A Simple Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms at Home
While I love foraging and eating wild mushrooms, when it comes to growing my own mushrooms, I am completely inexperienced. Thanks to the new book, Growing Mushrooms for Beginners, by Sarah Dalziel-Kirchhevel, this will be the year to remedy that.
Growing mushrooms always seemed a bit mysterious and overwhelming to me. Which mushrooms should I begin with, where do I purchase spawn, do I have to use logs and which are the best to use, do I have to grow indoors in a sterile environment, do I really need one more thing to do, etc.
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Steps to Growing Mushrooms for Beginners
Growing Mushrooms for Beginners really is for beginners like me and breaks everything down into simple steps so that I no longer have to feel so overwhelmed.
- Begin by reading the mushroom profiles in the book and choose where you want to start – they are all suited to beginner growers. I plan to begin with Oyster mushrooms.
- Next choose the medium to grow on – this would include everything from logs to straw to sawdust in a plastic bag. Chapters 2 – 5 cover all of this so that you make the best choice for your situation.
- Then source pre-inoculate spawn. The Resource section in the back of the book lists several suppliers. I purchased mine from North Spore.
- Now, depending on the mushroom and the medium you’ve chosen, you are ready to collect everything you’ll need, prepare the medium, and inoculate.
Harvesting, Processing, and Using Homegrown Mushrooms
Chapters 7 & 8 of Growing Mushrooms for Beginners is where you get to enjoy the fruit of your labors.
You’ll learn how to dehydrate, grind, freeze and prep your mushrooms for cooking.
There are 30 mushroom recipes including:
- Reishi Tea
- Mushroom Hot Chocolate
- Lion’s Mane Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Pesto-Stuffed Button Mushrooms
- Beef Stroganoff with Oyster Mushrooms
- and more
If you are completely inexperienced and want to learn how to start growing mushrooms, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Growing Mushrooms for Beginners. I found it extremely helpful.
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