Oyster mushroom grow kits are available for purchase at Durham Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.
Here are some instructions for the grow kit:
Grows a pound and a half of oyster mushrooms (up to half a pound each fruiting). This bag is fully innoculated with oyster mycelium. To fruit, place in a humid environment like a bathroom or near the kitchen sink. Mist twice a day with a water spray bottle. After fruiting, place in refrigerator for a few days to promote future fruitings. Replace and repeat until fruitings cease.
You must provide the following growing conditions in order for your Oyster kit to produce mushrooms.
- Light – Oyster mushrooms require light to grow. Place your Oyster kit in a well-lit area to grow, but not in direct sun light. Regular strong reading light is sufficient. Constant light is not necessary. It is fine to leave your kit in the dark over night.
- Temperature – Your kit will grow mushrooms best at temperatures between 63 – 68 degrees F. You may have to check around your house with a thermometer to find such a location. Your kit can also produce mushrooms between 55 – 74 degrees, but it will do better if kept in the 63-68 degree range.
- Water – Water your kit by sprinkling or spray misting water on to the kit’s surface once a day. In this case you would be watering the plastic bag with the 3/4 inch holes in it. When the small oyster mushrooms being to force themselves out of the bag holes in 3-7 days, increase watering to 2-3 times a day. Be careful not to over water your kit before the baby mushrooms are formed. Standing water in the bottom of your kit will encourage rot and contaminants to grow.
- Harvesting – Under favorable conditions, mushrooms will begin to appear in 7 – 14 days. The mushrooms usually double in size everyday. Pick them, when they reach a mature size or when they stop growing. This usually takes 4-7 days. Pick all of them off at this time, by twisting them slowly one complete turn to free them from the growing medium. Be careful not to damage the growing mediums’ surface. It is better not to cut the mushrooms off, because this leaves a stump to rot, which can later inhibit the fruiting of the next crop.
- After you harvest the mushrooms keep the surface of the kit moist. about 10 days after your harvest put the bag in the fridge for a few days to cold shock it. Once it is removed maintain your kit as before and wait for another crop of mushrooms. The most productive mushroom crops are usually the first and second. Subsequent mushroom fruiting may occur, over the following weeks, but fewer mushrooms will grow as time passes and the mushroom nutrients are used up. (Some varieties of oyster mushrooms only fruit one crop, but most will fruit 4-5 times.)