Grow Your Own Oyster MushroomsNorth Spore
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.
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 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.
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) Your oyster mushroom grow kit is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by oyster mushroom mycelium. Take the block and place it on its side, exposing a side where the block presses right up against the plastic bag. Take a sharp knife and slice a 5-6 inch slice along the bag, slicing the bag with as little damage done as possible to the block. Gently squeeze out any air left in the bag, take the loose flap without mushroom substrate in it, and fold it underneath the kit. The oyster mushroom mycelium will sense 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. 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! Oysters 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) We guarantee the first harvest of oyster mushrooms, but 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!*