What is a Golden Oyster Mushroom?
Golden oyster mushrooms, scientifically known as Pleurotus citrinopileatus, are a captivating variety of edible fungi with a stunning golden color and a delicate texture.
Golden oysters are a sub-tropical species of mushroom that thrive in warmer environments (above 64°F/18°C). They boast a unique umami flavor that adds a delightful touch to various dishes, making them a sought-after ingredient in diverse cuisines worldwide. Not only are golden oyster mushrooms delicious, but they also offer numerous interesting qualities.
One fascinating aspect of golden oyster mushrooms is their remarkable adaptability. They have the ability to break down and decompose a wide range of agricultural waste, such as straw, wood chips, and corn stalks. This characteristic makes them excellent candidates for sustainable cultivation practices and contributes to their overall ecological value.
Additionally, golden oyster mushrooms exhibit beautiful cluster formations. When grown, they develop cascading clusters of golden caps that resemble an elegant bouquet. This visual appeal adds a touch of elegance to any culinary creation or decorative arrangement.
Moreover, golden oyster mushrooms have a relatively short growth cycle compared to many other mushroom species. From the initial inoculation to full fruiting, they can complete their growth in as little as three to four weeks. This rapid growth makes them an exciting option for home cultivators who are eager to witness their mushrooms flourish.
By utilizing the Myterra Labs Easy Mushroom Grow Kit, you can effortlessly cultivate your very own harvest of fresh and captivating golden oyster mushrooms right in the comfort of your own home!
Why should I grow Golden Oyster Mushrooms?
There are numerous advantages to growing your own mushrooms, encompassing freshness, exclusivity, and pure enjoyment.
Firstly, cultivating your own mushrooms grants you complete control over the growth process. You can ensure that your mushrooms flourish in a clean and well-regulated environment, free from harmful chemicals or pesticides. Consequently, your mushrooms will be remarkably fresher, more flavorsome, and more nutritious than store-bought varieties, which often endure several days of storage, leading to potential nutrient loss.
Golden oyster mushrooms have a unique quality that sets them apart—they develop an aroma similar to that of cilantro or seafood during the cooking process. This makes them a fantastic ingredient for spicy dishes or as a flavorful addition to various recipes. Their taste and aroma can elevate the culinary experience and offer a unique twist to traditional meals.
Secondly, growing your own mushrooms can become an engaging and rewarding hobby. It provides an opportunity to connect with nature and explore the captivating world of fungi. Furthermore, mushroom cultivation is a relatively low-maintenance endeavor that can be accomplished indoors, making it accessible to individuals with limited outdoor space.
Ultimately, growing your own mushrooms allows you to relish the experience of consuming fresh, unique fungi while simultaneously embracing the joy of discovery and learning. With the Myterra Labs Easy Mushroom Grow Kit, anyone can nurture their own delectable and captivating golden oyster mushrooms right at home, without requiring any specialized equipment. Get ready to embark on a fascinating journey of mushroom cultivation and savor the unmatched flavors and qualities of golden oyster mushrooms!
What is included in the Myterra Labs Easy Grow Kit?
A full list of the contents is included in your grow kit, but let's go over each item to make sure that you have everything you need to get growing.
- Mushroom Substrate: This is an all-in-one mushroom grow kit which includes Myterra Labs Organic Rye Grain and Woodlovers fruiting substrate. The substrate is packaged in a white bag, which prevents your kit from losing moisture and degrading in UV light - this ensure that your mushroom substrate is perfectly hydrated whenever you are ready to grow.
- Liquid Culture Syringe: We've selected the best, easy-to-grow mushroom varieties. A liquid culture is simply mushroom mycelium that is grown in a nutrient-rich broth. This culture can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months or in the refridgerator.
- Sterilized Needle: For mushrooms to be cultivated to the best of their potential, there can be no competing organisms/contaminants (eg. bacteria, mold, fungi). We've included a pre-sterilized needle to inject your mushroom culture into your kit and ensure perfect mushroom growth.
- Alcohol Wipe: Keeping everything clean is crucial for the success of your mushrooms. Alcohol is an effective disinfectant that will remove any unwanted contaminants from your bag and injection port.
- Injection Port: This stick-on injection port can easily be attached to your grow kit. The injection port is self-healing, so once you've added your liquid culture into the kit, you will be able to grow without worrying about any contaminants affecting your mushrooms.
- Humidity Bag: Mushrooms thrive in humid environments (70-85% RH) and this bag will help retain a humid environment around your kit. The humidity bag will only need to be used once your kit is ready to produce mushrooms (also known as fruiting).
- Misting Bottle: Fill this bottle with clean water when your kit is ready to produce mushrooms and use it to mist the inside of the humidity bag. Do not spray the mushroom kit directly with water.
- Clean area: Your kit does not require a sterile environment, but it does help to have a clean area when injecting the mushroom culture into the bag.
STEP 1: Preparing to Grow
Are you ready to start growing your own beautiful bouquet of mushrooms? Then let's get started!
