How do I fruit mushrooms from the bag?
- Before proceeding, inspect your growing bags
- Has the mycelium started to grow primordia (tiny mushrooms) inside the bag? If yes, proceed immediately to step 2 (regardless of whether or not the sawdust is fully colonized).
- Has the mycelium fully colonized all of the sawdust? If not, put the bag in a dark place and check every couple of days until it’s fully colonized.
- Expose the block to fresh air (oxygen) by carefully cutting several slits in the plastic bag(s) on 1 to 2 sides to stimulate growth
- Place the bag in a location with indirect sunlight and at room temperature
- Depending on the humidity in the room, spritz the bag with water 2 to 5 times a day to prevent drying out. This can be more of an art than a science, thus will take some practice to get the hang of it. If you are struggling with the substrate (and later with the mushrooms) drying out, you can create a ‘tent’ to increase the humidity by placing a clear plastic bag over the kit. Please remember the mushrooms need sufficient air flow so either cut some holes in the bag or ensure the bag is left open someplace.
- Mushrooms will begin to form in approximately 1 to 2 weeks.
- Begin harvesting approximately 5 days after fruiting begins by twisting the clusters off at the stem. If the caps begin to get wavy on the edges and curl up, the mushrooms are beginning to pass their prime but are still good to eat. Although the stems are edible, they are tough compared to the caps. (We still eat them!)
- Ensure you cook the mushrooms before eating them.
- After harvesting, the mycelium will become dormant for a week or so. Let the mushroom kit rest in a dark place. Cover with plastic to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
- To encourage subsequent fruitings, wait one to two weeks, then submerge the entire bag in water for 2 to 3 hours. You will need to place a weight on it to completely submerge.
- Repeat the steps above. You should get 2 or 3 crops before the kit is exhausted. If you see mushrooms forming in areas not previously cut, make more slits in the bag.
What does Akuafo mean?
Akuafo means “farmers” in Fante. Fante is a language spoken in Ghana. Meghan’s husband grew up in Ghana and has lots of ties to the country and culture.
Why is there a lead time in my order?
Most spawn has a short shelf life. As it can take weeks to go through the different stages, most of our orders are custom orders. That way you get spawn that is fully colonized at just the right time!
Are there discounts for larger orders?
Yes. We provide discounts for orders of 10 or more bags of spawn. Please contact us directly for larger orders.
My kit is spent, can I put it outside?
You can can continue to grow mushrooms outside once your mushroom kit is spent (usually when it shows signs of mold).
- After the last frost, choose a shady spot and sweep away the surface debris.
- Flatten a cardboard box and place it on the ground.
- Mix the mycelium with waste such as straw, paper, coffee, wood chips… (about 20% mycelium to 80% waste)
- When it’s hot, make sure you water the area. If it gets too hot or dries out, the mycelium may die. You can put more cardboard on top to keep the moisture in or cover with straw.
- The patch should fruit after rainstorms in the late summer.
Also, check out our blog for other outdoor experiments!
How do I know these mushrooms are safe to eat?
Our cultivated mushroom spawn is from edible mushroom strains. They do have to be cooked! Please don’t eat the mushrooms raw.
Some mushrooms, such as Reishi, are eaten in a powder form as you really can’t eat the mushroom itself!
Only a small percentage of mushrooms found in the wild are deadly. Around 1%. Our mushrooms were cultivated from wild strains but have been selected over time to produce lots of fruiting bodies.
What are some cool mushroom definitions?
This is the taxonomic kingdom. It’s how scientists organize all living organisms on our planet.
This is what we eat. The function of the fruiting body is to produce spores for sexual reproduction. This is why we say “fruit” mushrooms!
Most fungi only exist in mycelial form. Only a few produce fruiting bodies, and of those only a few are enjoyable to eat! Mycelium is typically white and it’s what you’ll see covering the sawdust, grain or straw that you purchase. If you dig in your garden or in a pile of wood chips, you will often see white strands. These are usually wild mycelium colonizing the soil or chips.
Mycology is the study of fungi.
If I don't see a species on your website, can you special order it for me?
Absolutely! Our goal is to work with farmers (rural and urban), permaculture designers, health practitioners, restoration ecologists, environmentalist and anyone interested in growing fungi to make the process of integrating fungi into our food systems, and ecological practices more accessible. Please email us with your interests and we can work together to make it happen.
Still need help? Send us a note!
For any other questions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +1 403 638 2007.