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Shiitake Mushrooms

Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs


The first shiitake mushroom symposium was held in Huntsville, Alabama in October 1993. Alabama A&M University and Cooperative Extension, the Resource Conservation and Development Council/Soil Conservation Service, Shiitake Producers of Alabama, Southern Rural Development Center, and USDA supported the efforts of this symposium. In 1997, a second Symposium was held, providing potential and current growers with more advanced production information. In 2006, the Functional Foods: The New Medicine Conference was held to present information to consumers about the health benefits of mushrooms and other fruits and vegetables.

1993 Shiitake Mushroom Symposium Proceedings in Huntsville, Alabama

The presentations at the 1993 Symposium included:

  • Overview of shiitake production methods
  • Cultivation of shiitake and other exotic mushrooms in Taiwan
  • How to get excellent spawn run
  • Extending the growing season and year-round production of shiitake on natural logs
  • Effects of shiitake mushroom strains and wood species on the yield of shiitake mushrooms
  • production of shiitake mushrooms in Florida
  • Growing a grass roots industry based on shiitake
  • The market for American dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Rapid germination of shiitake mushroom propagules in artificial culture media
  • Developing and marketing "Meal-in-a-Bag" shiitake products for small shiitake growers
  • Woodland mushroom production as sustainable agriculture: a forester's perspective
  • Medicinal benefits of the shiitake mushroom
  • Profit potential from growing shiitake
  • From the Hills of the Ozarks to the Bistros of St. Louis
  • Shiitake facilities in Florida—logs and sawdust
  • Financial comparison of log and sawdust grown shiitake

The 1997 Symposium included the following presentations:

  • Ecological guides to the cultivation of edible mushrooms
  • Fruiting strategies and facilities for sawdust-based shiitake production
  • A bio-rational approach to indoor mushroom cultivation
  • Using biotechnology to enhance shiitake production
  • Genetic engineering of edible fungi
  • Gaining publicity through the PRESS
  • Advertising on TV—Is it feasible? Is it worth it?
  • Small shiitake farm secrets: utilizing spent sawdust blocks as a base for a marketable soil additive
  • Shiitake production and marketing in Florida
  • Accessing funding and resources for shiitake mushroom production
  • Developing an association
  • Shiitake mushrooms in Mississippi
  • Shiitake production relative to time between inoculation and first fruiting and time between fruitings
  • Growing shiitake mushroom on hardwood sawdust
  • Observed effects of row coverings on temperature, humidity and fruit body moisture content
  • Does scoring or girdling trees prior to felling increase shiitake mushroom production on logs from treated trees
  • Brown center rot of shiitake mushrooms
1997 Shiitake Mushroom Symposium Proceedings in Huntsville, Alabama


2006 Functional Foods Conference DVDFunctional foods are foods or food substances designed to lower the risk or delay the onset of certain diseases. The promotion of functional fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms is already occurring in some markets. In fact, functional food sales now exceed $10 billion a year in the United Functional Food Conference Presentations on VHS, held in 2006 in Huntsville, Alabama

States and $47 billion worldwide, with an expected annual growth rate of eight to ten percent over the next five years.

The 2006 Urban Rural Interface Conference was a great opportunity for producers and consumers to learn more about which fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms provide major benefits to your health, as well as new ways to market these products.

If you missed coming to the conference you can order the notebook or video.  Speakers included: Sally Norton on Greens or Grains?:  Exploring Connections Between Animal Feeds, Human Nutrition and Human Health and Farm or Pharma?:  Whole Food Diets for Health and Healing; Joel Slaton on How Medicinal Mushrooms Work: A contemporary Perspective; Martha Verghese on Anticancer Potential of Selected Foods; Ron Prior on Antioxidants, Free Radicals, and Health:  Translating the Science into Dietary Recommendations; and Cathy Sabota on Getting the Most of the Medicine in Mushrooms.



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