I'm excited to share the fruits of my first mushroom harvest: A plate of oyster mushrooms!
A few weeks ago, we received a mushroom growing kit from gmushrooms.com, and today we harvested the first flush from the oyster mushrooms!
The kit I got had four types of mushrooms spoors. Three of them were in "log" form, with a compressed cylinder of growing medium (maybe barley?) that is already colonized by the different mushrooms' mycelium, ready to fruit, given the right environmental conditions.
The fourth, the Morel mushroom spores, required its own dedicated outdoor compost heap, so (as the instructions indicated) I put it in the back of our refrigerator to hold it until I was ready to provide the environment for it.
Each of the different types had a very clear sheet with instructions for how to set up the right conditions of moisture, light and heat. None of them required darkness, but they couldn't be in direct sunlight. Indirect sunlight is best.
The kit came with these big sponges and plastic vented funnel bags for tenting the spore log on top of the moistened sponge, in order to maintain humidity.
Set up was really easy. A 2" X is cut on either side, through the plastic enclosure. The mushrooms fruit and pop out from this opening.
I supplied the foil pans. I used rainwater for this project, although there was nothing in the instructions that mentioned this. It just seemed, that it would be better to use non-chlorinated, neutral water, rather than tap water.
I put up a sign saying "Welcome to our Fungus Garden!" (I did this mostly because it doesn't really look like much of a 'garden', and I didn't want anyone using the bookcase for other things, disturbing the set up.)
The first "pinheads" formed on the oyster mushrooms about a week after I set this up, and we were able to harvest them about 4 days after that.
The first fruit of the Pom Poms is just beginning to emerge today. I hope to have pictures soon. (There's not a lot to see yet.) The Shiitake log is still drying out, and will probably be set in water in a couple of days.)
UPDATE: Here's the last of the oyster mushrooms, served raw with grilled tuna and greens from our garden. The sprouts in the upper left-hand corner are garlic chive sprouts, which take about two weeks to grow, but are worth the wait:
FURTHER UPDATE: The Pom Pom Blanc mushroom log failed to produce, and eventually was covered with mold. Harumph. I'm trying to grow *fungus* , not *mold*!! I had to discard it (in our compost heap.) The jury's still out on the shiitake and morel kits. I'll update when we know the results.
*This title is provocative because shellfish aren't kosher. Mushrooms are.