Let’s talk mushrooms…

Health benefits

Shiitake Mushroom is considered as a medicinal mushroom.  It has antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal properties.

  • Shiitake is known for boosting the immune system.

  • Shiitake has extremely high nutritional values. Fresh Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of zinc, iron and protein.

  • Ongoing studies are still being done on Shiitake but most studies show that it may help lower cholesterol and boost the immune system. There is current research on using Shiitake as immune booster for AIDS patients.

  • Shiitake is used in some eastern countries as an anti-cancer dug because of the lentinan.

  • Shiitake Mushrooms contains all 8 of the essential amino acids and vitamines such as B12, A, D and C. Shiitake Mushroom extracts contain a significant amount of 1,3 beta-glucan and lentinan.

  • Recent studies have also shown that Shiitake mushrooms help with the fight against cardiovascular diseases. It helps to protect the blood vessels by preventing too much immune cell binding to the lining of our blood vessels.

Sharlebel shiitake cultivation

  • Sharlebel Mushrooms is using bag cultivation to produce Shiitake Mushrooms

  • It enables us to plan and control production cycles

  • Shiitake Mushrooms only grow on certain hardwoods. We are using a mixture of Blackwood shavings and sawdust to make our substrate

Bag Preparation and Sterilization
  • The substrate mix is placed in heat resistant bags of 2kg each and are then sterilized with hot steam at approximately 98- 100˚c for 7-8 hours

  • After sterilization, the bags are left to cool

Inoculation and Spawn Run
  • Shiitake spawn is now added to each bag mixture and the bag is heat sealed.  This is done under strict laboratory conditions.

  • Each bag has a small breathing patch for air exchange

  • These bags are placed in the Spawn room and left to develop for 50 – 60 days under controlled conditions

  • When the mycelia populate the sawdust mixture, it turns completely white

  • At this stage Sharlebel Mushrooms remove the blocks from the bags. The exposed blocks are moved to the production house.

Shiitake Growing House and Soaking

SharLeBel Mushrooms

A typical day at SharLeBel Mushroom Farm

Hard Wood Shavings

Our spawn production procedure, starts with the mix of the substrate, which consist mainly of hardwood shavings and dust.

Bagging Compost

Bagging the compost mix in filtered polypropylene bags.

Sterilizing Process

Sterilizing the filled compost bags at 100 degrees celsius for 7-8 hours.

Inoculation Process

Inoculation sterilized compost with mushroom spawn.

Inoculation Process

The inoculation is done under laboratory conditions.

Spawn Process

The shiitake culture is growing on a red sorghum mixture.

Spawn Room

Spawn run is for 50- 60 days in incubation room under controlled conditions.

Soaking Room

Blocks are removed from bags and allowed out to dry for several days. The blocks are then soaked in water for +- 4 hours. This process is repeated several times during fruiting period.

Harvest Time

Harvest is done twice a day. Shiitake has a two week shelf life.


Our products are then prepared. SharLeBel’s main products are fresh shiitake, dried shiitake and shiitake powder.


Shiitake has a rich, unique flavour.

SharLeBel Products

Enjoy our unique, fresh and delicious products.

Interesting Facts

  • Cultivation processes can differ from other growers

  • Shiitake blocks will only start fruiting after more or less 70 days

  • Shiitake  farming is labour intensive

  • SharLeBel only do indoor cultivation under controlled conditions

  • No Pesticides are used