Mushroom Cultivation requires some willingness to learn, some basic lab equipment and a lot of patience.
This blog will give you an overview of the different steps on your way to harvesting fresh gourmet mushrooms. A detailed description of each step will follow (See the first one: How to Prepare Spawn).
The easiest way to grow your own Mushrooms at home is a Mushroom Grow Kit. You can get ones that are already fully colonized and ready to fruit, or you can purchase a kit consisting of the culture, grain and substrate to create your own grow kit and learn about the different steps as you move along (like this one). Alternatively, you could prepare everything yourself.
These are the steps of Mushroom Cultivation:
1. Strain Selection
Choose a strain of mushrooms you want to grow and obtain either a spore print or a culture of that species.
2. Preparation of Grain
3. Grain Inoculation
Inoculate your grain (e.g. rye or sorghum) with your chosen culture or spore syringe (use 1-2 cc for spores or 0.5 – 1 cc for liquid cultures).
4. Mixing of Spawn into Substrate:
Once your spawn is fully colonized, mix it with your pasteurized bulk substrate. Make sure to use sterile utensils when scooping and mixing the spawn and the substrate to avoid contamination. Close your bag and shake it to allow even dispersal of spawn into substrate. Place your bag (or tub) in a dark and draft free location, maintaining air temperatures of 80 degrees F. It generally takes about 1-3 weeks until the substrate is fully colonized, depending on the species.
Move your colonized Medium into a fruiting chamber which contains proper lighting, humidity and fresh air. Light and fresh air initiates fruiting. Depending on the mushroom species, you might want to poke holes, make vertical incisions or create a dome over the area you would like to see fruiting bodies. You want to maintain humidity inside the bag or tub. You might have to add humidity, for example spray water daily, to make sure the mushrooms don’t dry out. A 12/12 light cycle with 6500K spectrum is optimal and can be achieved with household florescent lighting.
Wait for mushrooms to mature. The correct harvesting technique depends on the type of mushroom you are growing. For oyster mushrooms, use a twisting motion to harvest a mushroom cluster.