Many people want to know: “What is lion’s mane?” We are sharing the needed info on this amazing mushroom so people can use it and grow it at home
What is lion’s mane? Lion’s mane is a mushroom gaining popularity among the specialty mushroom lovers of the world. It is a globe-shaped fruited body with shaggy spines that protrude off of it.
Lion’s mane grows wild in the northeast but it is not necessarily an easy mushroom to find and forage. That is why mushroom farmers have turned to growing this mushroom at home and commercially. The texture of lion’s mane is meatier than some other mushrooms, like the blue oyster. It’s taste is sweet and savory, and reminds some people of crab or lobster.
Lion’s mane has shown promising impacts on the side of health. As Medical News Today points out, “Research suggests that they may offer a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cognitive and heart health.” That is one of the reasons why lion’s mane mushroom tincture and supplements have gained popularity as well.
What is lion’s mane? A delicious mushroom you can grow at home
Lion’s mane mushrooms grow well on supplemented sawdust and beech totems. They typically take longer to establish than shiitake or oyster mushrooms, and they cannot be shocked into fruiting like shiitake. Regardless, these mushrooms are worth the effort! If you grow lion’s mane at home with our spawn, you will see flushes come September.
If you want to make totems or inoculate logs with lion’s mane spawn, try using the method outlined below. You will need lion’s mane mushroom spawn, a drill, a hammer, some nails, and cheese wax. You can use bees wax or food-grade paraffin wax as well.
First, it is best to make totems with logs that have larger diameters. We often recommend logs with a diameter greater than 8”, and we think you should use beech, oak, or sugar maple.
Once you have your logs it is time to prepare them. Using a three-foot log is ideal. Start by cutting the log into three sections. One section should be 1 ½ feet long. Another section should be 1’ 4” long. And the final section should be 2” long. Place these logs in a suitable location for cultivation, which is ideally an area shaded by conifer trees year round. We often use the north side of a shed or house when possible.
You will first inoculate the top and bottom of your 1 ½ foot log. Use a drill to create about 20 holes in the face of the log. Hammer your plug spawn into the hole. If you are using sawdust spawn, fill the holes with it. Take the log and put the bottom on the ground, with the freshly-drilled and inoculated holes off the ground. Place the 1’4” log on top of the first log and secure it by hammering in a few nails. Now, as you did with the first log, drill 20 more holes in the top of the log and inoculate with spawn. Finally, attach the 2” disk onto the top of the second log with a few nails. You have now made a mycelium sandwich! The log should be reassembled to how it was before you cut it but now with mycelium in the middle. The mycelium will grow up and down throughout the log sections, and one year later it should begin to fruit. With the large diameter it takes the mushrooms a while to eat through the totem so they can continue to fruit for many years.
What is lion’s mane? A delicious mushroom you can easily grow at home with a kit
Our ready-to-fruit mushroom growing kits are a great way to grow your own lion’s mane at home. You can use them once they arrive in the mail, or you can keep the kit in refrigeration for a few days before using it. Keep in mind however that the kit will begin fruiting by itself in refrigeration if kept there for two weeks or more.
The process of using the kit is pretty straight forward. First, take the bag and place it in the area you plan on growing. Doing this inside is often easier for obtaining the desired conditions. If doing it inside, you will need to place it in a room with some light and the temperature should be between 40-80 degrees F.
You will want to flip the kit over and make some V-shapes throughout the surface of the bag. Make about six holes spaced These holes will be the location the lion’s mane mushrooms will fruit out of.
Begin spraying the kit two or three times each day. You do not want the kit to dry out, but you also do not want it to be sopping wet. The ideal humidity for fruiting lion’s mane mushrooms is
85% of higher. It will take about 10 days to two weeks until the mushrooms are ready to be harvested. The lion’s mane mushrooms are ready to harvest once the spines cascade down towards the fruited body.
What is lion’s mane mushroom to you? Have you grown it? Do you like to eat it or use it as a supplement? Please share your experience.