Whether you’re an avid home cook or simply interested in trying out a new food, mushroom grow kits can provide a low-cost way to cultivate your own gourmet fungi. These easy-to-use sets of gardening blocks and mushroom cultures can be spritzed with water a few times a day to trigger fruiting and produce edible mushrooms in just a few weeks. These kits are available for all kinds of popular edible fungi, including oyster, shiitake, and lion’s mane mushrooms.
Mushroom grow kits vary from company to company, but all are essentially a box filled with dormant mycelium and spores that need to be activated by being soaked and then chilled before they begin producing mushrooms. Some companies offer combo mushroom grow kits, which can be a fun way to experiment with different varieties. Other companies sell mushroom logs that need to be soaked and then tented, while others sell single-type mushroom cultivation blocks that can be used for several harvests before they start to decompose.
Some companies also offer special programs to help educate and support home mushroom growers, such as North Spore’s #GrowOneGiveOne campaign, which encourages consumers to share photos of their growing kits online and the company will donate a kit to a classroom of your choice. Other brands like Shades of Green Permaculture have a strong commitment to swift order fulfillment and dedicated customer service.
Some grow kits use sterile substrates that can be soaked and then placed in the dark to encourage colonization. Others use a coco coir substrate that needs to be sprayed with water several times a day to activate the spawn and stimulate growth.