Mushrooms 101: Intro to Grow
Growing mushrooms at home is incredibly easy to do. It can be a little daunting to the unexperienced but the learning curve is pretty quick. Mushrooms are quite hardy. Unlike plants, oyster mushrooms don’t die when you forget to water them - they just dehydrate. In fact nearly every issue a grower has will be related to humidity (RH) and fresh air exchange (FAE).
Mushrooms use the water in the substrate (the stuff inside your grow kit) to push the fruiting body (the part you eat) out into the world. However, they also need lots of moisture in the air to reach maturity. Your job is to mist your grow kit 2-3x a day or as often as needed in dry areas.
While you can set your Fruit at Home kit on the counter, we recommend using a storage bin with holes drilled in it for FAE. The storage bin helps to keep the humidity high while allowing fresh air to enter and the CO2 (created by the mushrooms) to drift out. It’s not necessary for all growers, but it’s often too windy and dry at my house in Honolulu to get good results without a small fruiting chamber.
Starting your Grow Kit
After you’ve made your opening, gather and tape all of the excess plastic down tightly. This helps to prevent mushrooms from forming inside of the bag.
Now that the mycelium is exposed, place the kit where you want to fruit (like a bookshelf, a terrarium or greenhouse, or your kitchen counter) and directly mist your fruiting block with filtered water 2-3 times per day. Growers that are in windy or drier areas will need to mist more frequently than growers in humid areas.
We recommend one or two 1.5 inch Xs on opposite corners of the bag. The more cuts you make, the more fruiting bodies you’ll get but each cluster will be smaller.
It is entirely up to you when to harvest but the harvest weight is highly dependent on how long you let the fruit grow. We typically recommend harvesting just before the caps flatten out for the prettiest shrooms and longest shelf life. To harvest, gently twist and pull the fruit from the base and trim away any debris with a knife.
Depending on the variety you will see white, gray, or pink “dust” all around the mature fruits. This is completely normal. The “dust” is actually spores from the mushroom and is part of its normal reproductive process. Clean the spores using a damp cloth.
Most users will get 2-3 harvests off of their grow bags. Once your oyster mushroom grow kit is finished, remove the substrate from the bag and toss it in your compost bin or incorporate it directly into your garden.