Grow Your Own King TrumpetsNorth Spore
Difficulty: Intermediate / Advanced
King Trumpets are a relatively difficult Grow Your Own kit. They prefer cooler temperatures and are prone to drying out or aborting their growth if humidity is not maintained when the mushrooms are still in their early stages. However, when they grow successfully you can expect a large harvest of very meaty and delicious mushrooms. They do not reliably produce second flushes, but may produce if conditions remain controlled and humidity is correct.
King Trumpets are one of the meatiest mushrooms able to be cultivated and make a great substitute for meat. They can be wonderful marinated and grilled. They have a somewhat neutral and savory flavor that lends well to many different cuisines and flavors. Thinly sliced they will sear nicely in a pan. With some grated Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh thyme, they make a great topping for pasta dishes.
Mushrooms of the Pleurotus genus, which includes King Trumpets and Oyster mushrooms, have a high protein content, several B vitamins, and all the essential amino acids (Marley, 2009). Their medicinal benefits include promoting anti-tumor activity and lowering high cholesterol. Pleurotus fruiting bodies and distillations have been shown to reduce tumor size in several studies on mice, rats, and hamsters (Hobbs, 1995). Additionally, Pleurotus 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 Pleurotus mushrooms reduced the development of plaque in major arteries (Bobek et al., 1995).
1) Your king trumpet grow kit is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by king trumpet mycelium. Take a sharp knife and slice almost all the way around the circumference of the top of the block, so that the top half of the bag is just barely attached. Scratch the top of the block with your fingers or a knife, then rest the top half of the bag back on top of the block. The king trumpet mushroom mycelium will sense the disruption from the scratching and the oxygen in the air and produce mushroom ‘pins’, another word for ‘baby mushrooms’. This should begin to happen within two weeks of slicing your bag.
2) Mushrooms need proper humidity and ventilation to survive. King trumpets especially love cold places. Place your sliced bag in the most humid part of your home and outside of direct sunlight. We suggest putting your bag on a kitchen counter somewhat close to a sink. If your home is really dry you may want to make a humidity tent to place over your bag. Simply take a trash bag or other loosley fitting plastic bag, put PLENTY of 1/2 inch holes in it. (THIS IS IMPORTANT mushrooms exhale CO2 and inhale Oxygen. They will suffocate themselves if there isn’t adequate airflow! Mushrooms that look stringy or strange are usually growing that way because they need more air!) Spray the outside of your block near the slice at least once per day. If you choose to use a humidity tent make sure to spray the inside of the tent once per day to maintain humidity.
3) Harvest your mushrooms when they resemble the photograph on the front of your kit! Harvest before the caps flatten out and become concave. Mushrooms grow quickly, so when you spot your first mushroom pins keep a close eye on them. The warmer the environment the faster they will grow. Mushrooms should be ready to harvest 2-5 days after pin formation.
4) After your first harvest of king trumpets you may choose to attempt a second, third, or even fourth fruiting off your block! Harvests usually diminish in size with each consecutive fruiting. We recommend giving your block a two week break between fruitings, then soak your block in cold water for 20 minutes, and then re-start the process of spraying your blocks with water daily!
*IF YOU PLAN ON CONSUMING YOUR HOME-GROWN MUSHROOMS MAKE SURE TO COOK THEM THOROUGHLY. IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TIME EATING THIS SPECIES, IT IS BEST TO START WITH A SMALL AMOUNT TO SEE HOW YOUR BODY RESPONDS!*