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Growing Mushrooms

Category Growing Food
Growing your own mushrooms can provide a continual supply of these tasty fungi. You can choose from a number of varieties such as: portobello, shiitake or oyster mushrooms, to name a few. You can purchase kits or do some research and gather together the proper growing medium and other supplies to start your mushroom garden. This is a guide about growing mushrooms.
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By 0 found this helpful
January 25, 2007

Studies have shown that when Shiitake, Oyster, and Enoki mushrooms are eaten as part of our regular diets, they can lower cholesterol, moderate blood sugar levels, reduce stress and enhance our immune systems. Additional clinical evidence suggests mushrooms can also play an important therapeutic role in fighting cancer and other major diseases. If you've ever perused the gourmet mushroom section at the grocery store, you know that these health benefits often come at a steep price, especially if organically grown. Fortunately, it's much cheaper (and just as easy) to grow your own.

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No-Fuss, Pre-Inoculated Kits

In years past, growing mushrooms at home was more complicated (it still can be complicated if you want it to be). Back then, cultivation required wooden frames filled with straw and manure in a dark and damp, cellar-like environment. Today, all that has changed. Mail order kits provide conveniently-sized blocks, logs or bags of straw, saw dust or woodchips that have been pre-inoculated with the mushroom spores of your choosing. At an average price of $20-$20 dollars, even beginner growers can successfully harvest 2-3 flushes of mushrooms, with each flush weighing in at 1-2 pounds-a significant per pound savings over store bought mushrooms, and with the comfort of knowing that they've been grown without chemicals.

Kits are available for practically every type of mushroom (portabellas, shiitakes, pink oysters, enokis, morels and button), and come complete with growing instructions. Most produce a large flush of clean mushrooms within a few months of colonizing the growing substrate.

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Easy Care & Feeding

Generally speaking, all that mushrooms require to grow is an uncontaminated source of food, a moderate amount of moisture and temperatures in the range of 55º F to 80º F. Some types of mushrooms prefer temperatures at the cooler end of this range (enokis) and others are slightly more sensitive to humidity (e.g. oyster) and depending on local conditions, may require misting several times a day. Kits often come with covers or "tents," which help maintain the correct humidity levels once the mushrooms start fruiting.

One of the most important elements in cultivating home grown mushrooms is supplying the growing mycelia with chlorine-free water. This can be achieved by filtering tap water or letting it stand for 24 hours before using it.

A Good Winter Project

Most of the major seed companies now offer kits for indoor or outdoor cultivation, or you can find companies specializing in mushroom kits by searching online. Because kits are available any time of the year, many gardeners find cultivating them an enjoyable off-season project. A heated garage or basement makes an ideal location for home production, or in warmer climates, grow them in a Styrofoam cooler or a sheltered place outdoors. After the growing substrate is exhausted, toss it on top of the compost pile and you may get a bonus flush.
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Mushroom Resources:

(Resources for these medicinal studies on mushrooms can be found here: http://www.fungi.com/mycomeds/info.html#REFERENCES)

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Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2008

How do I grow Mushrooms?

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By Linda (Guest Post)
July 28, 20080 found this helpful

I don't know how to grow them on my own, but I have read/seen mushroom kits that come to your home and you can grow mushrooms continually for quite some time. I don't remember where I saw this. I think it was a Martha Stewart program. I'm sure you could Google it. Have fun!

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

I was able to buy a kit once at the farmer's market for button mushrooms and it was really fun. I was just looking up how to do it again the other day and I thought I would pass on this link:

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http://www.mushroomadventures.com/

These guys seem to make most of the kits that other people sell, so I bet this is a better price. I plan to get one of the 1/2 button/1/2 portobella mushrooms in September.

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By Nance (Guest Post)
July 29, 20080 found this helpful

If you want to take more effort but do it cheaply, check out the web.

Oyster mushrooms can be grown inside your house on cellulose, like newspaper, out of plastic bags. They can also be grown on stove wood pellets put in plastic bags, once cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, and inoculated. I think it takes about a month for them to grow. They're delicious.

Shiitake mushrooms can be grown (takes a year) on hardwood outside. Small holes are drilled, and pegs with spawn are pounded in, inoculating the wood. The wood must be kept moist. Shiitakes are supposed to be very good for your health.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 16, 2012

Where can I get these pegs that were mentioned in this article, to grow mushrooms?

By WillieQ

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October 29, 20170 found this helpful

I know this a very old post but it seems like people are once again getting interested in 'shrooming so thought I'd answer.

One of the best sites I have found is: www.fungi.com; this company is run by a world recognized expert {Paul Stamets} & offers just about every kind of organic 'shroom growing medium you can name & has great products & info on growing each variety.

They also offer mushroom powders, capsules, teas, art, books, etc.. Maitake mushrooms are being used in most large cancer hospitals as part of their treatment protocol & I bought some dried maitakes from this site for my SIL a few years ago to help with her cancer after she had her lifetime dose of radiation & so far she is still cancer free. {lots of research about maitake's available online & some on Dr. Oz} They also taste very good! I eat them as a preventative and to boost my immune system since I suffer from lupus & several other medical conditions.

Hope this helps others get interested in shrooming as they are a good source of trace minerals, low calorie, high fiber & best of all, they taste great!

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By 0 found this helpful
December 14, 2011

Has anyone tried growing mushrooms? if you have, what variety and was it difficult to do?

By clutterfree

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December 17, 20110 found this helpful

I got a kit from a seed retailer for DIY Portobello Mushrooms. Super easy, and super-fun! In the winter months, usually January or so, the retailers will mail out your kit, with easy instructions, and if you follow them correctly, in just a few short weeks, you are rewarded with awesome, home-grown mushrooms. They are very tasty, too. Amazing difference between home-grown and store-bought.

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