Growing golden oyster mushrooms can be a lot of fun for hobbyists and professionals alike, especially because of the beauty involved
Golden oyster mushrooms are some of the most striking oysters. Their vibrant color makes them a favorite of many onlookers at farmers’ markets.
We have discussed some of the reasons why people love golden oyster mushrooms in a past article. You can find and read that article here. If you want to learn about growing golden oyster mushrooms, then you have come to the right place. A couple different methods of cultivation are discussed below.
Growing golden oyster mushrooms at home with a growing kit
One of the easiest ways to grow golden oyster mushrooms at home is by using a ready-to-fruit mushroom growing kit like the ones we sell. Our kits are some of the biggest on the market, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds (However, we only charge for 6.5 pounds of shipping!). As mentioned, our kits come ready to fruit and will produce pounds of fresh mushrooms throughout multiple flushes. You can watch these golden oyster mushrooms rise from the substrate like the sun rises in the sky.
For the health conscious, know that these golden oyster mushroom growing kits are certified organic. Get yours today to grow delicious, gourmet food at home!
Growing golden oyster mushrooms on straw
Oyster mushroom cultivation on straw can be broken into four parts, treatment of the straw, inoculation, incubation, and fruiting. Each step is crucial to the next and affects the overall yield. The step-by-step process of growing oyster mushrooms on straw is outlined below.
- Chop Straw: Chop the straw so its cell walls break, making it easier for the mycelium to access the nutrients in the straw. Chopping the straw allows for a more compact substrate. A relatively small gap of 1”-2” between straw pieces is like the Grand Canyon for mycelium to grow over. It leads to wasted energy and time for the mycelium to try and grow over this area. Air pockets can be minimized and yield increased by chopping the straw and packing the bags firmly.
- Treat Straw: Treating the straw kills microorganisms and limits competition. Using the method which best meets the needs of the grower the straw is prepared for the oyster mycelium.
- Inoculate: Add spawn into the treated straw. This is the material used to introduce the mushroom mycelium to the new substrate.
- Incubate: Incubation should ideally occur at 75 degrees for about 3 weeks depending on the inoculation rate. Bags should be placed with at least a palm distance between them to limit overheating.
- Fruit: There are 4 parameters to be aware of when fruiting. They are light, humidity, temperature, and CO2 level. For golden oyster mushrooms a well-lit room at 90-95% humidity, 65-85 degrees F, and CO2 below 800 PPM is ideal.
- Harvest: Harvesting typically occurs about 5-10 days after the substrate is moved into fruiting conditions. Mushrooms should be harvested before the caps completely flatten out.
How to harvest and package golden oyster mushrooms for small-scale farmers
Oyster mushrooms have an extremely fast growth rate. When growing in the 60’s or higher mushrooms typically need to be harvested twice a day in the morning and night. The mushrooms should be harvested before the edges of the caps flatten out completely or even flip up. Having a slight roll on the edge of the oyster mushroom will maintain the ideal texture and storability of the mushroom. Harvesting at this stage also limits the amount of spores being released by the mushroom. Harvesting can be done into crates and plastic bins with holes to allow breathability. The mushrooms should not be packed too deep, at most two on top of each other as they are extremely fragile.
Once the harvest is complete the mushrooms should be stored at 36-38 degrees F. To minimize drying, a cover or towel should be placed over the mushrooms. Put some holes in the container, or use a paper box or bag to allow for air exchange. If the mushrooms are stored in a sealed container the water cannot evaporate and rot will form within one or two days.
When selling mushrooms it is great to have consistent customers that are willing to purchase every week. Restaurants, CSA’s, farmers’ markets, co-ops, grocery stores, and distributors all make for good selling outlets. At farmers’ markets it can be good to sell by the pint instead of by the pound. Many consumers find a pint of mushrooms more reasonable than a pound of mushrooms. This way a predetermined amount is given to the customer making it faster and easier to sell. If packaging it is vital the mushrooms have ventilation in the package.Remember, without proper airflow the mushrooms will rot quickly. There is a balancing act as too much airflow will force the mushrooms to dry out and lose quality quickly.