Growing shiitake mushrooms may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of farming, with many opting for deer farming, or putting their farming equipment to to other use, but if you have wooded land there’s no reason not to. While it’s unlikely to ever form the majority of your income, crop and income diversity is never a bad thing.
While much of the shiitake production in the USA is in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, there isn’t much of an issue growing anywhere. All that is required to get started is a high-moisture location on your farm that has a good amount of shade. Very little maintenance is required, just watering and waiting. You’ll find that shiitake spawn will do best in temperatures between 72 – 78 F.
One of the best things about shiitake mushrooms is their versatility. You can sell them as fresh or dried, as inoculated shiitake logs or sawdust logs, and as culinary infused products.
Fresh shiitake can last up to 10 days while maintaining their freshly harvested flavor, and if placed in a sealed container dried shiitake can last up to 2 or more years.
It also helps that of all speciality mushrooms, shiitake are the most recognized in the USA.