Mushrooms are such a diverse, tasty, earthy food and are so versatile! You can add them to salads, stews, on top of food or as garnish. They are fantastic raw, steamed, boiled, fried, sautéed and baked.
So, instead of just buying them in the supermarkets, you can really learn how to grow mushrooms in your own backyard. It is definitely cheaper once you set everything up and it starts to flow. Just keep in mind that you will need to obtain a very basic understanding of mycology (the study of fungi) before you begin. At a minimum, you should be able to identify the mushrooms you are growing and address any problems you may encounter during the growth process.
But do not worry, with a very basic understanding of how mushrooms grow, it is possible to grow and harvest mushrooms successfully and safely.
A little about the cultivation of mushrooms.
In Western society, almost five decades ago, there was only one variant of the fungus that was allowed to eat, and that was the White Button Shroom, also known as Agaricus bisporus. This type of fungus can be cultivated with straw and compost of manure.
In contrast, in the east, different types of mushrooms were grown in the seventies. The people of the oriental cultures cultivated a series of woody type mushrooms that in fact were cultivated with wooden trunks. Such species include the Curtis Singer Flammulin velutipes, the Enoke of the Auricularia polytricha Mont. Sacc., The wooden ear and the edodes lentinuales.
During the 19th century, little was known about spores or fungal growth and this lack of understanding had a great influence on how mushrooms were actually grown during that time. For example, the producer had to go out and collect bodies of mushroom fruit, taking them out of their natural habitat. The fungi were then placed on a new type of substrate and the spores, in turn, colonized the selected substrate so that more fruiting bodies of the selected fungi would grow.
Even today, many species of mushrooms can not be grown simply because you can not determine how fungi work. We know that they start as spores the size of dust that are released from the pores or gills below the fungal tops of adult specimens. We also know that a fungus will remain most of its life in the mycelial stage. Here, the shroom is part of a network of wetted fibers containing wood and penetrating organic enzymes.
Currently, in both Eastern and Western societies, there are many more species that you can grow safely than ever. But, of the 14,000 species of fungi, approximately 250 of the different types of mushrooms have been considered as safe foodstuffs.
Some interesting facts
- Don Simoni, from the San Francisco-based mushroom-growing kits company, “Mushroom Adventures,” explains how many of the so-called fresh mushrooms obtained in the market already have between three and five days. Of course, they are still delicious and edible, but after two days of being harvested, something happens to the mushrooms and the flavor changes. Learning to grow mushrooms is exposing yourself to the opportunity to have the tastiest fresh mushrooms you’ve ever tasted.
- You have to take your time to plant and harvest mushrooms. It will require a lot of patience as a planter, since these mushrooms will grow when they are ready and not a moment before. Some of the fungi species easier to grow include Portabellos, wine tapas, shiitake and white tapa (sometimes called white mushroom or Cremini), and the latter is the most common and popular.
- For a long time, preferred fungi were left aside, such as Portobello and Cremini, not because they were not edible, but because they were not the beautiful white color that became coveted thanks to the varieties of white buttons. Today, these mushrooms are more in favor and are used in a variety of recipes. The difference between the white cap agraricus bisporus and the Portobello is that the latter can mature and become the first, so the bath of the White Button later becomes Portobello.
Types of mushrooms to grow.
Currently, more than 60 countries grow mushrooms. China is the leading country in their growth, and the United States follows it in second place in terms of production. This is clear proof of how popular mushroom-based foods are in the global kitchen.
Some of the most common fungi that you can grow and consume safely are: shitakes, wine tapas, oyster mushrooms and others. Knowing how these mushrooms look will give you a better understanding of what to expect when you grow them.
|Oyster mushroom, Shimeji, Abalone mushroom, Pleurotte en huitre, Angel wings, Oyster tree||pleurotus ostreatus||The shroom has a brackish and light flavor, so it earns the name of Oyster Mushroom. Mushrooms in the form of a fan, whitish, with a light flavor and smell.|
|Wine cover||rugosannulata stropharia||A reddish-brown shroom with a text like Portobello’s.|
|Shiitake or The Oak Mushroom, also known as Donko, Golden Oak, Forest Mushroom, Oriental Black, Black Mushroom, Chinese Black, Brown Oak, Black Winter, Black Forest, Shitake||Lentinula edodes||These mushrooms can be grown from wood or logs and are suitable for stews and soups. They have a full texture and a brown exterior.|
|Mushrooms Cremini, Portobello and white mushrooms, Baby Portobello, Baby Bella, Crimino, Brown Mushroom, Classic Brown, Italian Brown, Roman and Golden Italian||Agaricus bisporus||All subsequent mushrooms fall under the same botanical name. These mushrooms are delicious additions to stews, soups, stews and more.|
When it comes to the White Button, Portobello and Cremini mushrooms, the differences between them are really based on maturity. Therefore, we have:
- The White Button Mushrooms are harvested first to ensure their appearance and freshness of white and young saber.
