How Do Mushrooms Grow? An Example From Our Mushroom Farm

How Do Mushrooms Grow? An Example From Our Mushroom Farm

In this video we show you how we grow mushrooms at our indoor facility in Hadley, Massachusetts. How do mushrooms grow? Watch and find out

How do mushrooms grow? The process is certainly different indoors than it is outdoors.

As you can see in this video, we make sawdust blocks. In this video we showcase our chestnut mushrooms growing from these sawdust blocks.

The chestnut mushrooms in this video are shown in different stages, from when they are just pinning as young mushrooms, to full-grown and ready to pick.

How do mushrooms grow from our blocks?

The blocks that our chestnut mushrooms are growing on in this video are made from 50% sawdust and 50% soybean hulls.

To grow these mushrooms we start by growing out the mycelium. Once the mycelium is grown out, we cut a large X in the plastic bag. Sometimes this cut will go from corner to corner. The mushrooms then fruit from where that X was cut.

Mushrooms, like people, breathe in oxygen. So once the cut is made, the mushrooms will grow out into the high-oxygen environment.

Mushrooms also really love light and are positive phototropic, meaning that they will grow towards the light. This helps them to grow from the bag as well as they prefer to grow towards a high-light environment.

How do mushrooms grow: The four main things to consider

  • Lighting
  • Oxygen
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

As you can see in the video, we have humidifiers in our mushroom farm to add the appropriate amount of humidity to our grow rooms.

How do mushrooms grow: An easy way to grow oysters

You can purchase ready-to-fruit Fungi Ally mushroom blocks, which will help you avoid much of the tricky lab work and get you growing mushrooms as soon as possible!

Our mushroom blocks are 10 pounds, fully colonized, and certified organic. We offer an array of mushrooms for sale this way, including:

  • Blue oyster mushroom
  • Pink oyster mushroom
  • Yellow oyster mushroom
  • King Trumpet mushroom
  • Shiitake mushroom
  • Lion’s mane mushroom
  • Pioppino mushroom

These blocks fruit in flushes. The first flush usually is 14 days to harvest. You then wait for about another two weeks and they will fruit again. Shiitake blocks particularly need to be soaked for about five hours to initiate 2nd and 3rd flushes. Many mushroom farmers do this in low tunnels or other outdoor structures during the warmer months.

How do mushrooms grow on straw: Treatment is the first step

Before getting into the various methods for cultivating mushrooms, let’s address the straw. The straw should be chopped up. Straw in bales is typically 12” long, but an ideal size for us is 2”-3”. This way it is finer, it can be packed more tightly, and the mushroom mycelium can access the straw a lot more easily. Additionally, it’s important to differentiate between straw and hay. Straw does not have developed seed heads present whereas hay does. This is important because seeds are very dense in nutrients. If you want to use any of the first three treatment methods (lime/wood ash, fermentation, or pasteurization) then you want low nutrient materials. The seed heads will lead to contamination in the process. Learn all about the process of treating the straw here.

How do mushrooms grow on logs: Tips on log cultivation

For growing mushrooms on logs we recommend using an entire log so you can maximize your yield. Begin by creating a row of holes on the log where every hole is spaced 6” apart from one another. Ensure there is space between each row as well. Two inches should be enough. We create this space between rows and holes because of the direction the cell walls run in the log. This method allows the mycelium to run easily throughout the log without having to fight through the cell walls.

Once you have the holes, you can begin filling them with your plug spawn or sawdust spawn. Using a palm inoculator is helpful if you are inoculating 50 or more logs. If you are inoculating only a handful of logs, you should be able to do that without a tool other than your hands. Once you have filled all the holes, you will want to seal them with cheese wax, bees wax, or food-grade paraffin wax. Doing so will ensure that no other fungi or bacteria get into the logs. It is also recommended to seal the ends of the logs for the same reason. Moisture is critical to growing mushrooms properly. The moisture content of logs should be maintained around 45%. Mycelium can grow anywhere between 20-50%, but outside of that rang the mycelium will be suffocated by water or killed by drought.

The most important time to maintain proper moisture content is during the first-year spawn run. You will need to water your logs if you are growing outside and you do not experienced rainfall at least ever two weeks.. You can water your logs by placing a sprinkler on them for 4-8 hours or by soaking them for 2-5 hours. Some mushroom growers will use small kiddie pools or a similar device. This will bring the moisture content back up and keep the logs happy for another month.

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