Growing mushrooms

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by MitchM, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Has anyone tried growing mushrooms?

    We have an event up here once a year called Seedy Saturday. My wife picked up a box from a vendor that sold these mushroom growing kits. The box contained a bag of sterilized medium, straw in this case, that was inoculated with a specific variety of mushroom. In this case it is of Phoenix Oyster.
    I've been learning about cultivating mushrooms because I like to cook with them and was wondering if any else had any experience doing this?

    Here is the box with the side cut open and the mushrooms starting to fruit. I have to spray the opening with water once per day. This variety is grown at room temperature.

    IMG_5252.JPG


    IMG_5254.JPG
     
    MitchM, Apr 3, 2014
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    Nepen

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    I treid Shitake and got a few, then the log just got dried and no more mushroom. When I was young we had a few bags of musroom growing kit and we had it in out bathroom lol.
     
    Nepen, Apr 3, 2014
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    taherrmann4 Tmann

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    Have never tried it but I thought about it once. Let us know how it works out as I might have to give it a try depending on how hard they are to grow.
     
    taherrmann4, Apr 4, 2014
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  4. MitchM

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Interesting never saw a box for growing mushrooms.
     
    addy1, Apr 4, 2014
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  5. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    Mitch,

    My brother and I experimented with growing our own mushrooms years ago. Nowadays the "boxed" mushroom kits are all the rage for mushroom fanciers and they work really well. However, we were doing this all from scratch (or attempting to do it). We had very little good luck and lots of failures.

    We constructed a wooden box with a lid and vent holes which was kept in the basement. Inside the box we filled it with a mix of straw, black dirt, sand, sawdust from actual trees (not from a lumber mill where the wood would be treated), peat moss and leaf litter from the wild. We experimented with all these soil components in varying degrees.

    Then we went out into the wild and actually harvested local mushrooms (mostly morels) and some other species. Those which were of poor quality to eat (not fresh/too old or were bug-ridden or the deer had got to them first) we used to innoculate the growing bed. We would shake the shrooms to spread the spores over the media and then wait to see what happened in the future season.

    Our best luck was when we had a wild bed of mushrooms and actually dug up that soil in the fall and placed it in the box atop the growing media that we had created. The next spring we had several shrooms. We may have had continued luck with these (shrooms) again if we had kept up on this project, but my brother moved and he/we abandoned the project.

    The major problem was maintaining the temperature, humidity and natural lighting levels throughout the year. The trick is to get the mycelium to grow properly and, under the perfect conditions, propogate the mushrooms as a "fruit".

    Read this article from wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycelium

    Gordy
     
    Catfishnut, Apr 4, 2014
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  6. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Thanks Gordy.
    What I've been learning so far is that sterility is of the utmost importance.
    I can recreate the humidity and temperature controls in a small aquarium or reptile cage. Humidity control by using wet perlite for a substrate, sterility by using a pressure cooker to sterilize the medium in glass jars or bags.
    Penicillin type mould is the biggest danger. A contaminated medium could result in bad tasting mushrooms.
    There seems to be a lot of information on the internet anyways,

    With this box kit, I had to wait for the mycelium to grow completely, then cut open the bag and keep it watered. Pretty simple so far.

    .
     
    MitchM, Apr 4, 2014
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  7. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    Mitch,

    Yes, I believe that the companies which provide those boxed mushrooms have a real niche. They work. Unfortunately, there are only a few varieties of shrooms which are offered in this way. I do not believe that the morel mushrooms are one of them and that is where my brother and I claim some sort of success. Except for the fact that we cheated. LOL! Other people cheated too, but theirs didn't grow, ours did.

    If you get/try more of these boxed shrooms, let me know. i was watching several videos off of you tube just a few weeks ago about them and I was drooling! I LOVE mushrooms! And I don't mean the ones you buy in the supermarket, I mean the wild ones. If you are a mushroom fanatic like me, then please keep in touch and send me updates about your shrooms.

    Gordy
     
    Catfishnut, Apr 4, 2014
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  8. MitchM

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    cant personally verify this but i have read...YOU CAN SIMPLY REPLANT THE STEMS OF MUSHROOMS ... AND GROW THEM. just buy , eat the cap, plant stem. a bag of peat soil works great. recycle your coffee grounds by adding them.
     
    koiguy1969, Apr 4, 2014
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  9. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    koiguy,

    Actually that strategy cannot work. Well it can, but via a different reasoning. You need one of two things (plus a bunch of other variables to work in your favor). You either need the spores from the shrooms which will create a bed of mycelium or you need the mycelium itself, the third thing you need is time, lots of time, and the proper conditions. Chemical, sunlight, temperature, moisture, etc. etc. etc. No one really understands the entire process fully for all mushroom variations, but they have figured out how to do the "shrooms in a box" or "bag" for some of them. The cap and stem style mushrooms (like you can buy in a store) are easily propogated, but morels and other forms of wild mushrooms haven't been figured out completely yet. That is why they are so expensive if you wish to buy them instead of going out to harvest them through hard work. Someone else goes out and picks them wild and sells them, they haven't yet figured out how to grow them in a farming type operation.