- The Portobello mushroom, of the same botanical classification, is the mature version of the Blanco Button fungus, but Portobello is allowed to age so that its lid can expand.
- The Cremini fungus is a good balance between the two; He is older than the White Button and younger than the Portobello.
Even more, White Button, Crimini and Portobello are the easiest to grow from home.
More advanced species than an experienced producer should consider
As you improve your ability to care for the most common species, you can begin to learn how to grow more advanced species that require special care.
|Portobello, open top fungus, field mushroom, Portobella||Agaricus bisporus||When they are small, these mushrooms are criminals. They are big, dense and rich. You can add them to sauces or serve as a substitute for meat. Portobella mushrooms are often found in Italian cuisine and you can also fill them.|
|Wood hen, Kumotake, Ram head, Sheepshead and Maitake, dancing mushrooms
|Grifola frondosa, Boletus frondosus or Polyporus frondosus||These mushrooms are sold in groups and have a taste and smell of earth. When viewed from a distance, they look like a head of cabbage.|
|Mushrooms, table mushrooms, mushrooms of Paris, cultivated mushrooms and buttons.||Agaricus bisporus||Champignon in France, this fungus is the most common type eaten in the United States.|
|Pig, Penny Bun, stensopp, Steinpilz, Cepe, Polish mushroom, Borowik, King Bolete, Bolete or Porcini||saprotrophic basidiomycete||Popular in French and Italy, Porcino is the wild red-colored shroom appreciated for its woody flavor and aromatic properties. It can be dried and rehydrated.|
|Chanterelle, Pfifferling, Girole, Girolle, Egg Shroom, Yellow Chanterelle, Golden Chanterelle||Cantharellus cibarius||The Chanterelle has a slit in the center of the lid that has a shape very similar to a trumpet. The smell resembles apricots.|
Substrates and environmental considerations.
When you are ready to start growing your own mushrooms, you must learn about the substrate. This is the material that is included in the bottom of the box, the aquarium, the terrarium or the pot where you will grow your mushrooms. The substrate must match the external conditions in which the mushrooms would have grown, to offer them the best possible conditions.
Here are some examples of shroom and the best substrate for each species:
- The white button requires composted manure as a substrate.
- The woodland hen, the lion’s mane or Shiitake mushrooms will thrive when grown on a substrate consisting of sawdust or wood. You also have the option of growing them directly from a log if you wish, which will be more similar to your natural habitat.
- Oyster mushrooms: the substrate you choose must be straw based.
With the right substrate, you should also have the ideal growth environment. The room or space where you will grow the mushrooms must be at least 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. The growing environment is never exposed to direct sunlight and you will want to do everything possible to recreate the shaded and dark areas of the natural forest habitat. For example, you can place the growing box inside a closet, in the garage or in a basement.
If you plan to grow mushrooms during the summer months, be sure to also control the air inside the house so that it cools properly to a temperature that allows the mushrooms to grow. At the same time, remember to keep the air moist.
To see an example of a mushroom growing environment made of nothing but cardboard, see the video above: Growing edible fungi at home – Tutorial of cardboard spawn.
inoculation of substrate for mushroom cultivation
The environment you choose for the mushrooms you will grow is based on how the mushrooms would acclimatize if they were not in nature. You can choose the configuration of a terrarium, an aquarium, pots, a culture box, wooden boards or wooden logs if necessary, just be sure to check in which environment will help your mushrooms thrive.
When you buy substrate, you also have to buy a mushroom spawn. The spawn usually comes with a plastic syringe so you can inject the fungal spores into the substrate. You will also need a syringe if you invest in a mushroom kit with a bag prepared to establish your growing environment. If you decide to use trays to grow mushrooms, you can add the substrate and inoculate it by adding the seed in some places with the injector.
During a period of 14 days, you must keep the substrate warm, at a temperature of no more than 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit. During this period of time, the roots of white fungi will begin to form from a growth that manifests itself. This is the mycelium. Beware: temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit will kill your fungal spores!
Homemade mushroom growing kits
One of the least expensive methods to grow and harvest your own mushrooms in your home is to invest in one or more mushroom growing kits. There are many brands to choose from, and each kit may be different in content, but you will find that they usually come as the same type of configuration, regardless of the brand. The things that a kit will probably include are the following:
- A compost bag that promotes the growth of inoculated fungi / fungi.
