Growing Gourmet Mushrooms at Home | Edible Guide
I used to hate fresh mushrooms until I tasted something better than the sour canned oyster mushrooms that line the shelves of grocery stores.
I ate fresh shiitake gourmet mushrooms, the edible ones at a friend's and these was surprisingly fresh and delicious.
My friend was growing gourmet mushrooms. The fancy gourmet ones you get in the high-end grocery stores. You know the oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, & everything else in between. I decided to grow edible mushrooms too.
And since I started growing gourmet mushrooms at home, I've also become a really big fan of these nutritiously delicious fungi crop that I now have them anytime I want them.
Maybe you want to start a small mushroom farm for growing. Start small first by growing many different ones the easy way.
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- What Varieties of Gourmet Mushrooms Can You Grow At Home?
- What Do You Need to Grow Gourmet Mushrooms at Home?
- Steps to Grow Edible Mushrooms at Home
- Are Mushroom Grow Kits Worth It?
- Final Thoughts
- Related Questions
What Varieties of Gourmet Mushrooms Can You Grow At Home?
One thing you might actually find a bit challenging about growing gourmet mushrooms at home is making the decision on the one or two varieties for growing.
When I also wanted to start growing gourmet mushrooms at home, I was overwhelmed with the diverse options.
I became a little confused on which would be the best fresh one for growing as a beginner.
Anyways, after trying so hard to make a decision, I asked some of my friends, who were gourmet mushroom growers, on which of the fungi I could grow indoors as a beginner.
I eventually discovered that pretty much all varieties of edible, gourmet mushrooms can be grown at home.
Even morels that have been said by many to only grow in the wild can also be grown inside, with the right things set in place.
So I'll also be helping you too. Below are some of the popular varieties like gourmet oyster you can choose for growing mushrooms, and in your own house.
1. Oyster Mushroom
Growing edible mushrooms of this particular variety are probably one of the most common types.
This is true because one of the benefits to grow oyster mushrooms is a pretty substantial yield. Not to mention they are one of the more attractive looking in the market!
Growing oyster mushrooms might also be the best option for you if you're just a beginner.
Growing oyster mushrooms can be a highly resistant one to many molds that could affect their growth.
Growing gourmet mushrooms such as oysters are pretty easy to cultivate many of them indoors.
If oyster is grown with many other fungi, they could also compete efficiently without becoming deficient of all the required nutrients they need for growth at the end of the day.
Oyster mushrooms mix well with other flavors in your meal, softly adding entirely different notes of flavors depending on the specific variety you choose to cook.
One thing I especially love about growing oyster mushrooms is that they can be stored for some time.
If properly wrapped in plastic and kept in the refrigerator, oyster mushrooms can last you up between four to seven days depending on the sub-variety you store. Many people growing small ones also freeze them for later.
2. Morel Mushrooms
Morels are really beautiful mushrooms. Their pine-shaped form makes them look like a fairy house that you'd want to keep for decorative purposes.
Not only are they really attractive, they can also have a pleasant taste that you'd really enjoy in your meals. The flavor is something I can't readily place; a mix of earthy, nutty, and meaty.
Morels can also be quite soft and tender when one is growing them young. At this stage, they can be cooked as a whole, both the cap and stem.
However, after they're mature, only the caps can be eaten as the stems become thick and somewhat woody after a while.
Growing them could also be a good replacement for animal protein in meals, especially for vegetarians and those looking to lose some weight.
Like oysters, morels also have many varieties and growing them indoors is easy.
3. Enoki Mushrooms
This variety is pretty unique in both taste and appearance and could be a delicious addition to all your meals.
They can be cooked in soups, stir-fried, or even cooked alone without you even adding them to meals.
They have tiny stems and small caps that make them a perfect choice for your soups and salad.
Unlike oysters, Enokis do not really have one of the stronger & meaty taste of mushrooms.
The flavor could be best described as "brothy"; not too earthy or meaty; just something in between.