- Preparing your liquid culture syringe: Work quickly during this step to minimize any unclean air from getting into your syringe. Remove the blue cap from liquid culture syringe and hold the syringe in one hand. Do not allow the tip of the syringe to touch anything - including your hands. Remove the sterile needle from its packaging by peeling one end apart. Twist the capped needle onto the tip of your syringe. Place the syringe on clean surface. You've completed the hardest part and can relax for a bit while you get everything else set up.
- Remove packaging: Use scissors to carefully open the white kit bag. To avoid puncturing the clear inner bag, pull the top of the bag upwards and cut as close to the seal as possible.
STEP 2: Inoculation
Inoculation means to add a culture into a growing medium - in this case, you will be adding your liquid culture into the rye grains in the lower portion of your kit where the X is marked on the picture below.
- Disinfect kit: Wipe the front of the kit with the alcohol wipe where the X is marked in the picture above. This will disinfect the area where you will be placing your injection port. Hold onto the wipe, you'll be using it again in just a moment.
- Add injection port: Remove the backing on the injection port and stick the injection port in the area marked by an X in the image above. You're aiming to have the injection port over the grains rather than the wood substrate.
- Disinfect injection port: Wipe the injection port with the alcohol wipe. This will disinfect the port and prevent any unwanted contaminants from getting into your kit. Avoid touching the injection port, but if you do accidentally touch it, simply wipe the port again.
- Inject: Remove the cap on the syringe needle by pulling it away from the syringe (Don't twist it off). Push the needle through the injection port so that the tip of the needle is in the center of the grains. Slowly depress the syringe, moving the needle side-to-side while doing so. This will spread the mycelium among the grains, increasing the speed of your mushroom mycelium growth. Once the syringe is empty, recap the needle and safely dispose.
Not too sure how to complete this process? Watch the video below to see how we do it.
STEP 3: Incubation
Patience is the hardest part of growing mushrooms. The excitement and anticipation will grow as you watch the white threads of mycelium growing through you kit.
For this stage of growth, you are aiming to get the mushroom mycelium growing through all the grains - don't worry, the mushrooms will know which way to go to find the grains. Grains are packed full of nutrition and are the perfect food to start growing mushrooms on. Think of the grains as baby food and the hardwood substrate as adult food. Mushrooms will need as much nutrition as possible while they are establishing themselves before moving onto a different food source: wood.
Keep the bag upright and follow these tips to get the best growth from your mushrooms:
- Sunlight: Place your bag in an area that does not receive direct sunlight. Although golden oyster mushrooms like it a little warmer than other types of mushrooms, the extra light and warmth can cause your kit to lose more moisture than it needs to. Mushrooms consist of about 90% water so it is crucial that your kit is perfectly hydrated in order to achieve a large harvest of mushrooms.
- Temperature: Golden oyster mushrooms will grow well at room temperature or between 64-82F. Cooler temperatures will cause slower growth and warmer temperatures can dry out and kill your mushrooms.
- Humidity: At this stage, you will not need to worry about humidity. The Myterra Labs Easy Mushroom Grow Kit contains the perfect amount of moisture to keep your mushrooms growing well.
- Time: This stage will take 7-10 days or until about 90% of your grains have white mycelium on them. In the mushroom world, having mushroom mycelium grown through all of the grains would change the terminology from "grains" to "colonized grains", and your colonized grains would be referred to as "grain spawn" if that was all that was in the bag.
- Spot check: Check on your bag during this stage. You should only see white growth in your bag. If you see any unusual colors growing in the bag, there is a chance that the bag is growing more than just mushrooms. Don't panic if this happens, we're here to help. Send us an email with a picture of your kit and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll work together to figure out any issues until you are successfully growing mushrooms.
You will know that this step is complete when your bag looks like the photo below.
STEP 4: Shake it up!
When your grains are white/colonized, it is time to shake the bag.
- Squish the grains gently to break them apart - mushroom mycelium will be rather thick between the grains, holding them together. Breaking up this congealed mass of grains and mycelium will help spread the grains among the hardwood.
- Shake the bag up and down or hold the bag on its side and shake the bag - whichever method works best for you.
- Avoid pulling off the injection port during this process. If you are worried that it will be pulled off, you can tape over the injection port to keep it in place.
- Be gentle, but firm. Long/sharp fingernails can poke holes in the bag while you are shaking it, so be aware of what your hands are doing or simply wear gloves if you are worried about puncturing the bag.
- Your bag should look like a nice blend of wood and grains at this point. Place the bag in an upright position and tap off any excess wood that may have stuck to the filter patch.
- Gently press the top of the substrate down to lightly compress the wood/grain blend.
- Place the bag back on the shelf and watch as each colonized grain sends mycelium into the wood. Leave it on the shelf for approximately 7 more days until the wood is colonized and the mushroom mycelium starts to form blobs on the top of the substrate. See the image below which shows the blobs on the surface of the substrate.
STEP 5: Fruiting
Fruiting is the phase of growth in which visible mushrooms begin to appear on your kit. Mushroom mycelium is triggered into the fruiting stage by two factors: full colonization of the growing medium and an increase in fresh air. This is why your kit needs to be fully colonized before starting the fruiting process.
