1) What happens if my mushrooms don't grow?
As long as the material inside the bag (mushroom mycelium and its food) doesn't dry out and there is a source of fresh air, the mushrooms will grow. The mushroom mycelium is a single-celled living organism and is very intelligent. It knows where you cut into the block and will grow towards the fresh air. Practice patience. If your kit has already gifted you two flushes (harvests), it is worth soaking it for a 3rd time to try for another flush. In the unlikely event your mushrooms don't grow, we will happily send you a replacement. Email Erin a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it taken care of!
2) How do I spray my kit?
Peel back the corners of the X with your fingers and spray the block generously with 10+ sprays of water several times a day. An option: after soaking and placing the kit back into the box, lie the kit down so the window faces toward the ceiling and spray or drizzle several teaspoons of water on the X until the pins show up. Once the pins show up, you can stand the kit upright to spray the mushrooms. This ensures the kit absorbs the maximum amount of water you provide it. Mushrooms are 92% water and YOUR JOB is to make sure the mycelium block doesn't dry out! It's better to OVERDO it with spraying than to UNDERDO it. When in doubt, spray it out! Even if you are only home a couple hours a day, spray, spray, spray even if it is several times an hour.
3) How long does it take pins (baby mushrooms) to show up?
It can take several days to several weeks for pins to show up. Sometimes it feels like nothing is happening at all. As long as you are spraying and the kit doesn't dry out, they will grow! Practice patience. Once the pins show up, they double in size every day!
4) What happens if pins or mushrooms grow inside the box/bag?
Sometimes if the environment is right or if the mycelium is ramped up to fruit mushrooms, you will get pin or mushroom activity inside the bag and/or box. This is ok. The pins will intentionally grow toward the fresh air opening at the X, so as long as the kit isn't dry the mushrooms will eventually grow out of the X. Please feel free to email Erin a picture if this happens and I'll walk you through it.
5) When are my mushrooms ready for harvest?
When the caps begin to flatten out and have reached at least 1-2 inches in diameter, they are ready for harvest. Caps often grow to 5+ inches in diameter! To harvest your mushrooms, grab the cluster with both hands focusing on the single point on the block where the mushrooms grew out, and simply TWIST! See our "How To" Video Here!
6) What if I can't cook with my mushrooms right when I harvest them?
You can store them as a cluster in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. Always, always, always cook your mushrooms! Mushrooms are ancient and have tough defense mechanisms in place so in order to unlock the full nutritional and medicinal properties, you always need to cook mushrooms before you eat them.
7) Do I need to wash my mushrooms?
No, but if you must, simply wipe off the caps with a moist, clean cloth or paper towel.
8) I'm ready to cook with my mushrooms! Now what?
Cut 1/2" off the ends of the stems to remove any woody texture and substrate (mushroom food). Peel each mushroom off the cluster one at a time. You can use your Oyster mushrooms whole in soups or frittatas, or you can tear them into your desired size starting at the cap and tearing toward the stem. Or you can cut them with a knife. I think they are prettier when they are torn! Check out our Recipe Library!
9) What do I do with my kit once I harvest my mushrooms?
Place the kit (still in the original grow bag) into a second sealed airtight bag to let it "rest" for a few days. Peel off any old pins or baby mushrooms from the block before soaking it again for a 2nd and possibly a 3rd flush.
10) How can I ensure my kit and mushrooms stay moist?
Spray, spray, spray! Our kits love to be parked next to a humidifier in drier climates like Colorado. If you don't have a humidifier, here are a few other options:
- You can create a "microclimate" by placing small river rocks or pebbles at the base of the kit, and/or placing the kit in a bigger plastic bin that is on its side to help hold moisture for the mushrooms. Keeping the kit on a metal cookie sheet with small pebbles also helps retain moisture.
- You can also place the kit inside a small plastic bin, just be sure there is a source of fresh air.
11) What do I do with my kit when it is done fruiting mushrooms?
Once your kit has produced 2-3 flushes (the 2nd and 3rd flushes will be smaller in size than the first), you can compost the mycelium block. The box, grow bag and insert are all recyclable (check your local recycler capabilities).
12) What conditions do I need to provide for my mushrooms to grow?
Place kit in indirect light in a place you will remember to spray throughout the day, such as on a kitchen countertop. Oyster mushrooms will happily grow in temps ranging from 40-75 F, but they thrive when grown at 50-65 F. A source of fresh air is needed (don't put the kit in a closet or plastic bin that is never opened). Spray, spray, spray!
13) What is the white stuff inside the grow bag?
Mushroom mycelium is a single-celled organism that comprises the lungs, digestive tract, nervous system and the mushroom "roots". Also inside the grow bag is the food the mycelium will eat to fruit mushrooms. Mushroom mycelium is the largest living organism on the Earth and is estimated to cover 30% of the planet's surface! Amazing!
14) Do I need to do anything different for my kit for the 2nd and possibly 3rd flushes?
If you suspect your kit dried out significantly around your original X (the mycelium block will look significantly more yellow and brown), an option is to tape up your original X with airtight sealing tape, fold and tape down the top flap of the bag over your original X, and cut open a new X on the opposite side before soaking for a 2nd or 3rd flush. See How To Video here! The risk here is that the mushrooms will grow towards the fresh air of the original X if it is not an airtight seal, and you could possibly have mushrooms growing inside your box and be unaware of it. The key here is to occasionally take your bag out of the box to inspect the mycelium block.
15) How long can I store my kit for before starting it?
You can store your kit in a cool location (the fridge is ok) out of direct sunlight for several weeks if you can't start it right away.
16) What do I do if I lose my insert card?
If you lose or misplace your insert card, feel free to refer to the link below to view and download the digital version: View Insert Card
If you haven't found an answer to your questions, please feel free to email Erin at email@example.com.