the name Shii-take.
The best way to grow?
However various species of wood has been tested for shiitake cultivation. Red
oak is the best, followed by other oak species and other hardwood. We are currently
testing the locust tree logs for the cultivation of this fungus in western North
This fungus can also be cultivated on hardwood sawdust blocks. Such production is becoming very high in the US today. However, quality shiitake mushrooms are still produced on logs. Here in North Carolina, farmers across the State are being helped to begin cultivation of shiitake on inoculated logs. A separate page is dedicated to the cultivation of mushrooms on logs and photos taken from different workshops held across the state.
In our survey, after button mushroom and portabella, shiitake is the next most wanted and sold mushroom in North Carolina.
The low cost and relative ease of its outdoor cultivation is making it very
attractive to farmers in the rural areas of NC.