When growing mushrooms, you can direct where you want the mushrooms (or fruits) to form and here's how:
- Stick the Fruiting Patch over your filter. Ensure that there are absolutely no gaps between the filter patch and sticker - mushrooms will find these air gaps and grow towards and out of them. If this happens, you will still get mushrooms, but most of the energy that the mushroom mycelium has will be used in an attempt to reach towards fresh air instead of producing mushrooms, resulting in smaller mushrooms.
- Cut the bag: Using a clean knife or scissors, cut a two inch wide "X" into the side of the kit. The placement of the cut isn't too important, but you will want it at least 2 inches above the bottom of the bag to avoid having your mushrooms growing into your shelf. If there are any areas where you can already see thick whitish-yellow growth on the sides of the bag, make the cut over this area.
- Breathe. It is very difficult to "mess up" this part of the fruiting process. It's perfectly fine to cut into the hardwood substrate. All you are doing during this stage is providing a single spot where fresh air is coming into contact with the mushroom mycelium. This will trigger the mycelium to produce mushrooms and nature will take care of the rest.
- Humidity: Your mushrooms are going to want a good environment to grow in. It is important to keep the humidity fairly high during the fruiting stage. Mist the inside of your humidity bag using the misting bottle. Place the humidity bag, upside-down, over your kit. If you have a fruiting tent, you can place the cut kit into your fruiting tent without needing the humidity bag.
- Light: Golden oyster mushrooms don't require light to grow, but if you are wanting to increase the color of your mushrooms to a vibrant gold, place your mushrooms near a light source. We grow golden oysters underneath a strip of LEDs to enhance their color, but a lamp that is turned on during the day and turned off at night will work well too.
STEP 6: Harvesting
Knowing when to harvest your mushrooms is a quick skill to learn. It is very tempting to let your mushrooms grow for longer than they should. We are big advocates for experimentation so if this is your first time growing and you simply want to see how big they can grow then by all means have some fun and try it out. Mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms, will produce a prolific amount of spores if they are left to grow for too long. People who are sensitive to spores or have respiratory conditions are at risk of irritation to their respiratory pathways while the mushroom is producing spores.
If you want to harvest your mushrooms at their prime for cooking then follow the steps below.
- Look at the caps: As golden oyster mushrooms grow, their caps will slowly unroll from the stem outwards. As the caps unfurl, the shape of the cap will change from a convex shape to a concave shape. This change in shape exposes more of the gills to the air, readying the mushroom for spore release. Once the cap is completely unfurled, the mushroom will release spores into the air. You will want to harvest the mushroom before the cap completely uncurls.
- Time: If you are unsure as to whether you should harvest or the mushrooms look rather small, leave them for an extra day. Keep an eye on them and, if you do see signs of spores (white powder) on the gills on your shelf, harvest immediately.
When the edges of your mushrooms look like the images below, you are ready to harvest. Gently grab the base of the mushroom and twist the mushroom while pulling it away from the kit. Golden oysters can have very firm stem bases, connecting to the substrate, and the firmness of the stem can sometimes be indicative of its age. If the stem is very firm, you can use a knife to cut through the base of the mushroom cluster, close to the substrate.
Can I get a Second Harvest from my kit?
Once you've harvested your mushrooms, you'll be able to get a second harvest or "flush" of mushrooms. Mushrooms can continue to grow as long as they have all of the requirements for growth such as: water and nutrition. The Myterra Labs Easy Mushroom Grow Kit has more than enough of both to sustain your mushrooms for a second bouquet of mushrooms to form. Here's what you need to do:
- Tape over the hole that you cut in the kit. You want to avoid leaving any air gaps between the bag and the tape.
- On the opposite side of the bag, cut another X into the bag.
- Mist the inside of the humidity bag and place it over the kit.
It's as simple as that. Wait for 1-2 weeks to see fully mature mushrooms before harvesting.
Well done! You've successfully grown your own mushrooms. The options for what to do next are endless.
There are numerous ways to cook golden oyster mushrooms with an abundant number of recipes online. We recommend cooking these mushrooms on a high heat pan without oil. When the mushrooms start to turn brown or stick to the bottom of the pan, add in your oils/butter and garlic. These mushrooms can compliment any spicy dish, but are also great with your favorite meal.
Store mushrooms in the fridge for up to 5 days in a brown paper bag to keep them fresh. Golden Oysters are very delicate so be careful while handling them to prevent the caps from breaking.
If you grow multiple kits at once or if you're going away for a week, you can dry mushrooms by pulling the individual mushrooms apart. Airdry at 115F for 12 hours or until they are dry enough to snap apart.
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If you liked growing golden oyster mushrooms and want to expand your mushroom growing skills, we suggest growing White Oyster mushrooms. Click here to learn more. White oyster mushrooms are pearlescent and elegant with soft flesh. Although the golden and white oysters are both oyster mushrooms, their flavors and textures are very different. Our white oyster strain produces large clusters of mushrooms, providing a larger harvest than the golden oyster. The white oyster mushroom is easier to grow than the golden oysters because white oysters can tolerate a larger range of environmental conditions.
Click here to buy the White Oyster Easy Mushroom Grow Kit.