Mushroom growing supplies for growing gourmet mushrooms
1) Spawn. One of the most important mushroom growing supplies for growing high-quality, high-yielding mushrooms is spawn. Spawn should be sourced from a commercial operation and be contaminant free. If there are any forms of contamination in the spawn they will be expanded when a new substrate is inoculated. Even a small amount of contamination in the spawn source can result in all the inoculated bags becoming contaminated. There are commonly two different spawn types used: sawdust and grain. Grain has several benefits including its typically higher nutrient content than sawdust and lower generation. Sawdust has smaller inoculated points so it can be more evenly distributed in the inoculated medium. If inoculating more sawdust the mycelium is already creating the necessary enzymes to digest the sawdust which will lead to faster colonization.
2) Filter patch bags. One of the important mushroom growing supplies is filter patch bags. These ensure contaminants are kept out of the sterilized substrate. Without filter patch bags it is difficult to use high-nutrient medium and to get high yields from exotic mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, and lion’s mane. Filter patch bags can withstand autoclaving and atmospheric steaming to ensure the highest level of sterility.
3) Substrate. Substrate is the material that the mushrooms are grown on. Substrate provides a critical role in determining what nutrients the mycelium has access to. Having a proven substrate formula with the correct nutrients and water content is vital to growing gourmet mushrooms. The three critical mushroom growing supplies pertaining to substrate are sawdust, soybean hulls, and wheat bran. Sawdust can be in the form of raw dust from sawmills or hot water fuel pellets commonly referred to as HWFP. A mixture of 50/50 sawdust and soybean hulls is a great formula for most exotic mushrooms including oyster, lion’s mane, pioppino, and chestnut. Sawdust, wheat bran and gypsum used at a ratio of 79,20,1% is a great formula for shiitake. These mushroom growing supplies can commonly be sourced from local feed or farmer supply stores.
4) Steamer. Proper sterilization is one of the most important aspects of mushroom cultivation. Although a steamer may fall more into the equipment section rather than growing supplies category, it is vital for any mushroom farm. The cheapest, most-accessible method of steaming is atmospheric steam. Using 3-9 KW steam generators, substrate can be heated up to about 210 degrees and maintained for 16 hours. This effectively sterilizes the substrate, preparing it for the desired mushroom mycelium.
5) Flow hood. A high-quality working laminar flow hood is vital to make high-yielding mushroom blocks. A flow hood is simply a fan with a filter on it. It cleans the air from any unwanted bacteria, fungi, or viruses that may want to grow on the substrate. It is important to inoculate treated substrate in this clean air flow. This ensures the substrate only has the desired mushroom growing in it. The growing supplies needed to create a flow hood will be discussed in a future blog post.