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We grew Mushrooms!

We ran trials to grow Oyster mushrooms to familiarize ourselves with the process. It was done on a very small scale with a minimum budget. Results: Success!

Equipment that we acquired

  • Fruiting Chamber: Serves as an enclosed space to grow the mushrooms and maintains humidity as well as lights with zippered sections for access and providing airflow. I used an inexpensive wardrobe for this initial trial.
  • Autoclave: Pressure cooker for Grain Spawn and Liquid Culture
  • Chaff Chopper: Heavy duty straw chopping machine for creating substrate.
  • Hygrometer: Device to measure humidity and temperature.
  • Hydrated Lime: Calcium Hydroxide is used to pasteurize straw to kill contaminants. The ratio for the lime soak is 1.75 grams lime to a liter of water.
  • Drum: For soaking straw in Hydrated Lime solution for 24 hours which raises the PH to a level high enough to kill competing bacteria and fungi.
  • Still Air Box: For doing sterile work inside a clean space to reduce incidence of contamination. The is a plastic storage box modified with two holes.
  • Humidity Regulator: Device to turn cycle humidifier of and on as needed to maintain 80-90% humidity inside the Wardrobe.
  • Humidifier: Device for keeping the chamber humidified which is needed to support mushroom growth.
  • Grain Spawn: We purchased grain spawn initially from a vendor to get Oyster Mushroom (the jars that looked like they're filled with white cotton). They are grown on grains such as millet, sorghum, wheat,corn and rye, mine was grown on millet. We have replicated what was initially purchased and now we have created our own grain spawn and liquid culture (growing mycelium in a liquid broth) to be able to maintain my own supply indefinitely. We have made more than 60 jars that were made with grain spawn and liquid culture consisting of more than a dozen potent mushroom strains.
  • Website: We set up a website at where we have a wealth of data about Fungi and our intent.

We repurposed a wardrobe to fruit mushrooms!

The process from sowing the mushroom spawn into the substrate to harvesting mature mushrooms took 29 days.

Growing Divine Medicine

Buckets of mushroom medicine harvested within a month!

Primary steps to grow Mushrooms

  • Prepare Substrate: Chop straw into small pieces preferably between 2-5 inches long. I hand chopped a bale of straw with a machete which worked but took a long time, since then we have acquired a chaff chopper machine to accelerate the process.
  • Pasteurize Straw: Immerse straw into Hydrated Lime and water for 24 hours then drain.
  • Inoculate Substrate: Place straw into buckets and add grain spawn for Oyster mushrooms in alternating layers. This took about 3 weeks for the mycelium to fully colonize the substrate. The buckets were placed in trash bags with a few small holes for respiration and periodically the sides of the bags were sprayed with water to keep them moist, they were closed with rubber bands The time can be reduced by using a higher ratio of grain spawn per bucket. I also put the last portion of straw in a plastic bag which also colonized.
  • Fruiting: After seeing some mushroom pins in a few holes I put the buckets in the fruiting chamber (wardrobe). The humidifier is at the top center and pushes mist to the outer columns. I close the zippered columns 80% to allow for some airflow and the led lights are turned on for half a day every day. I occasionally spray the buckets with sterilized water for added moisture and target the holes and mushrooms.
  • Harvest: As mushrooms grow to a size where the cap flattens out and broadens is the time for harvest. It's said one can get several flushes depending on the species grown. Also in the future I intent to add supplementation to the substrate to increase yield, in particular I have contacts with a source of cottonseed waste which is a scientifically documented yield booster.

Potent Benefits

Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of certain mushroom species as either a regular food or as extracted compounds (nutriceuticals) is effective in both preventing and treating specific diseases, mainly through immunopotentiation and antioxidant activity. Thus, the intake of mushrooms and their extractable bioactive compounds appears to be effective in cancer prevention and growth inhibition.

The Future

We have learned and now practice the key steps of maintaining our own culture library. This ensures that we can produce mushrooms perpetually from mycelium to fruiting. These processes are being documented and will be taught in our mycology curriculum.