Standard Grow Kits
Deepen Your Understanding of Mushrooms
Elevate your mushroom cultivation journey with our Intermediate Grow Kits! Designed for those ready to take a more engaged role in the growth process, these kits allow you to witness the mesmerizing expansion of mycelium as it colonizes the substrate.
While we kickstart the process with our expert inoculation, the magic unfolds in your hands. Store the kit in a cool, dark sanctuary, like a closet, and observe as the intricate web of mycelium takes over, paving the way for lush mushroom growth.
Wrapped in our signature repurposed burlap coffee sacks, our commitment to sustainability remains unwavering. This kit offers a more immersive experience, bridging the gap between beginner and expert cultivation.
Dive deeper, be patient, and revel in the wonder of nature's intelligence. The Intermediate Kit beckons those ready for a rewarding challenge.
Before You Start
Some Useful Terms
Flush - A mushroom flush refers to a distinct period or wave of mushroom fruiting. Mushrooms don't all fruit at once, instead, they tend to produce mushrooms in waves or cycles, known as flushes.
Fruiting - The stage of mushroom growth where the actual mushrooms are formed. During this phase, growers adjust environmental conditions (like introducing fresh air, adjusting light, or maintaining specific humidity levels) to encourage the mycelium to produce mushrooms.
Grow Bag/Grow Kit - This is the plastic bag you have containing the coffee grounds and where you will be growing your mushrooms.
Mycelium - Intricate, thread-like network of cells that constitutes the main body of a mushroom responsible for nutrient absorption and growth. Think of this as the root structure of the mushrooms. Mycelium is white in color.
Substrate - The nutritive material on which mycelium grows and mushrooms fruit. The substrate in our grow kits is primarily made from used coffee grounds.
While Growing, be on the Lookout for:
Something Bad: Contamination
There is always a chance that a grow kit can become contaminated due to contaminating fungi (or mold) always floating in the air. We do our best to eliminate this, but there is no absolute way to eliminate this risk. Be on the lookout for anything growing on your block that looks unusual and/or is not white in color. If you see a yellowish liquid, that is likely mushroom metabolites (see below) and it perfectly normal. Contaminating fungi are usually blue, green, or gray in color. If you do see any contamination, it is best to throw away (or compost) your kit immediately and reach out to us for a refund or replacement. Below is an example of what contamination may look like:
Something Good - Mushroom metabolites (aka mushroom pee)
A byproduct produced by mushrooms during their growth and metabolic processes. As mushrooms digest and break down the substrate (coffee grounds) they are growing on, they release certain waste products, much like how animals excrete waste. These metabolites can sometimes appear as a yellowish liquid on the surface of the growing medium or around the base of the mushroom. While the presence of this liquid can be alarming to new growers, it's a natural part of the mushroom's growth cycle and is generally not a cause for concern. However, excessive amounts can be an indication of overly wet conditions, which might need adjustment to prevent potential contamination or growth issues. If there are an excess amount of metabolites present, please reach out.
Ok, Let's Start Growing!!
When you receive your kit, it will be recently inoculated. This just means that I have added a liquid culture of your mushroom into the grow bag. From the moment I inoculate the bag, the mushroom root structure, mycelium, starts to grow through the coffee grounds. As the mycelium continues to grow, it will start turning the coffee grounds in the bag white. If your bag has some white in it when you receive it, that just means the mushroom is growing nicely and you will get your mushrooms even sooner!
At this stage of the mushroom's lifecycle, it prefers to be in dark place with relatively stable temperature. During this step, the mushroom root structure, mycelium, grows throughout the coffee grounds. As it grows, the coffee grounds will start turning white. The grow kit should stay in the dark storage place until ~80% of the block is white. The time it takes for this colonization period varies based on species. The faster growing mushrooms (ex: oyster mushrooms) may only take 2-3 weeks in this stage. The slower growing species, like Lion's Mane, may take ~2-3 months in this stage.
Move: Make sure to move the grow kit into an area with indirect sunlight, ideally a table or kitchen counter.
Examine: Before making any cuts, carefully inspect the outside of the mushroom block to see if there are any areas where the mushroom has already begun to fruit. Look for tiny white or brown bumps or protrusions, which are signs of initial mushroom growth.
Cut: If you've identified an area where the mushroom has started fruiting, that's where you'll want to cut. - If not, choose a side of the block that looks most promising or is easiest to access. - Using a sharp, sanitized knife or scissors, carefully cut an 'X' shape or a hole in the plastic bag, ensuring it's large enough to allow adequate air exchange but not so large that the substrate dries out quickly.
What happens now? - The fresh air exchange through the opening you've just created is crucial for signaling the mushroom to start its fruiting process. In the next steps you will begin misting the mushroom, giving it fresh water and helping it begin fruiting.
Mist: Over the next days or weeks (depending on the mushroom species), you need to mist the opening lightly with water two-three times daily. This helps in maintaining humidity and provide the mushroom water, which is crucial for mushroom fruiting. If possible, use filtered or distilled water for misting.
Monitor Growth: Over the next few days/weeks, you should start to see the mushrooms fruiting and growing through the opening. Ensure the substrate remains moist, but not soggy, and provide the necessary light and air circulation as recommended for your specific mushroom species.
Harvest: Congratulations! you made it to the final stage. You will now be able to harvest your mushroom to cook. The easiest way to remove the mushroom from the block is to grab it with your hand and gently twist it until it tears off at the base. If this doesn't seem to work, you can always use scissors to remove the mushroom completely.
Clean: Once you remove the mushroom, be sure to examine it for loose pieces of substrate (coffee grounds). The mushroom grows so quickly it will sometimes pickup some up the substrate. These pieces should easily come out with some light brushing or a quick wash under the sink.
Cook: Now you can enjoy you can cook your mushroom in a meal.
Option A (Let's try that again): There is a possibility for a "second flush" or "third flush" of your mushroom. This just means that there is still enough nutrients in the substrate to allow the mushroom to fruit again. If you would like to try this you can return to step 4 to see if another mushroom begins fruiting. If you are able to get another flush, expect the mushroom to be less than half the size of the previous flush. Here is ideal example: the first flush yields 1 pound of mushroom, the second flush yields 1/2 pound of mushroom and the third flush yields 1/4 pound of mushroom.
Option B (Compost time!): If you are done with the kit you can compost the entire substrate block (minus the plastic bag). The block can go directly into a compost container or can be broken up and spread in your garden.