Mushrooms are amazing!
At various times of the year, we sell Oyster Mushroom Growing Kits. Mushroom Growing Kits are fun to watch, and they’ll produce delicious, nutritious Oyster Mushrooms if you follow a few simple instructions! Please read instructions below for best results.
What’s in the bag?
Your kit contains pasteurized wheat straw and wheat bran, along with Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus) Spawn which was produced by a local supplier. There are holes punched in the bag to allow formation of mushrooms.
Where should I put it?
The kit SHOULD BE KEPT INDOORS! If you put the kit outside, the mushrooms will likely become inhabited by beetles. Beetles are very good at finding fungus! We mostly see the Triplax thoracica species. Here’s a link to some info about the Pleasing Fungus Beetles who love Oyster Mushrooms: http://springfieldmn.blogspot.com/2014/12/beetles-in-oyster.html
There is a date on the tag of your bag. You can expect that the bag will need 2-4 weeks from that date to colonize fully and then produce mushrooms. Keeping the bag in a warm dark place during this time, (which is called the spawn run) will speed the process. You’ll know the bag is close to forming mushrooms for the first time when the bag has turned almost completely white. But don’t forget about your bag because it needs light to fruit!
Once your bag is colonized it will do best with indirect light of any kind for at least 10 hours a day. Direct sunlight coming through a window for an extended period could cause the clear bag of the fruiting kit to allow the substrate to become too hot. The bag should be kept below 90° F. The ideal temperature range for your fruiting kit is 68-75 degrees.
Your fruiting kit should begin to “pin” (begin to form primordia) after the bag is fully colonized. You’ll see small nodules form near the holes which have been punched in the bag. In 3-5 days, a fruiting body (mushroom) will form. It will double in size every day, and be ready to harvest in 4-7 days.
Once the mushrooms have begun to poke out of the holes in the bag, you’ll need to mist them once (or twice if it’s hot in your house) a day. You can use any type of spray bottle to lightly mist the fruiting bodies. No need to drench. You can also move the bag close to a spigot and flick water into them. But the misting bottle is more fun!
Mushrooms will store longest when harvested while the cap is still slightly turned down. When it begins to flatten and then turn up, it will release spores that will look like a white film beneath the mushroom. They’re still fine to eat when they’ve formed spores, but the area around the bag will be messy. Harvest mushrooms before you mist them. Mushrooms that are harvested wet don’t last well. To harvest, simply grasp the entire cluster, and gently twist while pulling. Sometimes you have to pull hard!
Your harvested mushrooms will store best in a paper bag in your refrigerator. They keep well for about a week.
All mushrooms should be cooked! Uncooked mushrooms can produce stomach upset for some people. Also, they need the heat to best release their nutritional gifts. Oyster Mushrooms are high in protein and have large amounts of free amino acids. They contain vitamin C, vitamin B, and niacin. Mushrooms grown in sunlight are a source of non-animal vitamin D.
Second and Third Fruitings
After harvesting your first flush of mushrooms, leave the bag where it is for 7-10 days, and it may fruit a second, and even a third time. You’ll know the cycle is complete when the bag takes on a dark color, or if it becomes contaminated with mold or liquifies.
Compost the contents!
When the bag is finished, pour the contents in your compost pile. The worms LOVE to eat the spent substrate. Every now and then, the bag will actually fruit AGAIN in your compost pile! Though those mushrooms may have some beetles in them, they ARE edible.