The mushroom is a type of fungi that grows naturally on a range of decomposing organic materials, including soil, tree stumps, logs and wood chippings. One of the easiest ways to grow your own crop of mushrooms is to buy mushroom spawn from a specialist supplier or garden centre, and grow this indoors in a culture made from small wood chips, sawdust, wheat bran and gypsum.
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Things you need
- 1 cup gypsum
- 2 cups wheat bran
- 16 cups saw dust
- Small wood chips
- Plastic bag
- Pressure cooker
- Mushroom spawn
- Fish tank
Mix the wheat bran, gypsum and saw dust in a bucket.
Fill a plastic bag with the mixture. Add small wood chips to the ratio of one part wood chips to two parts dry mixture. Dampen the wood chips by pouring water from a cup into the bag. Continue to dampen the mixture until it is moist rather than soaking wet.
Sterilise the mixture by placing the bag inside a pressure cooker. Set the cooker to pressurise at 15 psi and leave the bags in the cooker for 45 minutes. Wait for the cooker to cool and then remove the bags.
Inject the bags with the mushroom spawn using the supplied syringe.
Move the bag to a warm, dark place inside your house. Basements can provide ideal growing conditions, but if you don't have a basement consider using a utility area cupboard or kitchen cupboard.
Check the bags after around 10 days. You should see small white mushroom sprouts across the culture. Transplant the mushrooms from the bag to a fish tank or large glass container, and leave this in the dark place.
Pick the mushrooms when they are fully grown. Check the original spawn packaging for growing times to give you an indication of when to harvest the mushroom crop. Pick at the base of the stalk, breaking it off firmly. Avoid crushing the stalk as you break it.
Tips and warnings
- Consider buying a mushroom grow kit that contains the mushroom mycelium and growing culture in one package.
- Use heavy-duty protective gloves while handling the spawn injection syringe.
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