Cultivating wild mushrooms at home for gourmet or medicinal purposes is an exciting and rewarding experience. Fresh wild mushrooms are most tastier than the ones purchased at a grocery store. It requires some specific tools and a cool, dark place for the spores to cultivate. If done properly, you can have your own wild mushrooms within six weeks. The two most popular mushrooms that can be grown at home are the oyster and shiitake mushroom.
Things you’ll need:
- Wild mushroom spore or spawn
- Large pan or growing tray
- Mushroom growing medium (hardwood shavings, straw, composted manure)
- Heating pad
- Potting soil
- Spray bottle
Pick your variety of wild mushroom spores (aka seed) or spawn (seedlings). You can purchase these at spore banks. Shiitake and oyster mushrooms (as shown above) are some of the easiest wild mushrooms to grow.
Layer the chosen growing medium into the growing tray or pan in a layer about 3 inches deep. Place it in a dark cool location, such as a basement or a cabinet. Under the tray, place a heating pad to make the temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit if necessary.
Place the spawn on top of the growing medium, making sure you read the directions thoroughly as they may vary for different mushrooms. Continue to keep the tray in the same place with the heating pad for about three weeks, or until you notice they have germinated.
Reduce the heating pad’s temperature to about 60 degrees after the mushrooms have rooted.
Sprinkle a 1-inch layer of good quality potting soil into the tray. Carefully place a damp cloth over the top so it covers the tray. Spray this a couple times a day with a spray bottle to keep moist and humid.
Observe the tray until you notice pinhead mushrooms starting to grow upwards from the soil, usually within three weeks. At this point, all you need to do is wait for them to mature so you can pick them. Mature mushrooms reach their peak when the cap separates from the stem.