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How To Grow Organic Mushroom at Home 

How To Grow Organic Mushroom at Home 

When we hear mushroom, we think of a naturally occurring fungus that grows on already dead trees and logs. While that\’s true, mushrooms are also grown commercially on farms. And like other food crops, mushrooms are grown in soil-less media. In this case, the mushrooms are grown on composted manure mixed with hay or straw.

How To Grow Organic Mushroom at Home  1

The practice of growing mushrooms goes back thousands of years to when nomads observed Fungi producing spores near their roadside habitats. They\’d pick the spores, add them to their trail food (like oats) and eventually began growing exotic mushrooms on their travels.

Today, people grow mushroom for consumption as well as for their beneficial health properties. In addition to the above benefits, mushrooms are a notable source of protein and contain two important minerals: zinc and selenium. They\’re also a good source of vitamin D2 and contains a variety of B vitamins. For those who are gluten intolerant  the mushroom is an excellent source of fiber since it is neither gluten nor grain.

Grow organic mushroom at home

You can grow organic mushroom at home. It\’s a great project for the do-it-yourself and a great way to save money on a healthy snack and nutrient-dense food.

Mushroom Biology

All Mushrooms are Fungi (do not be confused by the word \’mushroom\’ which is actually the fleshy growth produced by certain types of fungi). The Mycelium is the web-like structure that grows underground and is normally found inside or adjacent to a host tree. When optimal conditions are found (i.e. a sufficient supply of nutrients and a suitable climate) the mycelium will  sporulate, which is when it spouts, or grows spores.

The spores are the sexual reproductive units of the fungi. Once the spores are released they must land on a suitable substrate before they can germinate and begin growing mycelium. Some types of mushrooms grow on soil while other fungi grow on wood. The white button mushroom that you purchase at the grocery store are actually grown on composted soil. Before purchasing mushroom spawn make sure you know what type of fungi you need to grow the type of mushroom that you want to eat.

Grow Your Own Organic Mushroom at Home

If you\’re interested in growing your own supply of organic mushroom at home, look for mushroom spawn at your local farmers market or buy it online. You can also use wood logs to grow your own mushrooms; the process is simple and doesn\’t require any special skills or tools. All you need is:

Mushroom spawn

A spade or shovel

A flat surface such as  a garden or a wooden pallet

A well-drained, clean area free of debris or rocks

How to Grow Organic Mushroom at Home: The Process

First, clear the area on which you intend to grow your mushrooms. Remove any existing plants, dirt, rocks and any other obstacles. Make sure the area gets plenty of sunlight and has access to rain.

Spread the spawn across your cleared area in a line or a circle with the planted side facing up.

Wait 4-7 days, depending on the type of mushroom spawn you purchased. It will take some time for the mycelium to spread across the surface you planted it on. Check back every few hours if you\’re not able to check on your mushrooms regularly during the day.

Once your mycelium has spread across the surface, it is time to prepare your logs. Choose hardwood logs such as oak, chestnut or maple. Do not choose pine or fir logs for this process because pine and fir  are softwoods which don\’t retain their structure once the logs are decomposing. Hollow out the inside of your log using an axe or a saw, creating a U-shaped cavity in the middle of the log. Keep enough wood in the middle of the log to support the mushrooms as they grow.

Place your mushroom spawn in the middle of the U-shaped log and cover with more wood dust from either side of the cavity. Keep covering until you can no longer see the mushroom spawn.

Wait 3-6 months, depending on the type of mushroom you\’re growing. You should see signs of growth on the ends of your logs. Check regularly for these end caps by carving into the ends of your logs. Once your caps have formed, you can start harvesting your organic mushrooms.

How to Harvest Organic Mushroom

To harvest your mushrooms, carefully dig into the end caps and remove the grown mushrooms. If you find soft white ends instead of hard caps, continue to wait as  mycelium ends sometimes resemble caps. Once you have harvested your organic mushrooms, you can use any of the following methods to prepare them:

Sautee, grill, bake, or add to stews and sauces

Store in the freezer in pre-packed bags for use at a later time

Dice and add to soups minutes before serving

Make tea out of your mushrooms; great for boosting immunity and vitality

Add to salads for a nutritious and tasty addition

How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms at Home

After you\’ve prepared and seeded your log, choose a hardwood such as ash, elm or maple. If you\’re uncertain about which type of wood to use, consult a home improvement store or a local forestry office for advice.

Select a log that is at least 6 inches in diameter and about 6 feet in length. You will end up with a smaller mushroom crop if you use a larger log.

Slice one end of the log flat by  hammering a chisel onto it. This will keep your mushroom spawn from spilling out of the open end of the log.

Shake your bag of oyster mushroom spawn over the opened end of the log to evenly cover the cut end.

Wait 3-6 months, depending on the type of mushroom you\’re growing. You should see shoots popping out of the wood instead of emanating from the end cap. These are called primordia; they will develop into mushrooms.

Once your primordia have developed into mushroons, dig into the end cap and remove the mushrooms. You can harvest as soon as the mushrooms are big enough to reach past the chest.

How to Harvest Oyster Organic Mushroom

To harvest your mushrooms, dig into the end caps and pull out the mature mushrooms. You can either eat them or cook them right away. To store for later use, follow these steps:

Dig into end caps and remove whole mushrooms

Place in a container covered with  filtered water

Once a day, swish the mushrooms around in the water and then drain out the water

Repeat this process for three to four days; this will remove dirt, debris and the spores from the mushrooms. You can then store your mushrooms in a fridge for up to one month.

How to Grow King Oyster Mushrooms at Home

Once you\’ve harvested your king oyster mushrooms, you can grow them from seed.

Place your spores on a hardwood cutting of a hardwood tree such as elm, ash or maple.

Wait 6-12 months; this tree grows longer than other types of oyster mushroom fungi.

Once you\’ve seen white primordia extending from the ends of the log, you\’ll know it\’s time to harvest. Remember: you can only harvest once from each log. You will only get one crop per log.

How to Harvest King Oyster Mushroom

You can only harvest once from each log. 

Once the mushrooms are grown to a large enough size (about chest-size), dig into the end cap and pull out the mushrooms. You can then:

Eat them right away or cook them

Store for one month in a fridge by exposing them to fresh air once a day and then storing in the fridge overnight

If you want to grow oyster mushrooms in your backyard, you can follow these easy steps and have a steady supply for eating or selling. These mushrooms are one of the most coveted varieties because of their unique taste and texture. Plus, they\’re perfect for adding plenty of flavour to your meals without adding a lot of calories. 

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