We picked up some bags of Shiitake and Oyster mushroom starters in bags from The Mushroom Man at the Richmond Seedy Saturday event last weekend and here are some photos of their progress, one week later. Pretty awesome.
The mushrooms are growing on a substrate block of Fraser Valley Red Alder hardwood sawdust supplemented with millet grain, wheat bran and crushed limestone. When we purchased them, the mushrooms hadn’t started showing themselves, but after a week with the top of the bag open, they’ve grown really quickly. Chris and Julie harvested some of theirs for breakfast this morning and said they tasted incredible.
As the mushrooms grow, you cut the surrounding bag down or out away from them to give them space and whenever the block appears to be drying out, you place the base of it in some water for about 30 minutes, followed by holding the bag upside down to get out any extra water out.
The mushrooms do better in cooler temperatures so Chris and Julie have been keeping theirs in the ground level entryway to their home and my Chris and I are keeping ours in the garage for now.
We paid $10 for each bag and each should yield about a pound and a half of mushrooms. Considering how organic Shiitake mushrooms can cost up to $12-$14 per pound, growing your own is the economical way to go and is a super fascinating experiment at the same time. The nice thing about doing them in bags means that apartment dwellers can grow their own as well.
I don’t know a lot about creating these from scratch. We’ll start here and figure out the DIY details later, but Scott aka The Mushroom Man (linked above) is enthusiastic about growing mushrooms and he was happy to answer all of the questions we had. He’s located in East Vancouver so these mushroom kits are really accessible for Lower Mainland dwellers. Super fun. I recommend trying them out!PS: check out the mushroom growing out of a mushroom in photos 4 & 5 above. Seriously fun.