Our mushroom fruiting block kits are fully colonized and ready to grow. Each block measures ~9x6x6 inches and weighs ~5lbs.
Lion's Mane mushrooms are great for confident beginners. They colonize quickly and are relatively reliable producers. However, Lion's mane can be prone to drying out if the ambient humidity is too low, so we recommend that you water it generously or grow your fruiting block in a humidity-controlled chamber.
Due to its consistency and flavor, Lion's Mane can be used as a seafood substitute in recipes. We like to slice it into rounds and pan-fry it in olive oil or butter, or try ripping it up and making 'Lion's Mane Cakes' by following a crab cake recipe with the Lion's Mane substituted for crab meat.
Your fruiting block kit is an amended sawdust block that has been colonized by mushroom mycelium. Mushrooms need adequate humidity and ventilation to survive and thrive, so proper care is important.
1. Leave the block inside the bag, and do not open it. To activate your block, place it on its side, exposing an area where the block presses right up against the plastic. Take a sharp knife or razor blade and make a 5-to 6-inch cut along this part of the bag, then gently squeeze out any remaining air. Finally, take the loose bag flap, and fold it underneath the kit.
2. Place your sliced bag in the most humid part of your home (like next to the sink) or in a humidity-controlled grow chamber. Make sure it is kept away from direct sunlight, and keep it well hydrated. Do this by spraying the outside of your block, over the sliced area, with water at least once per day.
3. If your home is very dry, and you do not have a humidity-controlled grow chamber, you may need to make a humidity tent to place over the over fruiting block. To do this, find a loose-fitting plastic bag and make plenty of ½-inch holes all over it. Then place it over the fruiting block (that is still inside it’s original bag.) Once you’ve made the humidity tent, be sure to spray the inside of it a minimum of once per day.
4. Within 1-2 weeks of first slicing open your fruiting block bag, the mushrooms will sense the oxygen in the air and begin to produce mushroom “pins,” or little baby mushrooms. When you spot your first mushroom pins, keep a close eye on them. After 5 to 10 days of pin formation, your mushrooms should be ready to harvest.
5. Harvest your mushrooms when they resemble the mushrooms in the photographs -- large clusters of plump, dense, shaggy mounds.
Each subsequent harvest will be smaller in size, but can still produce a nice flush. Before trying for another flush,give your block a one-week break from spraying, then soak it in cold water for 20 minutes, and re-start daily water spraying.
Lion's Mane is considered both an esteemed edible mushroom and a valuable medicinal and is currently being studied for its effects on neural health, Alzheimer's, and dementia. The mushroom contains a substance called erinacine, which has the ability to catalyze the production of nerve growth factor (NFG) and reduce the effects of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders (Yamada et al., 1997).
A study in Japan, on men aged 50-80 years old with mild cognitive impairment, suggests that Lion's Mane is effective at improving cognition. Subjects were split into two groups and half were given dry powdered Lion's Mane three times a day and observed over 16 weeks. At weeks 8, 12, and 16, the group taking Lion's Mane scored significantly better on a cognitive test than the other half in the placebo group (Mori et al., 2008). You can read more about this studyhere.
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.