Growing mushrooms

I’ve been thinking about having plants for some time. However, I’ve also been considering mushrooms because they can be quite colorful, they’re easier to grow than plants especially indoors in winter and I can eat them. I also like the idea of possibly making a Smurf village.
I’ve heard that growing mushrooms from spores is a lot of bother so I’ll buy spawn from a store instead.

What should I know? What would help a novice like me?

I’d like to buy the spawn once and keep it going indefinitely, but I’m not sure how to go about doing that.

A friend of mine is about to take a class in mushroom growing. He’ll be given a whole bunch of varieties of spawn when he’s done. I should see him this week, I’ll ask him for details.

I looked into growing mushrooms for food a while back. The information I read suggested that it can be a struggle to maintain the conditions needed by the mushrooms without being overwhelmed by unwanted spores. There was a lot of talk about sterile soil being needed.


I suppose I might harvest them before they open to release spores. I think that would mean a fairly high turnover so I’d have to produce many.

The requirement for sterile soil surprised me. A lot of mushrooms grow in some quite dirty places. A fair number grow out of actual shit.

Commercial growers use sterilized shit.

Sterilized shit is good shit. It’s the shit.

I wish shit like that was my shit.

If you don’t want to get too heavily into it, there are kits.

Well, if you are going to experiment with mushrooms, they should at least be the interesting kind

That reminds me of an old inspector story. I never know whether to believe these or not. The story goes that in his youth he discovered where his city stored the mulch that was used to top off the mulch in all of the parks. He borrowed a set of coveralls, wandered into the storage yard, and inoculated the big pile of mulch with magic mushroom spawn. In the fullness of time, the city’s parks were his supply.

The technology has improved, I guess? I tried using spores from a mail-order kit back in the 80’s and ended up with some lovely Petri dishes of penicillin.

Just out of curiosity, what’s the legal status of that kind of thing?

Psilocybe cubensis spores are legal to buy/sell/own as long as they are for research only. Grow 'shrooms and you break the law. But $15 you can get a syringe full of spores. Buy a pressure cooker, some canning jars, substrate (I’ve used wheat berries), some odds and ends, and you are set to go.

Don’t post links like this as the legality of it is iffy at best.

Get on facebook and join this group:

read, read and then ask questions.

So my friend is going to a seminar at Fungi Perfecti. It’s $1000 for a two day seminar. You learn a bunch of stuff and they send you home with a bunch of different kinds of spawn. This seems to be the kind of thing to go to so you can start your own mushroom business.

The spawn were just delivered. In each of the 3 boxes there was a Christmas candy cane : )

Tripolar, if you’ve talked to that guy, I’m all ears.

I bought one of Fungi Perfecti’s Shitake kits a few years ago and had great results. The kit was about 1 foot square and looked like sawdust stuck together with marshmallows. Spray the block with mist, put the little plastic tent over it.

First flush was large ones, second flush were smaller, and third smaller still. I took the almost expended block and crumpled it under some trees outside without success, but still it was a great growing experience, and the shrooms were delicious.

But not all eyes. The info I have is in the post right before the one I’m quoting.

I love that sentence.

I had a friend who grew oyster mushrooms. He said he had a log and mulch with mycelium in a black bin-bag that he stuffed under his bed. When they were ready to see the sun he took them out. I cannot vouch for his results.