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Inspired by the project of growing your own gourmet mushroom at home, eager to taste the unmatched freshness that only a mushroom grow kit can provide, you have join the home grown mushroom adventure.

If you have one of those fungal box in your hands for the first time, some questions might arise as you're getting ready to start the cultivation process.

 

Here are some of the Frequenty Asked Questions.

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We will take a pleasure in helping you reach your confort zone in growing mushroom at home.

 

How many days should pass before the first signs of fructification appears ?

Although some grow kits produce mushrooms in the days following the opening & sinking of the mushroom farm, you will generally have to wait between 10 et 15 days before the first signs of mushroom production appears. The fungi "buds" is call primordium and look first as a little hedgehog.
Once you've notice it, provide the needed moisture and mushroom should grow in the fantastic fashion; primodium will developt as a mushroom bouquet doubling in size everyday during a period of about 5 days.

 

How to know when it is time to harvest the mushrooms ?

All along the the fulgurant growth of the mushroom, you can observe that while the caps gain in size and deployed themselves, the margins gradually unroll. It will progess from a button form, to an horizontal shape until it revese itself upside down.
The ideal time to harvest is when most of the mushroom caps of the bunch have reached an horizontal stage, just before they reverse itselfs upside down. (sometime call a graal stage). It's the moment when mushrooms will reach their best edible qualities as they will be firm enough to cook or store them and at the peak of their delicious flavour.
After that peak, everyday of growth leading into the unvealing of the gills by the reversing of the cap will bring your gourmet mushrooms into decay, quickly losing its firmness.

 

How to crop the mushrooms ?

Oyster mushrooms :

It's recommended to gently pull the bunch of mushrooms by the base, with a slight twist from the wrist. The base of the bunch will contain a small part of mycelium (the roots of mushroom) that cannot be eat but that can be use to initiate another culture from household residues.

 Shiitake and Reishi :

Use a knife to cut the mushrooms at the base by digging under it. We strongly recommend to cut the whole stem so that no part of it stay attached to the culture cake. If Those then dead stems are left on the grow kit, chances are they will rot and offer a gateway in the mycelium for pathogens.

 

How to store mushrooms ?

Once you've harvest some fresh mushroom, the best way to enjoy their remarquable flavor is to cook them.
However if you do not plan to eat them cropfresh, their is many way to preserve mushrooms.
They will last for more then a week in a refrigerator if place in a container that allow air exchange ( like salad package or bags designed for freezer ).
Mushrooms can also easily be dryed by being left in a dry environment for few days. A kitchen counter or a sun lighted shelf can fit the task. They are also many food dryers that are available just as they can be made up in a simple fashion.

 

What to do if no mushroom seems to grow ?

Verify the following simple health indicators of the mycelium (the roots of mushroom) before reinitiating the groth cycle by submerging the grow kit into cold water for 12 to 24 hours.

Humidity

The Keystone of mushroom culture is humidity : final weight of a crop is compose of 80 to 90% of water. You then must ensure that the growth envrionment provide a relative humidity of at least 40%, ideally between 50 and 90%. This can be localise around the grow kit by using a cheese or cake bell, an aerated greenhouse or by putting the growkit upon the soil of a wide plant or of an indoor tree.

 

If you can't access a humidity indicator, touching the mycelium will indicate the dryness / moistness of the grow kit.
If the mycelium is dry or produce flushes of mushroom that dryed before maturity, submerge it for 12 to 24 hours into cold water so that he can absord a maximum of moisture.
Subsequently, place the mushroom growing kit away from direct sunlight or heating element (oven, heater and so on) and moist it more ofter to maintain the requiered humidity level.

 

Smell:

Mycelium of edible mushroom should smells pleasant. Oyster kits produce a scent of anissed vanilla while Shiitake et Reishi kits have odours close to the one of the mushroom that will fruit from it.
If the smell is unpleasent or strongly weird, it's a bad sign. Look for weird spots of unusual colors, as explained below.

 

Colors:

Mycelium pure culture is generally white, while oxydation may produce some colors specifics to varieties and strains.
As our mushroom grow kits are made mainly from spent coffee grounds, the metabolites (products of the biological activity of the mycelium) can produce beige, brown or orangish spots. Those stains are normals and are dont signify any health issues.
However, bleu-green, fluffy pink spots or black moss should be consider idicators that your grow kits is getting contaminated by molds.
Don't panic as mycelium know how to mobilise strong immune response to pathogens. Still, to help you kits to get healty again, start by cut off the weirdly colored part of the grow kit : With a spoon or a knive dig below the sick spots and remove every pieces that hold that coloration. Clean the instrument between every manipulation with soap or alcool. If you work with alcool, wait for evaporation from your instrument before inserting it again into the mycelium, as remaning alcool vapors will hurt the fungi.
If you do not feel confortable with manipulating instruments into the growkit, you can also place the mycelium into a cool environment for about a week. This will slow the mold and give a chance for the edible mushroom's mycelium to take back its health, food source and territory.

 

When nothing seems to work

 Wait at least 18 days following the last submersion into cold water before labeling your mycelium as problematic or lazy. Notice that as long as the grow kit dosen't show signs of health concerns (contaminations), it shall fructify as soon as the indicated conditions are hold together for 14 days in row. (humidity is the key while avoiding stagnant water.
If nothing seems to work, a great way to stimulate fructification is to transfer the mycelium into another substrate (food source). It can be mixted into any wood product (cardboard, paper, sawdust, wood chips and so on) spent coffee ground or tea leaves, hemp, cotton or any other carbon source.
The mycelium can also be use to inoculate logs and stumps of hardwood or integrated into the garden as a plant companion. Some weeks are then needed for the mycelium to colonise its food source completely. Once that step reached, the early opening protocols (submerge for 12 to 24 hours in cold water and keep moist for two weeks in a row) can be practice again, with a enhanced quantity of mycelium.
If those detours test the limits of your interest into cultivating mushroom, you can consult our exchange policy.