Our mushroom fruiting block kits are fully colonized and ready to grow. Each block measures ~9x6x6 inches and weighs ~5lbs.
Reishi mushroom kits are one of the easiest of all of our fruiting block kits. They are very reliable producers and require next to no upkeep. That's because they live their entire life-cycle within their unopened bag and never need watering. (Note: They grow very slowly. Depending on your needs, you may harvest your kit early when the Reishi antlers are only a few inches tall, or allow the mushrooms several more months of growth to achieve more interesting growth patterns.)
Reishi mushrooms are intensely bitter and woody and usually aren't considered culinary unless harvested very young. However, we do recommend throwing a slice or two of dried reishi into soup stock, much like you'd use a bay leaf, to infuse the broth with its medicinal properties. You may also choose to incorporate reishi into medicinal teas tinctures.
1) Your Reishi grow kit is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by mycelium. Reishi mushroom is one of the easier species to grow indoors as you simply allow the block to produce the mushrooms inside the bag. REMEMBER: DO NOT OPEN THE BAG!
2) Keep your Reishi kit out of direct sunlight in an area that is between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mushroom pinsets (baby mushrooms) will begin to form within the first month or two of purchasing the kit. The inside of the bag is like a terrarium that will provide the mushroom proper air exchange and humidity. This kit needs ambient light to grow properly. Make sure you don’t put the kit someplace where there isn’t any ambient light.
3) Reishi grows extremely slow. As the antlers hit the top of the bag they will start to twirl back around themselves which can create other-worldly mushroom sculptures. We’ve allowed our own blocks to grow for more than six months in some instances with dramatic results!
4) When you decide to harvest your Reishi, simply remove the bag and cut the individual antlers off the sawdust block. Reishi is a bitter and woody medicinal mushroom. You may dehydrate and use the antlers in tea, or create tinctures from them by macerating and steeping them in 100 proof alcohol for a month or more (directions for double-extract tincture making can be easily found online!) Alternatively, you may choose to keep your Reishi antlers on the sawdust block and allow the whole kit to dry out. You can then use your Reishi kit as a table centerpiece or natural sculpture! Just remove the plastic bag and keep the kit someplace warm and dry for 2-3 weeks.
Known commonly as the 'Mushroom of Immortality' in Chinese, Reishi is a highly esteemed medicinal mushroom thought to promote longevity and overall health. Studied most for its ability to boost the immune system, Reishi extracts stimulate T-cell action, Natural Killer cell activity, and Dendritic cell maturation (Gao, 2004). Other pharmacological effects of Reishi extract include the following: anti-infammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, promotes anti-tumor activity, and acts as a central depressant to relax muscles (Hobbs, 1995; Gao et al., 2014).
IMPORTANT: Cautions & Considerations
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.
Mushrooms grow spores as they develop. This is a natural means of reproduction. This is when people with allergies or compromised immune systems may want to consider putting fruiting mushroom kits outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Spores in mushrooms sometimes cause respiratory irritation. In rare cases, spores may also cause irritation for some non-allergic or non-immunocompromised mushroom growers. If you are one of them, it is recommended to reduce the overall spore load by harvesting mushrooms while they are still in their younger growth stages.