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Can you grow mushrooms?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Can you grow muchrooms? Not those red ones that are poisonous, but obviously edible ones like white button and oyster mushrooms. I use them a lot in cooking, but they're quite expensive.

post #2 of 21
Absolutely! And they're great fun to grow because they grow so fast.

Look here for oyster mushroom kits and other types.
post #3 of 21
Child's play...we grew them in 6th grade in a classroom closet. I lived near kennett Square, PA so getting mushroom spawn and soil was easy. One of my friends grows shitakes on his farm outside Gainesville, FL. He supplies the local restaurants and his friends.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
What about those brightly colored ones? Haha, just kidding. I certainly don't intend to poison anyone, soon that is.

I'll see if I can procure one of those mushroom kits and grow them here. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that they may not gorw that well in Hawaii with all the birds and such.
post #5 of 21
I grew mine indoors with no problem. Don't worry, it's easier then you think!
post #6 of 21
I would love to grow some mushrooms, but what would be the point, my Wife won't eat them.


I like muskies, my Wife doesn't like mushrooms.
post #7 of 21
Hey Kev, I hear you like Muskies.....Maybe you could start a fish farm and raise them instead :D
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
My latest musical venture!
http://www.myspace.com/popshowband "I'm at the age when food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." Rodney Dangerfield RIP
post #8 of 21
Just because your wife doesn't eat them doesn't mean you should deprive yourself of growing them for yourself! They're a joy to watch grow (and would be even for your wife). Anything you don't eat fresh can be dried for future use for anything you make for yourself.
post #9 of 21


Hey, growing mushrooms!!!!!! That's a great idea. Never thought of doing that.

Heck, I grow everything else including corn so guess I'll add that to the agenda.

Thanks for idea folks:)
post #10 of 21

Mushroom growing - sustainable?


I'm really interested in growing those delicious white button mushroms because they're quite expensive in local supermarkets.

I've never grown mushrooms before so I looked for some information on the web.

Basically it seems there are 2 options.

1. Indoor growing with a kit. It seems like the kits you can buy aren't sustainable... in other words, after a couple of "crops" of mushroom "harvests", then no more mushrooms will grow and you have to buy a new kit. Is this right?

2. Outdoor sustainable growing. Requires thousands of dollars of equipment for sterile air, a glove-box, etc., to ensure you don't contaminate your spores and introduce competing organisms. Only practical for large-quantity commercial-scale mushroom production.

(2) is too much investment for me, so I'm looking at a kit-based solution, but is my information right, that it's not possible to sustain a kit-based mushroom farm forever? Or is it possible to harvest spores to re-use from one generation to the next, without spending thousands of dollars on sterile-environment equipment?

The point is, if I'm going to pay for a kit, I want my money's worth and to at least be able to grow several crops of mushrooms so that the overall cost is less than if I bought the mushrooms in the store!

Also... is it possible to buy some white button mushrooms from the store and start growing my own crop from the store-bought mushrooms? Is this easy or next-to-impossible?

post #11 of 21
1) Correct. But certain varieties produce more crops than others. Shiitake for example produces more than Oyster. There are different types of kits. Ready to grow kits will cost about $20 to $30 and produce 1 to 2 pounds of mushrooms in one to two months. "That's about $15 per pound. A $20 log-based kit inoculates about five logs. Although you'll need to wait 9 to 12 months for the first fruits to form, fruiting will continue periodically over four years, eventually producing about 20 pounds of mushrooms total. That's about $1 per pound. If you can't wait, some mail-order companies provide preinoculated logs with the mycelia already running throughout the log. Though more expensive than producing your own (about $38 per log with kit and soaking tray), these will usually produce mushrooms within a week of arrival, yielding 4 pounds over three to four years."

2) Most people who grow mushrooms at home don't do it to save money. If they do save money, it's because they can't get certain fresh mushroom varieties in their area so it's cheaper to grow them then it is to FedEx them.

For most, growing mushrooms is usually an experiment. Wanting to try something new. Or teaching a classroom full of children so more people can benefit from the experience. It's the joy of witnessing their growth and enjoying truly fresh mushrooms.

>is it possible to buy some white button mushrooms from the store and start growing my own crop

Most likely not. Once the mushroom has opened, spores are released. I'd say next to impossible or it would be a much more common classroom/parenting activity with children.

