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Growing Mycelium from Store-Bought Shrooms

 
Lance Svenson
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Location: USDA Zone 5b
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It's not mushroom season where I live, and the cheapest way for me to get mushroom spawn is store-bought mushrooms. All the mushrooms sold in stores have the bases cut off. Is there any other part of the mushroom that mycelium will grow from? I once got some mushrooms from the store that had fuzz growing from the base and those worked, but I can't find any others.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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On many species, pretty much any part of the mushroom will grow fresh mycelium.

 
John Saltveit
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paul stamets has a list of mushrooms that will grow from their base in one of his books. That is the part of the mushroom that will most successfully regrow into mycelium.
Here is an unedited set of notes I took on the topic:
GROWING MUSHROOMS FROM STEM BUTTS
General rule: saprophyte with rhizomorphs, probably grow from stem butt.
Prince, Blazei, almond mushroom, pioppinno, agrocybe, shaggy parasol, hypholoma capnoides clustered woodlover, sulatertium kuritake, lepista nuda blewit, parasol, black morel, true morel, morchella morel, nameko, pholiota scaly caps, pleurotus ostreatus, pleurotus pulmonarius, sparassis crispa cauliflower,stropharia garden giant, stropharia swordbelt, turkey tail.
Mycorrhizal, such as chanterelles, porcini, matsutake: Much, much harder! Put it in near a young tree that needs mycorrhizae.
Directions: Fresh mushrooms from list above.
Cut off base of stem just above where it narrows, keeping the root like rhizo morphs intact and attached.
Soak cardboard in water until saturated. Tear off sections to expose corrugation.
Place 1 stem butt on cardboard every 16 square inches, between panels of corrugation.
Soak in water and put them in a box, tub with holes and keep watered. etc, and cover with a shallow layer of wood chips, dowels, straw, etc.
Keep in shade, container on ground and incubate for 4-8 months. If heating cardboard, only heat 160-180 degrees. Use only healthy mushrooms. Keep very dark.
John S
PDX OR
 
Deb Rebel
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This will work with white 'button' mushrooms from the store?
What about using worm compost (from vermiculture)?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Also, many store bought mushrooms will drop spores. Mycelium can be grown from the spores.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 328
Location: Ohio, USA
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One thing to be very careful with when doing this, I found was sterility. I have not tried, but remember not wanting/or can do white button because they are not wood-loving mushrooms, they are compost loving and they also look very similar to the wild poisonous types, where as I find oysters and shitake to be less common and therefore I feel safer. Oysters are said to grow on almost anything carboniferous, including phone books, card board, straw, wood... There was a thread on the phone book mushrooms here a long time ago.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Also, many store bought mushrooms will drop spores. Mycelium can be grown from the spores.

Do you just put the mushroom on the substrate?
Is it different for each species?
I find it a difficult topic. I do have some mushrooms in winter, and they are the only wild stuff I do not know how to recognize.... So I never eat any. I would grow some if I knew how....
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 328
Location: Ohio, USA
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When I was experimenting with it years ago, I was able to find pretty good instructions through online searches. I believe the spores was a matter of capturing them on a moist cardboard surface (i.e. something for them to grow in) and then continuing to provide the right environment for growth and expansion. It isn't unlike growing plants. The hard part is, unlike plants, you can easily weed out the stuff you don't want, so you have to make sure the stuff you do want is dominating or the only thing there. Don't keep the mushroom after you collect the spores. Eat it or compost it or something. Cardboard is often used because cardboard seems to favor fungal growth over other types of growths.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Yes, it reminds me what we did at school!
We cut a piece of cardboard that would fit over a glass, made a hole in the center, put the "leg" of the mushroom in there, and all this over the water glass.
I do not remember but guess that it reached the water for the mushroom to be kept wet, but not too much.
I do remember the very nice pattern that spores made on the colored cardboard....

 
Peter McCoy
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Lance,
I would try with the other mushrooms. You dont need the stem bottoms. Stem bottoms are nice to use as they are dirty and not normally eaten. They can also potentially harbor some beneficial microbes. But, the whole mushroom is made of condensed mycelium. Mycelium is like a network of stem cells. Any of those cells can regenerate the whole organism. Try tearing up different species, spreading the chunks of saturated (but not dripping) cardboard, roll up the cardboard, and place the roll(s) in a tuperware container so it doesnt dry out.

Cardboard is not nutrient rich so they mycelium may start to grow but not persist for long due to the lack of nutrition. You will need to move the cardboard spawn to more nutritious substrates (small piles of wood chips, coffee grounds, etc, depending on the species) asap.

Cheers
Peter
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