How to grow your own mushrooms at home
Mushrooms are a great choice to include in your diet, as a child growing up I always looked at mushrooms as baby umbrellas, not realizing the nutrient content or how beneficial these so call baby umbrellas are to our health. To many, mushrooms may not have that bang as far as taste but the nutritional values far out ways the taste.
Mushrooms can be used in salads, sandwiches, soups, steam foods and so on. In this article, however, we will be looking at the exciting world of mushrooms and how to grow them.
Vitamin content of mushrooms
Potassium, copper, Vitamin B sources, Vitamin D, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, sodium, fiber, folate, iron, thiamin, magnesium.
Benefits of mushrooms
1. Aids in weight loss, 2. Helps to lower blood pressure, 3. Helps to fight prostate cancer, 4. Helps to strengthen the immune system, 5. Aids in fighting breast cancer, 6. High in antioxidant which helps to fight free radical damage, 7. improves heart health, 8. Studies have shown that mushrooms are good for libido to help with erectile dysfunction, 9. Aids in brain health 10. Helps to improves skin condition, 11. Great for those that have diabetes
Oysters, Enoki, White Button, Crimini, Portobello, Shiitake, Maitake
There are several ways to grow homegrown mushrooms, you can buy a kit that comes complete with instruction, use mushroom compost or purchase mushroom spores.
What you will need are a bag of mushroom compost, a bag of organic peat moss and mushroom spores. You can grow your mushrooms in a compost bin or nice size container, so how does this work, add mushroom compost to bin or container.
Next spread your mushroom spores on top of the compost and then cover spores with peat moss. Moisten soil a bit, look for a nice cool dark place. Make sure and keep the growing medium moist at all times, after 2 weeks you should notice molds forming on the soil surface, in another 2 weeks to a month you will notice that your mushroom begins to emerge.
There are also cool mushroom kits that can be brought which comes complete with the instruction that can make growing mushrooms so much easier.
Growing mushrooms from Spores
Here is another way to Grow mushrooms from spores, it is fun and the end results are you would have grown your own mushrooms at home. To begin you will need.
1. Four cups of brown rice.
2. Six glass jars.
3. Six cups of vermiculite.
4. A large bowl.
6. Aluminium wrap or foil paper.
7. pressure cooker.
8. Spore syringe.
10. Plastic Containers
11. Clear filter bags.
12. Rubbing alcohol.
Let’s have some Fun
First make sure that jars, fork, measuring cup, bowl and plastic containers are sterilized with alcohol, next, pour vermiculite in the bowl, then add a small amount of water, next mix together, add more water so that the vermiculite can be somewhat moist, mix a bit more. Next, add rice, mix this in also. Be sure and give it a good stir.
The end result is that everything should be thoroughly mixed together. Fill each jar with the mixture leaving about 2 and a half inches from the top. Then add dry vermiculite to finish fill glass. Next, use aluminium foil and wrap around the mouth of jars.
Add water to pressure cooker, then place jars on top of the cooking rack because if you don’t use cooking rack jars will break. Put the lid on pressure cooker and allow this to heat for about one hour. The reason for this is to ensure that the jars are well sterilized. After an hour turn stove off and allow the cooker to cool. Take each jar out, next heat tip of the needle.
Take spore syringe and carefully insert in the top of foil, to release the solution. Make sure that the solution runs down on the inside of jars turn the jars and repeat four more times.
Add another piece of foil on top of the foil that you made small holes with the needle and press firmly around top off jars. Place the jars in containers, find an area that is cool, at this point it is critical for your spores to germinate. The temperature can be anywhere from 60 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Around 3-6 days you should see germination, the signs of germination are light white specks, any other colour is a sure sign that the mixture is not good and should be discarded or thrown away.
Once the substrate is totally colonized remove remaining vermiculite with a fork. Using disinfected clear plastic containers, place substrate in containers then place the containers in filter bags. Next, spray the inside of the bags with water using a spray bottle, this will produce humidity. Make sure that the water does not get on the substrate.
Fold top of the bag twice, seal the bag with tape, close pin or paper clips. Make sure that the humidity is high at all times. Your mushrooms will be ready for harvesting between two and two and a half weeks.
The final word
It is amazing the journey mushrooms take before they reach our tables, but the reward is all that hard work paying off by making them a part of the many dishes we prepare. With that said let’s get started on our home-grown mushrooms.