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Not only do shiitake mushrooms enhance the flavor of many dishes, they are also known for their medicinal properties, including research concluding immune-function increase, and they are often used in Japan as a complementary alternative medicine by cancer patients.

Size: 2 to 5 inches in diameter.

Sunlight requirements: Keep between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water requirements: Water meter should read between 35 and 45 percent until fruiting begins.

Soil requirements: Do not place in soil; mushroom will decompose.

When to plant: Inoculate in the spring, after last frost.

Where to plant: On an oak log.

When to harvest: 6 to 12 months after inoculation.

Product storage: Refrigerate fresh mushrooms for up to a month; dry and store for up to two years.

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