Blue Oyster mushroom kits are the easiest of all of our Grow Your Own kits. They are very reliable producers and tend to yield large flushes of mushrooms. They are also the easiest kit to get subsequent fruitings and should reliably produce a second flush or more of mushrooms.
Cooking: Blue Oyster mushrooms have been the staple edible mushroom at North Spore since we first started growing mushrooms. The classic North Spore recipe is to chop the Blue Oyster mushrooms and sauté them in a heavy pan on medium heat with butter, garlic, and loads of fresh thyme and rosemary (or whatever other herbs you happen to have on hand!). Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, then continue cooking until that liquid has cooked off and the mushrooms begin to brown. This can take from 20-30 minutes. Deglaze your pan with a splash of white wine, reduce once more, and finish with a touch of heavy cream. Season generously with salt.
Properties: 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. 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).
1) Inside this box is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by mushroom mycelium. Open the front of your kit along the perforated line and dispose of the remaining cardboard.
2) Slice an 'X' into the plastic underneath with a sharp knife or scissors.
3) Fill the sprayer included in your kit with tap water and spritz the plastic where you sliced your 'X' shape. Spritz your kit at least twice daily - more if you're in a particularly dry climate. (If your mushrooms start to grow but dry up and die, your growing conditions may be too dry and you should make a humidity tent! See instructions below).
4) Place your kit in the most humid part of your home and outside of direct sunlight. We suggest putting it on a kitchen counter close to a sink. The mushroom mycelium will sense the oxygen in the air and produce mushroom 'pins,' another term for 'baby mushrooms.' This will usually begin to happen within two weeks of slicing the plastic.
5) Harvest before the caps flatten out and become concave. Mushrooms grow quickly, so when you spot your first pins keep an eye on them. The warmer the environment the faster they will grow. Mushrooms should be ready to harvest 2-5 days after pin formation.
How to make a humidity tent:
Simply take a trash bag or other loosely fitting plastic bag and 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! Blue Oysters that look stringy or strange are usually growing that way because they need more air!). Spray the slice at least once per day with the included spray bottle. If you choose to use a humidity tent make sure to spray the inside of the tent once per day to maintain humidity.
*CAUTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
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!
MUSHROOMS PRODUCE SPORES AS THEY DEVELOP. THIS IS A NATURAL MEANS OF REPRODUCTION FOR THE FUNGUS. THEY USUALLY APPEAR AS A DUSTY SURFACE ON YOUR GROW KIT BENEATH THE MUSHROOM CAPS. PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES OR COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEMS MAY WANT TO CONSIDER PUTTING FRUITING MUSHROOM KITS OUTDOORS OR IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA AS AIRBORNE SPORES SOMETIMES CAUSE RESPIRATORY IRRITATION. SPORES MAY ALSO CAUSE IRRITATION FOR SOME NON-ALLERGIC OR IMMUNE COMPROMISED MUSHROOM GROWERS, THOUGH THIS IS RARE. HARVESTING MUSHROOMS WHILE STILL IN THEIR YOUNGER GROWTH STAGES WILL REDUCE THE OVERALL SPORE LOAD.