user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 104
Recently I purchased two mushroom growing kits. I have started the Portabella, reserving the Shitake for later. I am about two weeks into the process and the pin heads are beginning to appear. The directions are quite vague so I really don't know how long the growing period is from pin head to harvestable mushrooms. Further, the directions do not state how many pounds one might expect to harvest but says that the mushrooms should continue to grow until the nutrients in the compost are depleted.

I am wondering whether other group members have tried the mushroom kits and if so what your experience was like?
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 114
for anyone who may be curious about the status of the mushroom growing kit this is to report they are growing quite fast. they have sprouted from pin heads to about the size of a nickel up to a quarter in the last few days.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 658
Penny - where did you get your kits?
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 115
i had thought about trying a mushroom kit for a couple of years or more. then one day, i was paging through a park seed catalog and saw mushroom kits. i ordered them from park seed, but the manufacturer is Robert from Pulpit Rock Mushrooms in PA.

i had a lengthy phone conversation with him yesterday. he said each kit should produce about 6 pounds over a period of 6 weeks.
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 121
FYI my experience with the mushroom growing kits has not been stellar. In this regard I can not recommend this particular supplier.

user 4058763
Hollis Center, ME
Post #: 91

Years ago I tried a kit. I won't do it again. I am interested in growing outside with plugs and spore, though.

A former member
Post #: 12
Hi Penelope,

I got a Shiitake patch at this time last year and was initially disappointed. Had a hard time keeping adequate humidity without growing mold. It finally produced about a pound over several weeks.

I bought mine from Fungi Perfecti. They said that once the patch was spent, it could further be used to inocculate hardwood logs. I put it outside with that in mind, but my logs got compromised and I just left the patch by my rainbarrel.

As the weather cooled the mushrooms started up again. I didn't harvest many since they got waterlogged by too much rain. It's been producing pretty steadily all fall, even after freezing several times. I just brought it inside a few days ago and thawed it out. It's sprouting even more mushrooms than ever before!

I guess my point is that you should be able to use the patch to grow more on logs. That might be the most productive use of the material.

Good luck- Charlotte
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 124
Char, good idea, thanks.

It is already on the compost pile though.
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 290
I grow shiitake on logs and it is pretty easy. You can get plugs in Damariscotta from Oyster Creek. It takes a while. Maybe a year. They fruit most in cold weather. Last year I was picking in December. You really don't need to wax them. I never have and they still grow. Other hardwoods besides oak work. I have had decent luck with birch, poplar and red maple. Red maple has been best. Birch produces very large ones. I got a 10 ounce one from birch this past year. Poplar is easily infected with other competing species like turkey tails. Thats said, turkey tails are medicinal and can be made into tea. Some people make paper from turkey tails.

I have found that mushroom kits yield expensive mushrooms. Small yields for the $. Wild oysters are relatively easy to propagate. Blewits too. Some petri dishes and agar are best but there are other easier but less reliable ways. You can cut the stem butts off and throw them in with some soaked dowel plugs. A piece of bark you are likely to get while harvesting can work too. My LL Bean shirt may still produce a few.

Maitake can be grown relatively easily. This is a great one for so many reasons. It is very tasty and won't get lost in a complex dish. It responds to more cooking techniques than almost any other. It has anti cancer, anti HIV, and blood pressure blood sugar regulating effects. It is very common in the wild though. You can buy it at Hannaford too but it is expensive. I have about a bushel of dried wild maitake in my pantry.

A book called "Maitake Magic" by Dr. Harry Preuss and Sensuke Konno explains all this. Dr. Preuss is a professor at Georgetown Medical School and Dr. Konno teaches at Columbia.­

user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 126
hi david; hope you, yours, and the book are doing well.

was wondering when you would chime in on the mushroom kits. smile
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