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WHAT IS A MUSHROOM GROW KIT

A mushroom growing kit is essentially a pre-colonized “fruiting block” which has not yet been put into conditions that make it want to fruit mushrooms.Magic mushroom growing kits for sale NSW,Buy Magic mushroom growing kits Australia,Order mushrooms grow kits Sydney,buy mushrooms Sydney

The mycelium covered block is typically contained in a mushroom grow bag, which can sit dormant for quite some time, especially if it’s kept cool in the fridge.

You can buy grow kits for a variety of different types of mushrooms, although some species make for better kits than others. One of the most common types of mushrooms you will find in a grow kit is Pleurotus ostreatus – the regular ol’ “oyster mushroom.”

Oyster mushrooms are pretty resilient to contamination, they fruit relentlessly, and they can grow on a whole whack of different substrates.

They are super tenacious, and can fruit mushrooms even if conditions aren’t picture perfect- making them an excellent choice for a kit.

Oysters also grow really quickly, which increases the chances of success. Most grow kits only require a few simple steps and minimal maintenance, although the chances of success and potential harvest size increases greatly if the mushroom block is properly prepared and placed in ideal conditions.

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The mushroom grow kit I decided to try was the Back to the Roots Mushroom Mini Farm. This “mini farm” is an oyster mushroom grow kist which produces Pearl Oyster Mushrooms– a tasty, fast growing species that can withstand some neglect and still produce good results.

A perfect option for the home grower!

The kit itself is quite small, with the actual fruiting block weighing less than 2 lbs. With this low amount of substrate, I wasn’t expecting a whole ton of mushrooms- although the point of the kit is more to experience the process of growing mushrooms rather than for getting a huge harvest.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Full disclosure: I bought the kit from the grocery store and left it in the fridge for a number of months before I actually went to use it. I thought this might have an adverse effect on the kit, although, as you will see, the results were still actually quite good.

Opening the box, you can see that the kit is a fully colonized fruiting block in a small grow bag. Back to the Roots says that the substrate is recycled organic material, although I can’t quite tell exactly what it is.Magic mushroom growing kits for sale NSW,Buy Magic mushroom growing kits Australia,Order mushrooms grow kits Sydney,buy mushrooms Sydney

The block passed the initial sniff test (to see if it’s contaminated), and was looking good- smelling just like beautiful oyster mycelium should.

There was quite a bit of orange metabolite in the bag, but this is not contamination and is usually nothing to worry about.

FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions are dead simple, and really seem to cater to new growers who are unaware of the complex terminology involved in growing mushrooms.

Basically, scrape, soak and water.

In other words,

  • cut a hole in the bag and rough up the mycelium,
  • soak in water to re-hydrate and shock
  • keep humid so that mushroom pins can form

One minor gripe I had was that the kit refers to the mycelium as “soil”. Although this is kind of a good analogy, it’s not at all accurate. But, considering most people buying these kits aren’t hardcore mushroom growers, I totally understand!

As per the instructions, I cut a small “x” in the front of the bag and scraped back some of the mycelium.

This “roughing up” of the outer layer reactivates the mycelium, and is helpful to initiate new growth and pinning.Magic mushroom growing kits for sale NSW,Buy Magic mushroom growing kits Australia,Order mushrooms grow kits Sydney,buy mushrooms Sydney

soaked the block face down in a bowl of water for 12 hours. The block floats, so if you wanted to, you could consider placing something heavy on top of the block to sink it. I opted to just let it float, in hopes of the block soaking up the water.

This is an important step.

Mushroom fruiting bodies are up to 90% water, and pretty much all of that moisture needs to come from the fruiting block itself. If your mushroom block does not contain enough water, it will fail to fruit, or quickly abort and new mushrooms that do form.

FRUITING THE BLOCK

The third step in the instructions is “water”, and the kit instructs us to “sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of water per day on the scraped area until mushrooms are fully formed.” Again, these are good instructions for those who are new to growing mushrooms, but essentially, the kit just needs to be placed in a humid environment with indirect light. This is no different than a typical fruiting environment used when growing mushrooms from scratch.

I opted to leave the bag out of the box and place the kit in a shotgun fruiting chamber. I am sure this kit can be grown on your countertop without the SGFC, and that is the intention of the kit. Also, Pearl Oysters are tenacious fruiters in general.

That being said, the chances of your block drying out and not fruiting at all are higher if you don’t place it in a controlled environment like a SGFC. Plus, shotgun fruiting chambers are easy to make and can be used for any future mushroom project.

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