If I were to compare them to the other varieties, I would describe them as the easiest to grow. This is because they grow rapidly and can also produce large yields at the end of the day.
This fungi variety is particularly consumed for its medicinal properties. #DailyMushroom #Mycology #Mushrooms
4. Reishi Mushrooms
This fungi variety is particularly consumed for its medicinal properties. It could be eaten to calm your body and also boost your immune function.
It is commonly described as a "magical mushroom" because of the psychedelic effects it could have on your body.
However, reishi is not as particularly delicious as the other types in this list. In fact, it could taste a bit bitter or just be outright bland.
Reishi is one type of mushroom that is best cooked and enjoyed with other meals for great taste & fantastic flavor.
5. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are also another popular variety of mushrooms.
They're a rather expensive gourmet variety.
This can be because of their savory flavor as well as the immense health properties they're known for.
Shiitakes are also very strong, meaty and earthy. They could be used in small bits to spice up your meals.
Fresh small Shiitakes are also an excellent choice for your stews, soups, and stir-fries.
They could also be cooked as a whole.
Fresh shiitakes can also offer a high yield with multiple harvests within the course of a year.
6. Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Lion's mane is also another interesting fungi variety. It has a rather unique appearance that actually looks like a lion's mane.
Amazing right? Much different than Shiitake mushrooms.
They are actually called "lion's mane" because they grow in clusters and can be pretty gorgeous to behold.
They could also be a fantastic addition to your meals, especially with your seafood and diets.
Lion's mane can also be easy to grow mushrooms. They grow quickly and may take up to a month to mature fully.
What Do You Need to Grow Gourmet Mushrooms at Home?
Growing Mushrooms can be a surprisingly tasty hobby or business. Not only are the fungi rather delicious, you can also benefit a lot from consuming them.
Gourmet mushrooms are extremely rich in nutrients that help in promoting the good health of your body too.
However, you might have to put some things in place before growing gourmet mushrooms at home to enjoy all these benefits without having to wait in long queues or hunt mushrooms in the wild.
There are certain things you might need for your gourmet mushrooms to cultivate. Some of these things may include the following:
● A growing medium or substrate such as wood chips
● A log or piece of hardwood
● Straw grow bags
● Any spacious container, like 6" trays.
● Mushroom spawn to grow oyster, shiitake or other variety
● Germination mat
● Spray bottle
● A cloth or towel
However, you have to know that mushrooms can be quite versatile. They can thrive in all environments and growing them does not even require a lot of the materials you might need for cultivating plants and vegetables.
They can equally grow well in small and large areas, whether in your basement or in any spare room you're willing to sacrifice for the cultivation in your home.
Mushrooms can also thrive well indoors. They can do well when grown with other things, like your vegetables or fruits. They can also compete relatively well with other plants and may not require too much sun for them to mature.
There are different ways you can grow your mushrooms. But as a beginner, purchasing mushroom kits & following a basic process might be the best option for you.
These kits might usually contain all the things you need without you having to buy anything extra.
Using them can also help you to understand all the necessary processes you may need to follow in order for your cultivation to be a stunning success at the end of the day.
Not only that, using mushroom growing kits can also help you avoid all the stressful aspects of growing indoors, or even outdoors.
Many mushroom growing kits can also help you to understand how the life cycle of the fungi goes. And this will help you to tend them properly as they should in the process of their growth.
Growing with kits also assures you of your first small success as a beginner who doesn’t yet know the processes of growing mushrooms.
If you'd like to grow your own mushrooms without a growing kit, you can read the next section for the necessary steps you can follow to ensure that growing your own mushrooms can be seamlessly easy and also very successful for you.
Steps to Grow Edible Mushrooms at Home
When growing gourmet mushrooms in your house, you might have to carefully follow their normal life-cycle for them to fruit well for eventual harvest.
If you don't do this, the growing mushrooms might not yield the expected result at the end of the day.
Follow these steps to start small before growing a mushroom farm. So here are the steps many follow to grow mushrooms right the first time.
