Has anyone tried (or rather, succeeded at) cultivating medicinalmushrooms? Reishi, Chaga, Maitake, Shiitake, Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps (the kind that doesn't require the murder of any caterpillars, tyvm)...
I know that some of them can only be wildcrafted, as their growing requirements are very specific, but even growing the cultivatable ones might take more expertise & ability than I have. So does anyone have some firsthand experience or advice to either set me on the path or convince me that it's not gonna happen??
There is a specialised farm in the US. I think they sell packages.
I have a wet cave so wanted to grow them.... not easy because when you grow, you need to sterilise the medium! and reproduction of the mycelium is not easy and need care about other fungi who will like to compete... so it is best to buy the medium prepared and ready to see it grow,
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
posted 2 years ago
Hmmm - thanks for the information!
It sounds like it might be a little above my skill level at this point - unless I can find some pre-spored grow kits, I suppose I should leave it to the professionals, and support their efforts by buying their products.
It is quite easy to cultivate medicinal mushrooms. You can get started with mycellium purchased online, Purchase a kit to get started or buy plugs for logs, I have had great luck with Mushroom Mountain. I recommend a kit, it's as easy as misting a bag with water...and in a couple weeks the fungi emerge.
Chaga and Maitake are a little trickier... but don't get discouraged, start with an easy one like Turkey Tail or Reishi and go from there.
Another very easy intro to mushrooms is to add King Stropheria Mycellium to fresh woodchips in shaded areas of your garden.
So, I know nothing about this other than having read about a medicinal type of mushroom that I want to personally grow. I have a hard time keeping fruittrees alive, but from what I've seen, it's not too difficult to do small grows inside.
Not sure if this works for the types you mention, but I'm going to give an off the top of my head list of procedures/materials that people say they've had luck growing mushrooms with. I'm guessing there are specific methods for each type of specific fungi, and this is just an example of how I have read other people have grown their own. It wasn't written about the type you mention in the original post, but I'm guessing with a few "tweaks" it could be done.
This is by no means a how to, but rather a what I can recall from recently researching the topic myself.
So, it's small half pint wide mouth canning jars.
It's brown rice flour (food for the mycellium/fungi)
water zip lock baggies (quart size I think)
and ideally temps in the 70f-80f temp range. (again this is for a specific type I was reading about, it's not a it will work for everything type of formula)
A syringe of spores sold from laboratories that specialize in medicinal mushrooms.
Sanitation/sterilization seem to be important factors in the process. Keep it as clean and sterile as possible.
2 parts brown rice flour, one part vermiculite, one part water. Mixed together so all clumps are gone.
top it off with about 1/2" of dry vermiculite,
put it in a cool dark place for a week (and I'm getting vague because I don't remember the exact details.....again this is just the gist of the process, not exact process)
inject a small amount of the spores into the (now growing mycellium in the jars after about a week)
I think you need to put it under some regular fluorescent lights 12hours on, 12hours off for about another week.
and a week later you've got mushrooms.
It sounds like there is a fair amount of contamination......and a fair amount of success.
Googling "medicinal mushroom growing" will give you enough info. to figure it out. I tried to elaborate a bit more, but I had to edit this post a very tiny amount.........
not sure if this is allowed either.
There are many kinds of medicinal mushrooms.
Some of the advice on this thread are glimpses of things that have worked for people in various places.
Your climate affects how hard it is to grow them, and how easy it would be too find mushrooms in the wild nearby.
SOme of these mushrooms are very easy to cultivate and others are very difficult.
People have discussed many techniques. Some of those are for experts with a lot of experience. Others are great for beginners.
I will list some in order of difficulty.
First and easiest is to buy a starter kit/spawn/bag/tabletop mushroom kit. You are buying substrate with mycelium already in it. It will grow and produce mushrooms.
They are expensive, but on your first grow, it will help you get what is going on.
Second, you could buy spawn, and add substrate to it. Examples could be drilling reishi or turkey tail wood dowels into the appropriate kind of wood. Try that a few times and see if you can get it to work.
King stropharia is the easiest mushroom to grow in a patch in your yard, but it's not really considered a medicinal mushroom. Likewise, oysters will decrease your cholesterol, but it's not considered one of the medicinals, although it is also very easy to grow this way. Shiitake is among the easiest to grow from dowels into wood. (you will probably want to develop at this stage for a few years, depending on your skill and passion)
Third, when you get good at that, you can decide how much you want to buy into the mushroom cultivating hobby. You might want to start buying sterilization equipment, building a clean room in your house, a flow hood, etc. My advice would be to forget about cultivating Chaga and Cordyceps until you've gotten really good at this step (maybe 10 years). As your skill increases, it might be worth your while to dedicate a room in your house to a mushroom cultivating practice. Do you rent apartments and move frequently? This probably would be extemely difficult.
The type of mushrooms you cultivate successfully depend on your climate, geography, your skill and experience, and your committment to the practice.
