Agents from Sampson County and Duplin County Cooperative Extension are teaming up to bring a mushroom workshop to the public.
The “Growing Shiitake Mushrooms” session is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the Duplin County Center, Kenansville.
James Hartsfield, a farm management agent for Duplin and Sampson Counties, is looking forward to the workshop.
“There could be some potential market for growers to produce mushrooms,” Hartsfield said. “It’s an alternative and could be a niche market.”
The workshop will cover all aspects of shiitake mushroom production. The shiitake is native to eastern Asia and is used for different cooking methods. According to health officials, it may also be used to boost the immune system, lower blood cholesterol levels and treat prostate cancer.
For the hands-on workshop, participants will treat and bring home their own logs. Extension officials are asking interested growers bring four logs for demonstration purposes. The preferred types are red, white or scarlet oak, which are 4 to 8 inches in diameter and 4 foot long with the bark intact. Logs need to be cut no more than two weeks before the workshop.
Extension officials hosted a shiitake workshop in 2015 at the Sampson office. The program was developed by the Cooperative Extension program at North Carolina A&T State University. During the session, participants drilled holes into logs and injected spawn into them. Cheese wax and beeswax was applied to seal holes before a label was attached for the inoculation process.
Lunch will be provided during the upcoming workshop.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.