Growing mushrooms at home allows you to save money and enjoy delicious varieties of mushrooms each day with every meal. Because mushrooms do not contain the green chlorophyll that's found within other types of plants, this fungus relies on drawing all nourishment from the soil and water. To grow mushrooms, start by harvesting mushroom spores from dried mushrooms. Carefully monitor the mushrooms until they are fully developed and ready for consumption.
Things You'll Need
- Laminated card-stock paper
- Plastic bowls
- Plastic container
- Peat moss
Cut the stems off several fresh mushrooms and lay each mushroom on a piece of laminated card-stock paper. If possible, lay each mushroom cap with gills facing down, against the laminated paper.
Place plastic bowls over each mushroom cap. Turn a dehumidifier on near the covered mushroom caps. The tiny gap between the card and the bowl allows the dehydrator to dry the mushroom caps, but prevents the mushroom spores from escaping.
Allow the mushroom caps to sit under the plastic bowls overnight with the dehumidifier running. The next day, remove the plastic bowls and reserve the dried mushrooms for cooking, but notice the powdery white or black film on the laminated paper piece. This dusty substance is thousands of mushroom spores that have dropped straight down from the mushroom gills.
Planting and Growing Mushrooms
Cut straw into sections between 3 and 6 inches long. Place the straw in a container and sterilize the straw by pouring boiling water over it to kill any unwanted bacteria.
Pour the hot water off the straw and allow the straw to cool down to room temperature. While it cools, mix the mushroom spores from the laminated paper with the damp grains.
Place the spore and damp grain mixture over a 1 to 2-inch layer of straw inside a plastic container.
Monitor the grown as the mushroom spores and grain develop into a spore colony that creates a root structure for the mushroom network. The roots, called mycelium, develop into white and lacy filaments.
Sterilize a collection of peat moss using the same method described in steps 1 and 2. Place the drained peat moss over the mushroom root structure and allow the mushrooms to grow up and through the peat moss over a period of days or weeks.
Tips & Warnings
- Maintain the temperature of the mushroom growing container at approximately 60 degrees F. According to MushroomInfo.com, certain types of mushrooms, such as the Enoki, require special growing temperatures. Consult a growing guide to determine exact temperatures for the mushrooms you plan to grow.
- Photo Credit mushrooms image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com
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