getting started growing mushrooms

markcase1964(7 Piedmont NC)December 22, 2008

I want to grow some mushrooms at home. I was trying to search the strings but did not find any concrete advice. Does anyone have "starts" that they can trade? If you buy one of the kits I saw mixed results.

Thanks for the information.


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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Hi Mark,

Sorry, don't have any good advice to give you, just starting out myself...

But I bought a Shitake mushroom "kit" off eBay (link below) for $5...
Only had it going for a few days now, but it's starting to grow / Looks nasty as hell, but they are a growing...
All the fun stuff has already been done when you get it, just have to open the bag, but it's a start...

I haven't tried them yet, but they also sell plugs that you hammer into logs that I've heard work good???

Good Luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Mushroom Block

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Practically all mushrooms kits are pre-cultivated and you simply are encouraging them to fruit by exposing them to light, air, moisture etc. Try Field and Forest Products ( They've got a good variety of kits to choose from. I've been wanting to try one of their hericium (pom pom) kits for years, as I think that hericium is one of the most under-rated of all edible mushrooms. Very light and slightly sweet, absolutely delicious sauteed in garlic and butter.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:15PM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

We got Pompom blanc and Blue oyster logs and Morell (TO actually make a habitat for and plant)for xmas. The 2 logs are sprouting!
I've got a word in on my cooking board for recipes and ways to preserve if need be!
I don't can, but I have a dehydrator and a vacuum sealer.
We were considered the weird ones of the family, cause we gave mushroom logs for xmas! 2out of 3 LOVED them!
We got our kits from in Graton CA.
Hope to hear more beginner mushroom talk! Nancy

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:13PM
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If you follow the directions to the letter - the kits are a great way to grow mushrooms. I have given them as gifts and they have always bloomed fantastically

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 9:37PM
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I'm hoping someone can help me or at least point me in the right direction. I'm trying my second home mushroom kit and am having some troubles. I grew 3 crops easily on a composite style log last winter. Now I am trying to do a real oak log, shiitake, inside my house. I started it just after the holidays and followed the directions closely for soaking it, misting, etc. but I ended up with an initial crop of only 3 small mushrooms that were hard. I also seem to be getting a fair amount of green and white mold. I initially cleaned the mold off with some vinegar, (I wonder if this is where I went wrong). Anyway, I did some online research and am now dabbing on alcohol to clean off mold.

I tried to "let it rest" on a bed of moist soil, but again, it got moldy along the bottom where it was on the soil.

Now I have a dry log, mold-free, and want to try to get a harvest out of it at some point, but not sure how to proceed. HELP!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:50AM
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The fact that you're doing it indoors is probably the problem. It's always recommended to do logs OUTSIDE. Mold will grow easier indoors where there's no drafts and plenty of stale, stagnant air. The mycelium needs to fully colonize the log and get a good hold on before competition from other fungi and molds can be ruled out.

If you're doing mushrooms indoors, I'd recommend getting your hands on some hardwood (oak, maple, etc. not pine or cedar or redwood) saw dust, sterilizing it (oven @ 250F for three hours), inoculating it with spawn, and putting it an airtight container where it can't be contaminated by floating spores in the air.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:07PM
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thanks sequoia, I'm not surprised, I live in an old house and we get mold sometimes in our basement, Despite our efforts, I'm sure it just drifts about. It's winter here too, so not lots of fresh air.

It also makes a little more sense that the composite kit worked much better. I think that because I started it partially covered in plastic, it not only kept the moisture in, but it protected it until the shiitake got established over anything else. I did get a small amount of green mold on the bottom, but it was easily removed and never returned. I will look into resourcing the sawdust method. Maybe I'll restart my log with a barrier, just to try. Thanks again for the advise.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 2:42PM
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