Q: I would like to grow shitake mushrooms. What can you tell me about the process?
A: Before I say anything further on the subject, I just want to encourage anyone interested in mushrooms to eat only mushrooms positively identified as edible. Serious complications and even death have occurred when eating mushrooms found in the wild. I am attaching a publication by the University of Florida small farm enterprises to give you more specific information.
Shitake mushrooms can be grown here in shaded areas such as pine forests. The logs should be 3 to 8 inches in diameter and about 4 feet long. There are specific procedures for inoculating the logs and keeping them away from other mushrooms as to avoid contamination. It is important to purchase your initial spores from a reputable source. Shitake mushrooms will take about 6 to 18 months before they are ready to harvest.
The publication gives you specifications on inoculation sources, log arrangement, marketing, and networking websites. For the single homeowner, it would make a nice hobby especially if you start small. I have also attached a publication by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service on other types of edible mushrooms.