After a complete wash with hunting for Michigan morels this year, I only found one small morel after days of searching, I decided that I was going to learn how to grow my own mushrooms this year.
The opportunity came up when I heard about a class being offered here in Ann Arbor by Matt Demmon. The class was hands on with the seven of us in attendance participating in both log growing and ground growing mushroom methods.
The real trick for me with growing mushrooms is to find the hardwood logs. You need to use logs that are as fresh as possible and that have bark. Oak seems to be a good all around log for log growing mushrooms like Oyster and Shiitake. The thing is, they do not sell fresh cut oak logs with bark at the hardware store.
One of the advantages of log growing mushrooms is that you can take it with you. Log can last for a few years, and travel well. I usually rent a community garden plot, which means that every year around October, I have to pack everything up, and restart again, but with a mushroom log, I can bring my garden with me.
The log method shown in the picture below is pretty straight forward, and I feel is a good place to start for beginners. By contrast, other forms of mushroom cultivation are very involved with many exacting variables, and laboratory conditions.
Here is a picture summary of the class. I will have updates in the spring to see how my mushroom log turned out.
Here is a link to Fungi Perfecti about mushroom spore dowels
The only step I did not take a picture of was the waxing. After drilling, then hamming a dowel into the log, it is coated with wax, in our case melted Beeswax.