Oyster mushrooms are fast-growing and beginner-friendly mushrooms. They could be ready for harvest in as little as 17-21 days.
Are oyster mushrooms easy to grow?
Oyster mushrooms are among the easiest mushrooms to grow, and that makes them a great option for beginner growers.
They grow in wood naturally, but they can also grow in a variety of other mediums. Sawdust or straw are other growing mediums that oyster mushrooms will take to.
How do I grow mushrooms at home?
Growing mushrooms at home can be as intensive or extensive as you’d like it to be. You can obtain your own spores from mature mushrooms, find or make your own growing medium, and you can tend to them daily until harvest.
You could also order a mushroom growing kit, taking steps and complications out of the process until you’re more comfortable with growing your own mushrooms at home.
What are spores?
A spore (in a mushroom) is a reproductive cell. It can develop into a new mushroom without another reproductive cell, which makes a spore an asexual reproducer. Mushroom spores are akin to plant seeds, functioning in much the same way.
What is mushroom spawn?
The substrate (wood, straw, compost, coffee grounds, cardboard, etc) is colonized by mycelium. This colonization is called spawn. It’s the carrier or the strain of mushroom you wish to grow.
What is a substrate?
A substrate is defined as the surface or material an organism may live or grow on to get the required nourishment for growth.
The mushroom you decide to grow will likely have a preferred substrate, but some growing mediums (substrates) include used coffee grounds, cardboard, compost, manure, straw, wood, wood chips, and sawdust. There are more, but these are the most common.
What growing medium can I grow oyster mushrooms in?
Oyster mushrooms will grow on multiple substrates. They’ll grow on corn cobs or office paper if you’re really looking to get creative! They do have a preference though: straw, specifically wheat and oat straw.
How do I spawn mushrooms?
Mushroom spawn is as simple as a substance inoculated with mycelium and the particular spores of whichever mushroom you want to grow. Spawn is the source of the mushroom.
What is mycelium?
Mycelium is a collection of cells. It’s the base for growing mushrooms. When mycelium breaks down, it absorbs organic matter which the mycelium will then translate into nourishment for fungi, such as mushrooms.
What mushrooms are difficult to grow?
Lobster, hedgehog, and morel mushrooms are hard to grow. Truffles, matsutake, and porcini are among those that cannot be cultivated. These mushrooms are only found wild and are treasured among mushroom hunters.
How do I prevent contamination in my mushroom crops?
If your mushroom crops get no airflow and they’re in a damp place, they may begin to grow other fungi or bacteria that could cause food-borne illness.
There are some recommendations on how to keep your mushrooms from getting contaminated. Those best practices are:
- Ventilation and Moisture Control
- Temperature Control
- Light Control
What can I do with the waste from mushroom crops?
Mushrooms produce up to three times their weight in waste. This waste includes anything added to the substrate (straw, wood chips, manure, etc). This waste is being composted by small-scale farmers.
Mushrooms that rot or aren’t edible can be fed to chickens or composted. They are also being studied by scientists who are looking for ways to use the waste. The proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and chitin could have the potential to be used for other products.
How do I harvest mushrooms?
There is a debate on which method of harvest is best for mushrooms, but whichever method you choose to harvest them, they’ll be a delicate addition to any meal.
Some individuals prefer to pluck the ready mushrooms.
Other individuals prefer to cut the mushroom off. This method is preferred because the harvester can cut off at the base of the mushroom, which is referred to as troops. This allows some of the smaller mushrooms to continue growing after harvest.
How do I store my harvested mushrooms?
If you’ve just harvested your mushroom crop and you’re looking at a large crop that you can’t use right away, you can try putting your fresh mushrooms in a brown paper bag. The bag will absorb excess moisture, removing the risk of soggy or moldy mushrooms. Add the bag to the fridge after folding down the top.
Another way to store fresh mushrooms is to freeze them. You can clean, slice, and put mushrooms in an airtight bag to freeze if you can’t use them before they go bad in the fridge or you want to keep some for a longer period of time.
|4-7 days||2-12 months||3-5 days (refrigerated)|
Can I dehydrate mushrooms?
Dehydrated mushrooms last the longest of any preservation method. It’s as simple as keeping them in an airtight container in a dark and dry place. As long as they don’t get exposed to moisture, they should keep indefinitely.
Can I sell mushrooms?
You can sell your mushroom crop at multiple places including (but not limited to):
Farmers Markets – at the farmer’s market you’ll meet the people who are going to be enjoying your crops and share in the joys of mushrooms with them. You may even get a nice recipe to try, or you’ll be able to share all the ways you use mushrooms.
Local Grocers – at the local grocery store you can talk to the store manager and see if they would mind putting your product on their shelves. This way you’ll probably have to forfeit a portion of your profit for shelf space, but you would walk away with cash for your crops.
Restaurants – if you know mushrooms are on the menu, or you know a local restaurant that may be interested in adding mushrooms to the menu you could stop by and ask them if they’d be interested in buying some of your crops. Most small businesses love to support other small businesses, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask!
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.