Hen of the Woods (Maitake) Plug Spawn
|Spawn shelf life||6 months (refrigerated)|
|Flavor profile||Succulent, earthy|
|Bag sizes||100, 500, & 1,000 count|
Hen of the woods, aka Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is a succulent polypore with a delicate feathery texture and earthy rich flavor. Its lacy sides make it a great option for frying, roasting, sautéing, and adding a visual flair to many dishes. Hen of the woods mushrooms are great for enthusiast growers who have had some success with other more advanced species. Because it is not a strong competitor, it requires a different cultivation strategy and works best when logs are steam sterilized, incubated and colonized in filter patch bags, then removed from bags and partially buried in a shaded spot.
Plug spawn is ideal for smaller projects of 1-10 logs, though some log cultivators will use them for larger projects.
Click here to download our pamphlet on growing mushrooms on logs, stumps, and totems.
Hen of the woods will only fruit in oak logs. After a 1-year colonization period above ground, hen of the woods logs may be partially buried under 2 inches of top soil to mimic their natural place in an ecosystem. The mushrooms will fruit from logs and emerge out of the soil.
It should be noted that hen of the woods is prone to being out competed by other fungi and is not a reliable producer without first treating your logs. To limit variables we strongly suggest you sterilize 8" by 8" segments of oak log before inoculation and incubate your log segments for a few months in sealed filter patch bags until they are completely colonized. Remove them from the bag and partially bury them in a shady location. (You can sterilize your log segments in a 22 qt or larger pressure cooker such as an All-American.)
For our complete plug spawn pamphlet, click here.
If you don't plan to use immediately, you can refrigerate your spawn for up to 6 months.
Hen of the woods has a semi-firm texture and earthy flavor. It can be ripped into small pieces and added to a dish or left large to be the centerpiece of a meal. We love to confit hen of the woods by slow cooking it at a low temperature in an oven submerged in extra virgin olive oil. After 4-5 hours the Hen of the Woods will be crispy and delicious and you'll have mushroom infused olive oil!
The spawn used in our mushroom plugs is grown on USDA certified organic grain and made with organic cultures from our own culture bank. Our plugs are handmade from a blend of locally sourced, all-natural, organic, and non-GMO woods from farms and forests in New England and North America.
If you’re going to consume home-grown mushrooms, make sure to cook your fresh mushrooms thoroughly with heat. If it is your first time eating this species, it is best to start with a small amount to check for allergies, even if cooked.