Mushroom Kits?

Watched a garden show on TV and they were growing mushrooms in the kitchen. Said something about a mushroom kits you can order online. Has anyone ever grown your own mushrooms in the kitchen with a kit? Any inexpensive web sites that sell these kits?
Thanks, Tom
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I've bought several of them over the years and have always gotten good results. We grow ours in the basement. I generally buy from one of the big seed catalog companies but you can find lots of hits if you Google on "mushroom kit". Here's the URL for Park Seed's website; they have a search window, type in "mushroom".
http://www.parkseed.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?catalogId 066&storeId101&langId=-1&mainPage=page1
I've tried a couple times to use the basic kit to expand to boxes of composted horse manure in the basement but they never grew there. Has anyone had experience in growing non-kit mushrooms?
Paul
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That will only work if you sterilize that substrate first. Pressure cooking it for 20 minutes will work.
Bag it first, sterlize it in the bag, then transplant some of the mycelial clumps to the new substrate. If your mushrooms eat horse manure, that should work.
I've only messed around with oyster mushrooms and they are wood consumers.
One of the best places for edible mushroom kits is here:
http://fungi.com /
--
K.

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wrote:

Katra,
We have one of those propane turkey cookers which my wife uses for dyeing wool. I put some water in the bottom, put the composted manure in the perforated container that sits within the main pot, covered it, and let it cook and steam for a half hour, to kill any wild fungi that might have been present.
However, I never thought that mushrooms limited themselves as to their food. I should have know that, as we have a small stand of Dye Cort mushrooms out back which only grow under pine trees. The fellow who delivers our hay says that he takes any hay that gets rained on to the mushroom growers up in Pennsylvania; guess I should have taken a clue from that.
When you grew oyster mushrooms, did you grow them on fresh sawdust or wood chips? Do you know of any good websites with instructions for growing mushroom?
Paul
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your boiling of the substrate was way too little - the center of the manure never got up to boiling temps. To grow mushrooms outside, you need a mushroom "spawn". It is much more hit and miss with the spawn than with the indoor kits. If you want to grow them in logs, then you buy "plugs". Oysters will grow on the widest variety of substrates, in fact they will grow an on anything organic. find all you need (including instructions that you should follow carefully) at www.fungi.com.
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I started mine on unbleached toilet paper rolls. :-) I got one flush from them, then lost my culture to the heat! I am planning to try it again now that one of the greenhouses is shaded (or try it indoors as soon as I make some space) then try to allow them to grow into hardwood shavings.
I'm going to bag them this time as I had a serious problem with fungal flies. They lay eggs and the maggots destroy your culture. :-P
The BEST thing if you are serious about cultivation of mushrooms is to get this book:
http://fungi.com/books/cultivation.html
The first book is the best, and might seem expensive until you start reading it. ;-) It's $45.00 and worth every penny! Fascinating read too and well written enough to be entertaining....
It's better than any website!
The kind of mushroom you are trying to grow will need specific types of media with specific types of nutritional requirements. I've not gotten serious about the oyster mushrooms yet, but I can start them from pureed stems from the oriental market where I buy the fresh ones.
I want to try some Shitake's too, just have not gotten set up for them yet. They needed hardwood, not pine, and I now have a couple of bags of hardwood shavings to play with. I think tho' that I'll invest in some fungal culture media plates and try to get a good bunch of mycelia started on the media plates then try innocullating sterilized hardwood shavings. I'll probably try bran fortification, or look up Stammet's recommendations for those. Most Shitake's are grown in logs.
--
K.

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I tried to grow mushrooms once and every source I read said that ordinary boiling won't work, you must have the higher temperature a pressure cooker produces to kill all bacteria and fungi that might compete with your spores. Without proper sterilization you might get lucky a few times and have the spores successfully colonize the medium, but more likely the bacteria will take over and kill the spores. Other molds might also colonize the medium and until fruiting you probably couldn't tell that they weren't your species. Oh, but I do remember one source that said if a pressure cooker wasn't available, that repeated conventional boiling over a day or two might be sufficient (as long as the substrate is contained in an airtight canning jar). After sterilization, the trick is to innoculate the substrate with the spores or germinated mycelia without introducing any bacteria into the jar, otherwise you wind up with a jar of rotten grain.
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http://www.parkseed.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?catalogId 066&storeId101&langId=-1&mainPage=page1
For non-kit mushrooms, see http://www.mycowest.org/cult/i-grow/i-grow-1.htm
Dick
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