|Use store bought mushrooms to cultivate mycelium.|
I have read that oyster mushrooms are the easiest to grow. However, I want portabellas; the big stuffable, grillable ones. Apparently, you can grow any type of store bought mushroom. If you want to follow along and start your own homemade mushroom kits, use whatever variety you prefer.
WARNING!!!! Do not grow wild mushrooms unless you really, really, really know your fungi. You could end up growing poisonous mushrooms, like the death caps that grow wild in our backyard. Better safe than sorry, so start with some from the produce section.
I've never done this before. Like the title says, this is an experiment - and I so hope it is successful. I love mushrooms, but they are expensive to buy. I could buy a mushroom kit, but they are $20 or more. If you know me, you know I'm cheap. If I can, I'd rather do it myself.
Step 1: Cultivating MyceliumMushrooms are the fruiting portion of the mycelia. In order to get mushrooms, you have to first get the mycelium growing. Patience is definitely not my long suit, so this is going to be the most difficult part of the process for me. It will take three to four weeks, and maybe as long as six to eight weeks to get it growing well enough to actually produce mushrooms. And I'm supposed to leave it alone, not bother it, not even take a peek for at least three weeks?! How am I supposed to do that?
You will need:
|Items you need to cultivate mycelium.|
Fresh, store bought mushrooms. Not dried, not canned, not frozen. FRESH only.
|I am starting with the stems from Baby Bellas, |
which are small portabellas.
|Wrap whatever pieces of the mushrooms you would |
normally throw out or compost into pieces of moist paper towel.
|Place the paper towel with the mushroom pieces into a paper bag.|
Place the paper bag into a plastic bag. Fold over the top , do not seal the plastic bag.
Place in the refrigerator and don't peek for three weeks. During this time, the mycelium should start to grow. It is a fuzzy white layer that will start spreading across the paper towel. If you happen to peek early, as I undoubtedly will, and see green-black mold starting to grow try to remove all of it, or start over. The mold will take over the mycelium and your experiment will fail.
That is as far as we are going today. In three weeks we will open the bags and take a peek. If the mycelium is starting to grow, we'll move on to step two. If not, the bag goes back into the refrigerator for another week or three. When we have successfully spawned mycelium we will transfer it to a prepared growing medium.
* Note: I am starting two individual bags because I will test different growing media. If you want, do the same. The growing media will be coffee grounds and wood chips. You can start saving coffee grounds now, and find some wood chips. You can buy bags of wood chips at garden centers and hardware stores. Check the BBQ section at a hardware store, you should be able to find some cedar or fruitwood chips for smoking and BBQ. Look for wood chips that have not been treated with dyes or other chemicals.
Please leave a comment if you are growing mushrooms with us, or if you have some helpful tips that will make our experiment successful.
Resource: How to Cultivate Mushrooms at Home