Grifola frondosa: Hen of the Woods is a tasty polypore that has a similar flavor to eggplant. They frequently weigh twenty pounds and resemble small hens covered with leaves. *Please note: Hen of the Woods is a different species from Chicken of the Woods!
Check out our Spawn FAQ to figure out what type of logs you can use!
Plug Spawn - Great for first time mushroom log growers. They are usually used for small projects of 1-10 logs, though some log cultivators will use them for larger projects. Plug Spawn comes in 100, 500, and 1000 ct. bags.
Inoculation: 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 in a pressure cooker or steam sterilizer 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*
Hen of the Woods mushrooms are great for enthusiast growers who have had some success with other species. Hen works best when logs are steam sterilized and incubated in filter patch bags. Fully colonized logs are buried underground.
Cooking: Hen of 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!
Properties:Hen of the woods is traditionally valued for it's medicinal qualities and has been used to reduce cancer growth as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol. In human trials, Hen of the Woods has improved symptoms by over 50% in patients with second to fourth stage liver or breast cancer (Lindequist, 2005). Hen of the Woods has also been shown to activate essential components of the immune system including macrophages, T-cells, and NK cells (Namba et al.,1992). While boasting medicinal properties, Hen of the Woods can also be dried, powdered and turned into a restoring tea. The dried powder has been shown to reduce hypertension (Rogers, 2011).