- A growing box: this is often the box in which the ingredients for mushroom growing also come.
- Organic peat moss
- An instruction guide.
The home culture kit is the easiest method, since many kits only require adding a little water to begin with. Within about seven weeks you may end up having mushrooms ready to harvest. Of course, there are home growing kits for the cultivation of white mushrooms, Portabella mushrooms, Morel mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms, among others.
With the homegrown kit, there are some important rules that you should follow:
- Add drainage points to the bottom of the growth box. You can do it easily with a screwdriver or a pencil.
- The compost should be placed on the bottom of the growing box and spread out.
- Add the peat moss on top.
Once you have set everything up, you can fill a bottle of water with fresh water, set the bottle to fog, and simply add a light stream of water to the top of the peat. You will need to store it in a warm, humid area to grow mushrooms from your home grow kit. It will also be necessary to maintain the humidity of the kit.
More on mushroom kits grown at home.
As long as you keep the kit in a dark area and keep the dirt moist, you are establishing the perfect conditions for mushroom growth. The fungi thrive in dark and moist areas, and after the initial 14 days after preparing the growth box, the first layer of mold will emerge. After the initial layer of mold appears and the passage of another two to four weeks, the fungi will begin to grow. The HomemadeHandyHint video on YouTube demonstrates how mushroom kits help you grow mushrooms quite easily.
Another type of mushroom kit that you can try is Marvelous Mushrooms, which is a kit for growing Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms. The main difference between this kit and the one you would use to grow mushrooms is that it comes with a mushroom growing board. The beans you need to grow the mushrooms are sold separately. The kit comes with two tables, which must be soaked in water so that the tables are saturated. Once the boards are completely soaked, you can let them drain for five minutes after removing them from the sink.
After this, you can spread a bag of Shiitake or Oyster mushroom spores on one of the cardboard pieces. The second piece of cardboard is placed on top of the first, so that it intersperses the spores between the two boards. The kit comes with a plastic bag that is placed on the two tables with the spores between them. The plastic bag keeps the cardboard and the seeds moist.
The end of the bag is left open and the boards should be kept out of sunlight and in a dark place. A white mold appears on the top of the board when growth begins.
Growing and storage advice.
Once the mycelium has formed, you should simply cover it with a little fresh soil and keep it away from direct sunlight. Use approximately one inch of soil to cover the mycelium. Once covered, you can lower the ambient temperature from 70 degrees to no less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
When watering the mushrooms, be sure to do it with distilled water that you put in a spray bottle. Simply spray the mushrooms and soil daily to keep them thriving. When you are learning to grow mushrooms, temptation is great to keep the mushrooms watered, but do not do it. Too much water will contribute to root rot.
When questioning how to grow mushrooms, the second question that goes hand in hand with the first is: how are fungi stored and kept fresh? When the mushrooms reach their maximum size, you can harvest them. If you do not decide to eat them raw, there are ways to store them. Once you remove the mushrooms from your growing environment for the first harvest, there will be more. This cycle will continue for a period of three or four months in which you can reap the benefits of your hard work.
When evaluating the freshness of your mushrooms, make sure they look healthy and smell as they should: earthy, juicy, woody and fresh. The gills on the bottom of the mushrooms should be firm, as should the outside of the cap and the stem. Refrain from the temptation to store the mushrooms in a plastic bag because doing so causes them to begin to degrade too quickly. Once harvested you should keep the mushrooms refrigerated.
More storage tips
If you do not plan to eat your mushrooms immediately, do not wash them. The fungus is a source of absorbent food, so to wash them and then refrigerate them is to soak them. With too much water in the body of the mushroom, fungi are more susceptible to mold development. If you have a product that is not good, do not put your mushrooms inside because this area is very humid and, again, a humid environment, although it is excellent for fungi as they grow, it is not good for fungi that They have been harvested.
If possible, do your best to harvest the mushrooms you grow when you plan to eat them. The longer you can keep them in the shank, the longer you can keep the problems of rot, decay and moldings at bay. Yes, it’s okay to refrigerate them, but they’ll only last about five days in the fridge. The fungi can also be dehydrated and rehydrated later, and when dehydrated they will be stored for a much longer period.
There are hundreds of different mushroom species that you can grow at home and by doing so, you can get the satisfaction of having grown and grown a food source on your own. You also end up saving money.
Whether you get the substrate and the environment set up on your own or use a convenient grow kit, you can grow the mushrooms repeatedly until they stop growing.