Organic Hen of the Woods (Maitake) Mushroom Grain Spawn
|Spawn shelf life||4 months (refrigerated)|
|Certifications||USDA certified organic|
|Bag weight||6 lbs|
Our USDA-certified organic Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) features a popular strain that produces mushrooms with a delicate feathery texture and earthy rich flavor. Hen is one of the finest fungi on the market, despite the fact that it's not as popular as other foods in its category. Its lacy sides make it a great option for frying, roasting, sautéing, and adding a visual flair to many dishes. Indoor fruiting can be inconsistent, and growing conditions must be well maintained. For this reason, these mushrooms are best for more advanced growers who have had some success growing other species indoors.
- Hen of the woods grain spawn can be used for indoor production using sawdust-based sterilized substrate.
- Do not use grain spawn for log inoculation.
- This is not a mushroom grow kit. Hen of the woods grain spawn must be combined with a substrate in order to fruit.
Upon receiving your spawn:
Remove it from the shipping box as soon as possible. Then, unfold the top of the bag, making room for air space. It's also important to check and confirm that the filter patch is not obstructed. This will help the organism breathe and continue to thrive!
Scroll down for specifications, growing, and storage guides.
- Weight: Approximately 6 lbs
- Hydration: Average of 47%
- Bags: Gusseted 2.2 mil polypropylene
- Filter: High efficiency .2 micron
- Inoculation Rates: 6 lb. bag of grain will inoculate between 120-165 lb. sterilized sawdust, and 100-130 lb. pasteurized straw
- Sterilization method: Commercial grade autoclave sterilized
Temperature 50-60°F | 10-15°C Humidity (Phase 1: Primordia) 95% Humidity (Phase 2: Fruitbody) 75-85% CO2 Sensitivity (Phase 1: Primordia) 2,000-5,000 ppm CO2 Sensitivity (Phase 2: Fruitbody) <1,000 ppm
- Primordia - The earliest recognizable stage of fruitbody development. Also known as “baby mushrooms” or “mushroom pins.”
- Fruitbody - A fully grown mushroom, the reproductive structure of the organism in which the spores are produced.
- CO2 sensitivity - When CO2 levels are too high, yields will decrease, stems will become long and stringy, caps will be small, and/or growth will halt.
Hen of the woods mushroom grain spawn can be mixed into sterilized hardwood sawdust to create hen of the woods substrate blocks.
Note: Grain spawn must be mixed with bulk substrate before you can fruit it. If you are new to growing mushrooms, we recommend purchasing a book on mushroom cultivation.
'Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms' by Paul Stamets
'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation' by Tradd Cotter
If you don't plan to use immediately, you can refrigerate your spawn for up to 4 months.
Hen of woods has a semi-firm texture and earthy flavor. It can be ripped into small pieces and added to a dish or left large to be the centerpiece of a meal. We love to confit hen of the woods by slow cooking it at a low temperature in an oven submerged in extra virgin olive oil. After 4-5 hours the hen of the woods will be crispy and delicious and you'll have mushroom infused olive oil!
Our grain spawn is USDA certified organic and made using organic cultures from our own culture bank. It contains a blend of locally sourced, organic, and non-GMO ingredients from farms in New England and North America.
If you’re going to consume home-grown mushrooms, make sure to cook your fresh mushrooms thoroughly with heat. If it is your first time eating this species, it is best to start with a small amount to check for allergies, even if cooked.
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At first, I was disappointed. In my inexperience, I'm used to solid white blocks from North Spore, and I thought all I got was a bag of loose, wet grain. I started four blocks of oak/apple sawdust, seeding it heavily, thinking I was wasting my time. I watched for five weeks, looking at damp sawdust daily, seeing nothing, feeling disappointed. Then, Ten days ago, bang! I saw a white speck of growth, the next day, a spot, the next day, a big blotch, and today, the bags are a little over/under halfway colonized and growing faster every day! I am anxiously waiting for cooler weather and the opportunity taste my first hen of the woods. Be patient, Mother nature works on a different time clock. I apologize to North Spore, for doubting them, they have never steered me wrong. And you could search the world over, and never find a more knowledgeable and friendly customer service team!
Very wise, James. Patience is the name of the game in mycology!
Truly Amazing HOTW Spawn and Fruiting
Ordered this HOTW grain spawn hoping to grow some HOTW for the first time, indoors. Have grown many other species but never HOTW. I have ordered many types of grain spawn and LC from North Spore and it has always been great. But, this was amazing. I use the grain spawn to create four 8lb Masters Mix blocks at 65% field capacity. Put them on the shelf to colonize. 8 weeks later small fruit started appearing around the top edges of the bags. I wait till the fruits were about 3-4 inches before opening the top and cutting the bags down to just above the tops of the fruits, then putting them in the fruiting chamber. Explosive growth after that. I have cultured some of the fruiting bodies to add to my library! North Spore does it again. Dave
Maitake too a long time to fruit but 100% success
I highly recommend the maitake grain spawn, as I got 100% of all my Sawdust bags (after using the grain spawn at 20%) to fruit about 5- 6 months later! Definitely slow growing, but worth the wait. Just set it a forget it for first 4 months after full colonization and then expose it to high light for at least 12 hours a day to get the pins to set in about 1 month, then it takes another few weeks to another month for harvest. I had mine at lower temperatures, since I grew them during the late fall through late winter months. Like all cultivation, make sure you have good clean process and technique.