Living foods from the grocer: Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Asking myself if mushrooms from the grocer are living foods initiated some simple mushroom growing experiments.  Beginning with researching and finding that most information out there on growing mushrooms is so cautionary one hesitates to even get started.  That brought up the second question, “Can it be simplified and fun to grow one’s own mushrooms?”

Here are some common mushrooms we found at the grocer:

Oyster Mushroom experiment –  June 26, ’18

Reading how easy it is to grow Oyster Mushroom Spores in household mediums.  I had read that the base of the mushroom could be used too if it had enough of its root system still attached.  I decided to attempt to try to grow Oyster Mushrooms from the store.  The Oyster mushrooms from the grocer didn’t have spores under their caps so I am trying to grow new mushrooms from the stocks with large butts left on them.  The Oyster Mushroom caps are very delicate and look like they have been handled  a lot sitting on the grocer shelves.  My question is if they will still grow?

Growing Oyster Mushrooms


Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello Mushroom experiment  – June 25, ’18

After purchasing Portobello Mushrooms from the grocer I inspected the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap to encourage the release of spores this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.  These are spores that can be used to grow future Portobello crops.  These Portobello Mushrooms looked dry and appeared to have been handled a lot.  Would the spores from these mushrooms grow into mycelium?

Growing Portobello Mushrooms


Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi Mushroom Experiment – May, ’18

In early winter I was gifted a Reishi Mushroom growing kit.  It sprouted and grew a first batch of mushrooms and then dried up.  Researching on-line about growing Reishi Mushrooms I came across a unique idea that I thought I would attempt outside in the garden.  This was one of my the first experiments.

Growing Reishi Mushrooms


Shiitake Mushrooms

 Shiitake Mushroom experiment – June 26, ’18

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.  These would be spores that can be used to grow future Shiitake crops.  I was surprised yet happy to find spores.  These mushrooms came from China and looked dry.  Before the picture of shiitake Mushrooms above was taken they sat in water for a few minutes while being washed.  They puffed up immediately and looked younger and healthier.  Would mycelium grow?

Growing Shiitake Mushrooms


Shimeji White Mushrooms – June 26, ’18

After purchasing tightly packaged Shimeji Mushrooms from the grocer I noticed that they had a square piece of mycelium and growing compound attached.  I cut the mushrooms away from this material and decided to try experimenting with it to see if it would regrow new mushrooms.  These mushrooms came from China however seemed fresh and wholesome.  I wondered if mycelium was packed into these black plastic containers at shipping and if they grew during transport.  Is this possible?

Growing Shimeji White Mushrooms


Recommended Reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

 Growing Shiitake Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Shiitake Mushrooms                                                                                           Photo by Renee Lindstrom

After purchasing Shiitake Mushrooms from the grocer I observed the caps to observe any spores that may be in between the mushroom spines.  Picking out a good candidate I cut the cap off and placed it on a piece of tin foil.  After a few drops of water on the cap this was set in a space that wouldn’t be disturbed.  The next day an imprint of the underside of the mushroom cap was left on the tin foil.

This tin foil was carefully cut into the round circle shape of the gill imprint left on it by the Shiitake spore release.  This would be placed into a substrate to experiment with.  Would it grow?

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. At the top of the container place the tin foil circle of mycelium spore side down to encourage it to spread and grow into the substrate.
  4. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.

 

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms


Recommended

Growing Shimeji White Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Renee Lindstrom

Shimji Mushrooms                                                                                             Photo by Renee Lindstrom

In the habit of looking at mushrooms in the different grocers I find myself in I came across these beautiful white mushrooms.  I couldn’t resist!  Taking them out of their package was interesting in itself.  At the base of the mushrooms on the bottom of the dark black plastic container was the growing medium for these fruiting mushrooms.  My first thought was that they came all the way from China and that there is a possibility that the growing medium was packed and shipped leaving the mushrooms to grow on their way.  It could be that by leaving them attached kept them fresh and interesting.  In comparison the Enoki mushrooms are usually in terrible shape from packaging and shipping.

I cut away the mycelium and added it to a substrate of coffee and cardboard.  The experiment has begun!

Follow experiment on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook

Back to Growing Living Foods from the Grocer:  Mushrooms

 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate

You will need:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard, coffee and mycelium into the container
  3. When container is full place in a darken space for a couple of weeks for the mycellium to grow in the container.  If in hot summer do not leave in heated area.  Ensure it is a cool space.  After two or three-week place in ambient light.

Mycelium:  vegetative part of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching thread like hyphae very much like the roots of plants.


Recommended reading:

A wealth of information that is well organized and well explained. It is truly a definitive book on the subject and could well be the only one you will need.  JS

Paul Stamets has produced a work that is an engaging read and is packed with useful information. Whether the reader seeks to grow fungi for food, for medicine or to promote a healthy environment this book provides the information required in substantial depth. I highly recommend Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World to anyone who has an interest in personal health or ecological health.  RN

Growing Oyster Mushrooms

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

oyster-mushroom

Buying some Oyster Mushrooms from the grocery as an experiment to find spores under their caps to grow new mushrooms wasn’t as successful as some of the other types of mushrooms bought for the same purpose.  The caps on Oyster Mushrooms are quite delicate and the ones on the shelf seemed to be torn and bruised.  Some of the stems had more fruiting growth on their butt ends than others so I cut these ends off to experiment with.  I put these ends into  a coffee and cardboard substrate.  I also used a few as plugs in a stump to see what would happen.  I had read an article some time ago that suggested these two ideas may work.  The experiment has begun!

Follow experiment on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Back to Living Foods from the Grocer 

Coffee and Cardboard substrate:

  • Cut up wet cardboard
    • soak in water overnight
  • Knife and scissors
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
  • Container (recycled plastic or milk cartons)
    • sterilize with alcohol or peroxide
    • cut hole in bottom and larger ones in sides (potentially for mushrooms to grow through)
  • Freshly used coffee grounds
  1. Soak pieces of cardboard in water overnight
  2. Place layers of cardboard and coffee into the container

For the experiment above when reaching the top of the container the butt end was put in and the substrate layered around it until it could stand on its own.  Similar to transplanting a plant.  This isn’t guaranteed to grow from the butt end.  It is an experiment to observe whether it will or not!


For guaranteed results growing Oyster Mushrooms I recommend:

  • Growing Kits
  1. Blue Oyster – Pleurotus Ostraetus Columbinus – Home Growing Kit
    • Spawn in medium
  2. Fungaea Oyster Mushroom “Shroom Box”
    • Grow Fresh Gourmet Mushrooms At Home
  3. White Oyster Mushroom Mycelium Plug Spawn
    • 100 Count
  4. Black Oyster Mushroom Mycelium Liquid Culture – Pleurotus ostreatus
    • Needle included