Earthy, meaty, rich, and briny: mushrooms pack a punch of flavor to our dishes.
And with growing kits, mushroom spawn, and in-depth online resources readily available, anyone can grow their own fresh, delicious, ready-to-eat mushrooms.
We’re offering a roundup of tips for growing this FUN-gus (see what we did there?)—from the novice to the advanced mushroom grower.
Beginner Mushroom Growing: Purchase a starter kit.
For those new to mushroom growing, starting with a kit is going to be your best bet.
Growing kits allow you to easily grow some of your favorite mushroom varieties, including black oysters, hedgehogs, morels and shiitakes.
These kits are your one-stop shop for growing mushrooms, coming with everything you need to get started. All you have to do is simply follow the instructions.
Based on your mushroom variety, some kits can be used indoors, while others—like a kit that offers pre-cut logs for shiitakes—will need to be grown outdoors.
Specific temperature and moisture requirements for the mushroom variety will be included within the kit. Most mushrooms require temps between 65 – 70°F.
Mushroom starter kits are relatively inexpensive too, with most ringing up between $25 – $40. Some kits will even offer replacements if your crop doesn’t yield within the first year of purchasing it!
To find your perfect mushroom starter kit, check out this review of 11 different mushroom starter kits from Gardeners Path.
Intermediate Mushroom Growing: Purchase spawn & build your own growing station.
If you’re ready for the Intermediate Level of growing mushrooms, you can opt to create your own “growing station,” independent of a starter kit.
Home & Gardens provides an excellent guide for creating this growing station for button mushrooms.
Purchasing mushroom spawn is a bit more expensive than a starter kit, with prices ranging between $70 – $125 from popular provider Fungi Perfecti.
It’s also worth reaching out to local mushroom farmers to obtain your own mushroom spawn.
This frequently-updated online directory from The Mushroom Company offers a list of mushroom farmers across the United States. (As of this blog post’s publication, it was last updated on April 8, 2020.)
Advanced Mushroom Growing: Cultivate your own cultures & spawn.
Cultivating your own mushroom spawn is a delicate process that requires a sterile workplace and specialized tools like a pressure cooker.
For more advanced mushroom growers, the North American Mycology Association offers these instructions for cultivating your own mushrooms.
For the bookworm.
If you prefer to take a break from the screen and sit down with a good how-to book, these books are great resources for learning more about growing mushrooms:
Not ready to take the plunge into mushroom cultivation but still want to enjoy the flavor-packed taste of locally-grown mushrooms?
Look no further than your local farmers!
Check out this online directory from The Mushroom Company to find a U.S. mushroom farmer near you.
If you’re local to the Tennessee area, you can use the Pick Tennessee Products search tool for local products. Tennessee’s own Possum Bottoms Farms provides a variety of freshly-grown mushrooms to many Farmers’ Markets throughout the state.