Hi Karin, I grow mushrooms for sale at the farmer's market and make mushroom kits for sale. I just joined Permies last week actually. I currently produce oyster mushrooms (white, blue, pink, gold), lion's mane, shiitake, and chicken of the woods in an indoor grow room in my basement. :)
I got intensely interested in this topic about 5 years ago when I heard Paul Stamets speak via the TED lecture and The Future Is Fungi videos online. I'm very inspired by Dr Stamets and own most of his books myself. I started my cultivation skills with the purchase of a Morel mushroom grow kit years ago (which did not produce, unfortunately) and just kind of kept on going with it after planting the kit. I bought mushroom kits and sawdust spawn, did some log inoculations for outside, and eventually moved on to working with liquid cultures and producing my own substrates. I have grown using a few different methods, and I'm currently settled on producing sterilized bags of mushroom substrate that I either inoculate and sell as a mushroom kit, or grow for sale in my fruiting chamber. This year I started selling my fresh mushrooms and mushroom kits at the farmer's market.
I think the best way to start is to buy a mushroom kit (full disclosure, I sell them), because that's how I started. A mushroom kit is the way to start because it's the one part of the process that will really bring you JOY. I mean, you're going to get mushrooms from a kit. It's going to keep you interested and you're going to have something to show for all your efforts, at the end.
Through my own learning process I've had ups and downs - I'm self taught, so... at one point I sucked at this. (shrugs) I've ruined a fair amount of perfectly good oats and wood pellets, trying to nail my recipe and production methods. I've found over the years that I get discouraged sometimes waiting for a project to fully colonize, only to find that I didn't get it quite right 45 days ago at some point, and it went south on me. The one thing that always cheered me up was a successful grow that produces nice mushrooms. I've found that when you're learning a skill that few around you can relate to, sometimes you have to be your own cheerleader. So having a mushroom kit growing while you're working on your other skills is great inspiration.
Fun mushroom projects to attempt, in order of difficulty:
Purchase a mushroom kit and grow mushrooms, while you
* learn to produce pasteurized mushroom substrates, e.g. wood pellets or chopped straw * learn to inoculate pasteurized substrate with grain spawn you purchase
* learn to make sterilized substrate & grain spawn material
* learn to inoculate sterilized substrate or your own grain spawn using liquid culture
* learn to expand your own liquid cultures or grain spawn
By the time you are achieving real success at the above list, you'll also be able to keep your mushrooms alive using skills learned by growing mushroom kits. Anyhow, that's kind of how I did it. I wish you luck and I'll try to answer any questions you have to the best of my ability.
I would advise solely trying to grow mushrooms outdoors with no thought given to pasteurization.
Coprophiles are easy to grow and there are almost certainly some growing in your region.
There's tons of research on promising medicinal properties of mushrooms, however many that are the best known species and most heavily marketed are not the easiest to grow - eg. shiitake.
Most people tend to start with Oyster or King Stropharia ... my recommendation is any coprophile that interests you.
Examine your lifestyle, multiply it by 7.7 billion other ego-monkeys with similar desires and query whether that global impact is conscionable.
My dad has some experience in growing the Chicken of the Woods mushroom which has many medicinal benefits. All he did was throw some scraps in the back of his house under some trees and by the next season they started growing.
Here is a good guide as well if you are looking to grow any medicinal mushrooms from scratch in your own house:
I am in the process of doing this. Today I am pressure cooking rye for the mycelium to grow on. I am a little nervous about using bags in a pressure cooker so I am searching this site for this. I have hours of instruction to follow, but thought I would check just the same. I built a greenhouse for growing them, but once this process has begun, I will also grow them outside. Reishi grows in my area so I will definitely re-introduce it back to the land. There are also some that the bees use to improve their immune systems, and I am going to reach for that as well.
Amazing. When you come across the bee medicine fungus, please let us know the name.
Where do you live that reishi grows in the area? That's incredibly fortunate.
One that's on my list, along with turkey tail and chicken of the woods, is lions' mane. I would love to grow chagga, but I haven't been able to get a straight answer from anyone on whether or not a mushroom that grows on birch would cause me any issues, seeing as how I have a severe birch allergy.
As to pressure-cooking bags of substrate, I hope it works well for you, Trampas. It sounds like a great way to sterilise the whole thing.
But let us know how it goes, and good luck.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
posted 6 months ago
I did not have a good experience with the bags, so I tried jars, and everything came out well. They are now incubating, and I can see some growth--although it is too early to tell what that growth actually is. I have seen some Lion's Mane cultures for sale out there, by the way--from vendors who have good reputations right now. I have also recently learned that one can grow Chicken of the Woods on oak. As far as Reishi, it grows well here in west Texas quite well on oak as well. It amazes me that it is found naturally here! Agarikon, or Laricifomes officinalis, is what is working for the bees. It may be a while before I can grow it--but that is an ultimate goal!
For my next trick, I'll need the help of a tiny ad ...