Shiitake mushrooms grow by the ton at a Latvian farm

Trubenieki farm in Jelgava municipality is the largest producer of shiitake mushrooms in Latvia. Owner Jānis Volksons said 300-500 kilograms of mushrooms grow in a month on his farm, Latvian Television said September 20.

Latvians are notoriously mushroom-mad, and it seems they are also open-minded to fungi from afar. Shiitake mushrooms come from Japan, and they grow on fallen trees. Owner Jānis said a tree log can house up to five harvests - then  the mushrooms will have eaten the tree and it will become brittle.

The incubation period of the fungi takes three years - but it clearly takes much less than that to sell the production. Jānis said hardly any mushroom  goes out in the world - most are quickly snatched right there on the farm. Most mushrooms are processed in various products. Jānis said the most popular is shiitake butter.

"This butter has a lot of mushrooms in it, it is really mushroom butter, not butter with mushrooms," said Jānis.

In the future, Jānis plans to produce mushroom chips in his Trubenieki farm, as an alternative to potato chips.

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