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Substrate is the material needed to grow mushroom mycelia and acts as a souce of nutrition, energy, structural support and water necessary for the mycelia to produce fruits/mushrooms. Mushrooms needing substrate to grow can be compared to plants needing soil to grow. Please ensure that you are using the correct type of substrate for the species of mushroom that you want to grow.
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A contaminant is any organism (such as bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungi) that inhibits or prevents mycelial growth and fruit-body formation of the mushroom that you are trying to cultivate. Most contaminants are not visible to the human eye and some contaminants can be harmful to human health. Contaminated substrate can result in the partial/complete loss of your mushroom crop, which is why Myterra Labs always recommends the use of sterile techniques when cultivating mushrooms.
Pasteurization and sterilization are both forms of heat treatment used to reduce/eliminate contaminants and micro-organisms within the substrate. Pasteurization is a lower-temperature heat treatment used to selectively reduce the number of micro-organisms in the substrate. Many contaminants are heat-sensitive and are killed during pasteurization, leaving heat-resistant organisms in the substrate. Bacterial populations left behind in the substrate after pasteurization can offer some resistance to future contamination, but only for a short period of time. This means that pasteurized substrate will need to be inoculated with mushroom spawn within a week after pasteurization occurs and cannot be stored for long periods of time. Not all contaminants are killed during pasteurization (eg. bacterial endospores and black pin mould), and can result in contamination of the substrate, despite the substrate being pasteurized. Sterilization is a high temperature and pressure heat treatment used to eliminate all living organisms within the substrate, including contaminants like bacterial endospores which can survive pasteurization temperatures. Sterilization is generally achieved at 121 *degrees* C and 15 PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch) and requires the use of specialized, high pressure equipment. Sterilization ensure that your mushroom mycelium will not have to compete with other organisms within the substrate while colonization occurs, resulting in unhindered growth.
Our substrates are designed for extended shelf life and are able to be stored for several months before use, provided that they are stored unopened at room temperature or cooler. Please assess packaging quality when substrate is received to ensure that there are no rips or tears in the bags which may have occurred during transport. Our secondary packaging is airtight and damage resistant to help prevent this type of damage/contamination from occurring. Myterra Labs' substrates are fully sterilized and packaged in sterile conditions to ensure a contaminant-free product with superior shelf life. Please ensure the use of sterile techniques when opening the bag and inoculating your substrate with mushroom spawn.
Manure-based substrates are created from animal faeces, which adds an extra health risk to mushroom consumers who use manure-based substrates to grow their mushrooms. Manure-based substrates are often pasteurized, leaving some microorganisms in the substrate. Manure is also created through a composting process, which can result in inconsistent nutrients from one bag to the next as the animals that provide the manure have different nutrients in their faeces. Inconsistent nutrients can result in less consistent mushroom growth. Myterra Labs has designed a manure-less blend which provides consistent mushroom growth and yields with an extended shelf life so that you have more control over your mushroom growth. Our manure-less bend is also sterilized to ensure a contaminant-free substrate to give you more peace of mind.
Inoculation is the process of adding a mushroom culture into a growing medium. This growing medium could be agar, liquid culture, grain, or substrate. After inoculation, the culture will grow through the medium or "colonize" the medium.
All of our substrates are packaged and sealed in a unicorn bag, then packaged and sealed in a secondary white bag within a HEPA-filtered clean room. This secondary packaging keeps the substrate perfectly hydrated and blocks UV light from altering the chemical composition of the substrate. DO NOT open the white bag until you are ready to use your substrate. Please be careful when opening the white bag - you do not want to cut the clear unicorn bag inside.
A quick google search online will help you find mushroom cultures. They can be ordered through a variety of channels, but finding one with an outstanding reputation is paramount. Online sellers with a poor reputation may sell contaminated cultures which can result in failed growth.
Our unicorn bags are made from polypropylene and are 100% recyclable.
Around 80% of a cultivator's time is spent creating sterilized grain and substrate, and a substantial amount of money is needed to purchase sterilization equipment. Within that time spent, roughly 30% of the materials used to produce sterilized grain and substrate will be rejected or thrown away due to contamination. Myterra Labs eliminates wastage of time, energy, resources, and money by providing you with sterile, lab-tested grains and substrates that are ready to use or be stored on the shelf.
Yes, both substrate and grains are important for mushroom cultivation. Grain is used to start the initial spread and consolidation of mycelium, but once all the grain’s nutrients have been used up, the mycelium needs additional nutrients and moisture to grow into mushroom fruit bodies - this is where substrates comes into play.
Finding the correct space to grow mushrooms is an important decision to make before cultivation. Here are some options for fruiting chambers: https://myterralabs.com/blogs/blog/mushroom-fruiting-chambers Each species will require different conditions to grow in, but most mushrooms will grow in a cool room with indirect sunlight and high humidity. Alternatively, try growing outside in a sheltered, shaded space.