STEP 1: Mushroom Spawn Selection
This is the part you get to choose the variety or varieties for mushroom growing.
Mushrooms can be grown using what is commonly called mushroom spawn or spores, that is, tiny button mushrooms.
And, earlier, we already talked about some of the popular and easy to grow gourmet mushrooms that you can choose.
I think this would actually be the perfect time for you to put that knowledge to work.
Growing mushrooms would also require an organic substrate, on which your mushrooms can easily germinate.
You can get this in different types, depending on your mushroom spawn of choice as well as the system you'd prefer to adopt in cultivating your mushrooms.
STEP 2: Fill Trays with Compost
You can then fill your trays (or any material spacious enough to take the mushrooms) with the compost.
Ensure that the material used for growing is not less than 6" deep. You can use any other thing that can afford you the space needed for your mushrooms to thrive well.
When you've filled the material, you can then sprinkle your spawn in it and cover with more compost or just soil.
Compost can be a necessary source of nutrients to grow mushrooms.
Unlike plants, they do not really possess the ability to single-handedly manufacture their own nutrients without depending on an alternative source.
STEP 3: Warm The Soil
Afterward, you can heat the soil at 70°F or 21°C using a heating pad.
An alternative could be placing the filled tray in a heated environment or where they can catch the sufficient heat they may need from the sun.
Keep heating for two weeks until some whitish growths that look like tiny threads begin to appear. After this, you can then reduce the heat to about 55°F or 16°C
STEP 4: Moisturize
Moisturize the soil regularly by spraying it with water. You can also use a wet cloth to keep the soil and spawn damp always.
Spray it regularly for 3 to 4 weeks so as to keep the soil slightly wet or damp till the mushrooms begin to fruit.
STEP 5: Harvest
Afterward, you can then harvest your mushrooms to enjoy in all your delicious meals.
You might have to follow each of the steps religiously to ensure that your mushrooms come out bright and healthy when the time to harvest comes in the long run. Join the ranks of many mushroom growers as you harvest.
Are Mushroom Grow Kits Worth It?
When you think about the stress you could actually go through using other methods, then I think I can say mushroom grow kits are absolutely worth it.
Here are some of the reasons why I think these materials can be absolutely worth their weight in gold.
Could Make Growing Simple
A high-quality gourmet mushrooms grow kit can actually make growing a lot easier for you, especially if you are a beginner who's yet to learn the basics of cultivating mushrooms indoors, or even outdoors for that matter.
Growing without them first can be fun when you're already an expert and not when you're still a struggling mushroom tender.
They already have the required materials in place.
Instead of growing through that hard work of growing mycelium and setting the substrate, you can just alternatively purchase your own mushroom grow kit.
Growing gourmet mushrooms from a kit might be easier. Some already have the mycelium readily growing on the surface of the substrate.
All you might just be left to do is regularly tend the mushrooms until they're fully ready for harvest.
Mushroom kits might usually come with different substrate materials such as the most common block of wood chips and sterilized sawdust.
Other kits can come with mushroom spawn, a log of pre-inoculated hardwood, or a pasteurized straw bag, depending on the quantity you like to grow.
Growing gourmet mushrooms from a kit might be easier. Some already have the mycelium readily growing on the surface of the substrate. #DailyMushroom #Fungi #fungus
Can be cost-effective too
Mushroom kits do not only make cultivation very easy for you, they can also be cost-effective. When your spawns eventually yield, you can spend less and avoid all the trips you might have to spend on purchasing your mushrooms directly from the grocery store.
Safer to use
Kits can also be cleaner and safer to use. You'd eat fresh and handpicked mushrooms every time, even better than the ones you could get from the store.
There are also certified organic kits that you can use too.
I'm sure you didn't know growing gourmet mushrooms at home was possible. But, yes, you can.
Instead of wasting your precious time in long queues at the grocery store, you can just start your own mushroom farm. In addition to this, you can also save money too.
There are different varieties that you could grow, oysters might be a great choice for you if you're a beginner.
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