Mushrooms You Can Easily Grow at Home as a First Time Grower
Did you know you can grow Oyster mushrooms on your kitchen counter, Shiitake mushrooms on logs, and Wine Caps on wood chip beds in your yard or garden? It's easy, and mushrooms are a delicious and healthy addition to your diet. We at North Spore are here to help you get started.
SHIITAKE (LENTINULA EDODES)
DescriptionIn addition to acting as a general immune system booster, Shiitake can be used as a tonic to promote overall liver and kidney health (Marley, 2009). Shiitake also contains high concentrations of the substance eritadenine, which may be beneficial in reducing blood cholesterol levels (Enman et al., 2007). Beyond helping relieve ailments, Shiitake has nutritional value due to its ability to absorb Vitamin D. Drying Shiitake in the sunlight will increase Vitamin D levels by more than a hundred times compared to Shiitake dried in the dark (Stamets, 2005).
How to Grow
The preferred method for growing Shiitake mushrooms is by inoculating logs with Shiitake spawn. The process is relatively simple- drill holes in a freshly cut hardwood log (ideally oak, though beech and some species of maple will suffice), fill the holes with Shiitake sawdust or plug spawn and seal the holes with melted wax. Watch the video below to see the full inoculation process or read more about the process here
The wonderful thing about mushroom logs is that you will get multiple years worth of edible fungi without having to re-inoculate your logs. On average a mushroom log will produce for 1 year per inch of diameter of the log. Meaning if you inoculated a 5 inch diameter oak log with shiitake spawn, it will most likely produce for 5 years!
When you're ready to grow Shiitakes, using an Outdoor Mushroom Log Kit is the most accessible way to begin your journey into mushroom cultivation. This mushroom grow kit give you all the supplies you need to jump right into having edible mushrooms right in your back yard!
WINE CAP (STROPHARIA RUGOSOANNULATA)
DescriptionWine Cap is a great mushroom for beginners. They colonize quickly and are reliable producers. Decent for commercial cultivation grown on straw or wood chips.
How to Grow
Wine Caps are an easy mushroom to grow and are the clear choice for someone who does not have access to fresh logs or indoor space. Wine Caps grow best in a garden bed on straw (not hay), hardwood chips, or sawdust. They are a vigorous species and can tolerate aged and unsterile substrates, a variety of particle sizes, and a substrate mixture that includes some softwoods but generally no more than 25% softwood (most edible mushroom species prefer hardwood such as maple or oak!)
Spread out your substrate in a shady part of your garden, top it with a layer of Wine Cap sawdust spawn, add another layer of substrate and give the entire bed a good soak of water. This species is perfect for mushroom growers who don't want to wait a year before they start to see mushrooms. If you inoculate a wood chip bed with Wine Cap in the spring, you'll likely have mushrooms popping up by early autumn!
OYSTER (PLEUROTUS OSTREATUS)
DescriptionThe Blue Oyster mushroom has a high protein content, several B vitamins, and all the essential amino acids (Marley, 2009). Its medicinal benefits include promoting anti-tumor activity and lowering high cholesterol. Oyster mushroom fruiting bodies and distillations have been shown to reduce tumor size in several studies on mice, rats, and hamsters (Hobbs, 1995). Additionally, Oyster mushrooms have been used in the Czech Republic as the main ingredient in a dietary supplement used to treat high cholesterol (Hobbs, 1995). Studies in animals have shown that a diet of Oyster mushrooms reduced the development of plaque in major arteries (Bobek et al., 1995).
How to Grow
North Spore began as urban mushroom farm producing Oyster mushrooms and, to this day, Oysters are still a cornerstone of our business. They're versatile, delicious, and the easiest mushroom to grow inside your own home! If you're looking for a mushroom growing kit that you can count on to give you fresh mushrooms as soon as possible then look no further.
We created our Indoor Grow at Home Kits to bring mushroom growing to the masses. Each mushroom grow kit is a block of sawdust that has been colonized by oyster mushroom mycelium. Simply cut a slit in the plastic against the block, spritz it with water every day, and watch mushrooms grow right before your eyes! It's easy, exciting, and you're sure to grow edible mushroom on your kitchen counter in two weeks.