Blue Oyster Mushroom Cultivation
Pleurotus ostreatus: A fast substrate colonizer with a strong blue / grey hue.
Grain Spawn- this is used for outdoor straw or wood chip beds or commercial indoor production using sawdust or straw. You do not use Grain Spawn for log inoculation. Grain spawn comes in bags approximately 6lbs each.
Outdoor beds - With oyster mushrooms you may also choose to use grain spawn to inoculate outdoor straw beds. We've had success growing blue oyster mushrooms in our raised garden beds by sprinkling grain spawn in the beds in the spring. We had blue oysters growing right out of our soil!
Indoor Commercial Production- Oyster mushroom grain spawn can be mixed into sterilized or lime pasteurized substrates including but not limited to hardwood sawdust, straw, and coffee grounds. These processes range from requiring a fair amount of infrastructure for larger projects to simple and low-tech. We recommend purchasing a book on mushroom cultivation if you are interested in pursuing this style of mushroom production as a hobby or profession. We recommend 'Radical Mycology: A Treatise on Seeing and Working with Fungi' by Peter McCoy, 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation' by Tradd Cotter, or 'Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms' by Paul Stamets.
North Spore also offers consultation for start-up mushroom farms and homesteading projects. Reach out to us by email for a quote. Info AT NorthSpore DOT com.
Oyster mushrooms are a great mushroom for beginners. They colonize quickly and are reliable producers. Great for commercial cultivation, especially grown on straw.
Cooking: Blue Oysters can easily replace button mushrooms in most recipes and pair well with many cuisines and flavors. Like all Oyster Mushrooms, they retain water and may develop a viscous texture when undercooked. If you prefer a firm or dryer texture, continue to cook Oysters until their liquid has reduced and cooked off and they begin to brown.
Properties: The 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).