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How To Grow Your Own Edible Mushrooms?



Edible mushrooms come in plenty of varieties and are prized for their delightfully complex flavour and meaty texture. Plus, they pack a serious punch in terms of nutrition. The idea of having fresh mushrooms on hand, ready to be tossed in a stir-fry or turned into a sauce for your pasta or grilled meats, can be a tempting one. Harvesting mushrooms from the wild isn?t for everyone, because it?s hard for most of us to tell apart the edible from the toxic ones. You can, however, grow your own mushrooms. And, you don?t even need a garden to do that!

A Bit About Mushrooms?

Technically, a mushroom is just the visible part of a fungus. The rest of the fungus remains hidden below the ground. A mushroom is called a fruiting head because of its capability to bear spores.

Despite being part of the fungi family, mushrooms are grouped with vegetables, which makes them an essential in the vegetarian and vegan kitchens.




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Growing Mushrooms: Where to Start?

When cultivating mushrooms, the most important part is inoculating a substrate or medium with a live fungal culture, also called mycelium or mushroom spawns. This set-up is then left to incubate in an appropriate environment. Any place that receives low light, steady warmth, and humidity is ideal for growing mushrooms.

If you are a newbie, you can buy a mushroom kit. It?s super-easy to set up and most of the legwork is done for you already. Mushroom kits typically include a mushroom block inoculated with mushroom spores, substrate and a spray bottle. These kits come with detailed instructions, which gives you pretty much all the info you need to get started. The best part? You can get a harvest in just a few weeks!

Here?s how to go about it.

Find the right spot. You need to find an indoor place with a stable temperature and humidity. The place should also have access to little daylight and good airflow. Consider your basement, bathroom or even the space under your kitchen sink.

Position your kit. All you need to do now is to place you kit in the selected spot. Make sure it?s away from windows or AC vents or drafts. 

Maintenance. It?s pretty much all about maintaining a humid environment around you kit. Don?t overwater, nor let the surface dry out. Mist the surface regularly to maintain a steady dampness.


Harvesting Mushrooms

Now comes the fun part. After they have grown to your preferred size ? which should be within 3-5 weeks ? they will be ready for picking. The first harvest will produce enough for a meal for two. With good quality mushroom kits, you will get at least two crops of mushroom from each kit. If you are lucky, you can get third crops too.

Growing edible mushrooms is a fun project, whether on your own or with kids. You can opt for a mushroom kit or do everything from scratch ? the results will be rewarding either way!



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