    Gordy
     
    Catfishnut, Apr 13, 2014
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  10. MitchM

    Mucky_Waters

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    When I was still around 13-14 mushroom spotting was a hobby of mine, and I looked into growing them to, but there wasn't a lot of information out there about doing it on a small scale at that time (no internet). I did visit a large scale mushroom farm though. They had a massive indoor compost heap (straw and manure mostly) which they moved to boxes and another growing room to finish the compost cycle which generated a lot of heat. The heat from the final composting basically sterilized the growing boxes, after which they would add prepared mycelium culture once the compost matured and the heat dropped to the proper temp. The owner of the mushroom farm who was giving me a tour of the place walked me into the room with the composting boxes and after I got a few steps in the room I started choking and my eyes started burning and I had to run out of the room. He stood there with a grin on his face, because he knew that would happen. It was like a sauna in there and the fumes in the air were thick with strong ammonia. We all had a good laugh, and he sent me home with a bag of the mycelium culture and some instructions on how to try growing it at home, but I don't remember ever growing any so I probably dropped the ball on that one.
    Later on I remember reading various home methods for growing mushrooms on small scale for psychoactive mushrooms that seemed pretty simple. If I remember correctly they used oatmeal or oats as part of the growing medium, and cooked it in the oven to kill off any mold spores before adding the mushroom spores which you could get by mail order.
    As has already been pointed out, precise control over humidity and temperature is required for good success. It doesn't have to be completely dark, but sunlight generally is not desired.
    I've always wanted to try growing mushrooms again, but too many other little hobbies seem to get in the way.
    I always remember with fondness my outdoor mushroom spotting hikes, which I pretty much did on my own until a friend of mine found a similar interest. Much like bird watchers, I had a few books and use to walk around in different areas locating as many different mushrooms as I could document. It was always a thrill to find a new one I had never spotted before, my favorite has always been the Amanita muscaria.
    [​IMG]
     
    Mucky_Waters, Apr 13, 2014
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  11. MitchM

    Dave 54

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    When I was back in my Biker days I remember being a trifle partial to the Magic Mushroom but that was back in the days of young and foolish :D :) :cool:
    Now I prefare the chesnut variety of mushroom(y)

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Apr 14, 2014
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  12. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    You could try this variety... Gymnopilus junonius Otherwise known as the laughing Gym. Extremely bitter, eaten raw and it will make you laugh at anything, so it is told. If you eat it, I will laugh at you while you are laughing at me and we would all have a good laugh. Umm Umm Umm, tastes like crap!

    Monkey see. Monkey do. Makes you wonder who's foolin who. Monkey see, monkey do. ;)

    Big Laughing Gym.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
    Catfishnut, Apr 14, 2014
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  13. MitchM

    Dave 54

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    "AHEM" Gordy back in the day , the days of my mis spent youth after the military :LOL:

    Dave ;)
     
    Dave 54, Apr 14, 2014
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  14. MitchM

    MitchM

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    As it turns out, the humidity in the house runs about 35% these days and spraying every day is not enough to keep the mushrooms hydrated. The mushrooms that were growing so well were starting to wilt.
    That makes sense. Mushroom environments would have to be fairly humid.
    I looked further on the "net" and came across various recommendations, so here's what I have come up with so far.

    I've moved the mushroom growing box into an extra 10 gallon aquarium I had. That would help me have more control over the heat and humidity. I've been spraying every day and monitoring the humidity with a battery operated combination thermometer/hygrometer. After 1 week the mushrooms are doing much better.

    IMG_0433.JPG

    Apparently CO2 buildup is an issue when growing mushrooms in an enclosed space like this, so you are supposed to take the top off and manually fan the inside of the aquarium once per day.
    I don't want to have to do that every day, so I found an extra 12V computer fan I had and and old 12V power supply and wired them together. I cut out a piece of styrofoam as a mounting gasket for the fan and installed it over where the aquarium heater would normally go.
    I then plugged the power supply into an extra outlet from my aquarium computer so that the fan runs 1 minute every 4 hours. I'm hoping that that will take care of any excess CO2 buildup that could retard the mushroom growth. IMG_0435.jpg

    IMG_0436.jpg

    IMG_0437.jpg


    IMG_0438.JPG



    To help control humidity a little better, I came across a suggestion to soak some Perlite, enough to cover maybe 1/2" depth on the bottom of the aquarium and add water after that as needed.
    I'll probably get around to that in the next week or so.
    That would be easier than spraying whenever I remembered to.



    .
     
    MitchM, Apr 14, 2014
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  15. MitchM

    MitchM

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    Excess CO2 buildup must have been a huge limiting factor in the mushroom's growth.
    After 24 hours of having that fan installed, the mushrooms have almost tripled in size.:)

    IMG_0445.JPG
     
    MitchM, Apr 15, 2014
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  16. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    Mitch,

    Really cool! The shrooms are looking healthy!

    Gordy
     
    Catfishnut, Apr 16, 2014
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  17. MitchM

    Dave 54

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    The proof is in the taste though Mitch :D(y):):cool:

    Dave ;)
     
    Dave 54, Apr 16, 2014
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  18. MitchM

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Nice! (are those the funny ones? makes ya goofy?) ....................j/k
     
    addy1, Apr 16, 2014
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  19. MitchM

    MitchM

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    I'm not sure how big to let them get before I pick them...?
    No, they're not the funny ones, addy.:rolleyes:

    I think I'll go shopping on the 'net for other edible variety spores next.
     
    MitchM, Apr 16, 2014
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  20. MitchM

    Catfishnut

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    Try searchine for these: Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster shell mushrooms).

    oyster shell mushroom.jpg
     
    Catfishnut, Apr 17, 2014
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