White button mushrooms around here are the least expensive of any other variety. If I were to grow any more, I'd look into higher priced varieties myself.
post #12 of 21

I know this is an old thread but it is quite easy to grow oyster
mushrooms on straw.Grain spawn is available at very good prices
and can be used to mix with very many bags of straw.Any one who is
intersted just give a shout.:bounce:
post #13 of 21
Thanks for those links! Awesome stuff.
Athena Foods - Cook Like a Goddess
Athena Foods - Cook Like a Goddess
post #14 of 21
"I'm really interested in growing those delicious white button mushroms because they're quite expensive in local supermarkets."
I can only assume you've lead a sheltered life. White mushrooms are the least flavourful of all the varieties. Next time try a Crimini, Shiitaki, or Portabello; or better yet, a Morel or Chantrelle.... mmmmm!!!
Just my opinion though....
post #15 of 21
Now I'm not sure if you can cultivate morels, can you? I've never had them but I've always wanted to try (I've only found false morels in the wild [and I don't consider myself an experienced mushroom hunter by any means]). They're just too expensive... and in my town expensive luxury items are usually not very fresh (dried up in packages). I think a small bag is $15. Any websites offering cheap dried mushrooms?
post #16 of 21
it is entirely possible to do this. one would need some petri dishes, some agar, a sterile environment and a bit of luck.

One of the above posters was correct, in that once a mushroom cap opens, it releases it's spores. now, some of these may still be hanging out on the mushroom gills, but this isn't what you want.

to clone a fresh mushroom, one would need to remove a bit of flesh from the inner stem and apply it to agar. a keen eye would be necessary to distinguish mycelium from contaminants. a few transfers later, and you should have a culture that you could use to create spawn.

an excellent resource for this information is shroomery.org. although the site is mainly geared towards the psychedelic varieties, there is a sub-forum dealing exclusively with gourmet and edibles. one of the moderators has compiled an excellent dvd detailing exactly how to grow several types of mushrooms. you can find this on amazon by searching for "let's grow mushrooms!"

and to answer another poster's query, morels have yet to be domesticated.

hope this helps!
post #17 of 21
Grow Your Own Mushrooms

I have always been interested in growing mushrooms, not tried it yet. This post inspired me to do an exhaustive inter-net search (up all last night exploring the world of shrooms).

Most of the stuff on the web is either the kits or the magic variety (more on the magic variety than anything else). The above address is the best article I found on growing edibles on a small scale. It is not too technical but answers most "how to" questions. There are several good links at the end of the article to suppliers.

In a nutshell, what I learned: it is possible to order a small kit and then transfer the almost exhausted kit outdoors and it will live on indefinatly. Oysters seem the best for this because they live off of anything. One company sells a kit that has you grow them off of toilet paper rolls! Move them out side to a compost pile and you might have more shrooms than you can eat.

Most of the "gourmet" varieties live off of decomposing wood. Different mushroom different wood. Only a few live off of conifers, mostly hard wood. The kits have them growing in sterilized sawdust.

For a small scale grow your own operation you don't need too much start up money. For portabellas you need hard wood logs cut recently (not still sappy but the old fire wood won't do) and little plugs of "spawn" (I think that is the proper term). Drill the logs, plug them with the purchased spawn, cap the plug with cheese wax, wet the log, mushrooms will follow.

Kits aren't that expensive, but they will eventually die out due to lack of food in the pre-packaged kit.

I know what I'm asking for for my birthday!!
post #18 of 21
Trying the link again.

Duh, I see it now.
post #19 of 21
I'm terrible at growing plants. Mushrooms, however, were easy. If I can do it, anyone can. I got a really fantastic book on the subject. If you're interested, I'll dig it up and give you the title.
post #20 of 21
Some mushrooms can be cultivated (such as portobello and button), but some can not (such as chantrelle and truffles).

I would recommend the shroomery.org forums and articles for info and instructions on growing because of the expertise presented there, however, I warn you that the main purpose of that site is for "shrooms" rather than "mushrooms" if you catch my drift. While the site leans towards the "higher" side of fungi they provide very good info on edible mushrooms as well.
post #21 of 21
Oh my god, this thread did bring me back to the past...

When I was in my boyhood period, my grandfather used to grow the button mushrooms in my backyard darkroom (I'm also loved to hide at the darkroom most of the time).
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