Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Our housemate ordered a Shiitake mushroom kit from the internets. Actually, this is the replacement kit, as the first one didn't work. This seems to be a common experience, from what I can tell...Anyway, it comes as a big compacted blog of sawdust covered in white mycelium and brown...something. After a complicated process of refrigeration and soaking in rainwater, you keep the mushroom "log" misted several times daily, and wait. Our first flush of mushrooms yielded about 6 shiitakes. Mushrooms grow incredibly quickly, and they are fascinating to watch. Our second flush, pictured here in progress, looks as though it will be quite a bit bigger. We're new to growing mushrooms, and we're not sure it's cost effective ($40 for app. 4 flushes per kit) but it's really fun, and they make a great centerpiece. We want to learn more about keeping the mushrooms alive after they've eaten all the sawdust food. Fungi are particular, so although we'll probably try to innoculate another growing medium after this one is spent, it may not work. Mushroom experts?

Oh, and our housemate just ordered an oyster mushroom kit that supposedly grows on coffee grounds. He was planning to bring home the grounds from the restaurant he works at, only to find that a coworker had already labeled the trash bag of grounds with her name. Gotta love it. We'll keep you updated on that one!


The Good Doctor said...


Very easy to move a bit of a "flowering" mature mushroom into other jars as a form of inoculation.

The Medium is brown rice.

Not sure if this would work, but certainly would work with other mushrooms.

What's in a name? said...

I started the grow our own in December - Ceps - Boletus Edulus. They're also really tasty.


We live in Germany, but I expect the system is similar. It cost 42,95 Euros for culture and a mini greenhouse. After the culture is exhausted, the producer says, you can throw it on the compost heap and buy a new mushroom culture - which costs 16,50 Euros.

Mikey Sklar said...

I agree with the first two comments using jars, or mini greenhouse will be essential most of the year to getting a strong crop.

I went through three kits this summer before I had one that did not arrive with mold on it. We were growing pink oyster mushrooms and they turned out excellent during our monsoon season. I still had to mist them and had a plastic bag with little holes to slow down the moisture evaporation.

This monsoon season I will try again, but starting with spores in syringe form. No need to order the logs of carbon in the kit form. The $20 syringes go a long way. Once you get good at shrooms you could potentially collect prints and stop buying spores.