- Growing Oyster Mushrooms Using Waste Coffee Grounds
- Edible Landscaping – Edible of the Month: Two Simple, Beginner Mushrooms
- Mushroom Growing Kits
- Portabella Mushroom Info: Can I Grow Portabella Mushrooms
- Portabella Mushroom Info
- How to Grow Portabella Mushrooms
- What are Portobello Mushrooms?
- How to Grow Portobello Mushrooms: Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
- Crimini / Baby Bella / Portabella Mushroom Kit
- Available from September 15 through May 5
- Mushroom Cultures
Growing Oyster Mushrooms Using Waste Coffee Grounds
This is a guide to growing Oyster Mushrooms using waste coffee grounds collected from a coffee shop or cafe. If you want to use your own home waste coffee then we have a kit that’s designed especially for this here: Gourmet Mushroom Coffee Grounds Kit
The coffee brewing process pasteurises the grounds which temporarily kills off competing micro-organisms (such as molds and bacteria) that left un-hindered would otherwise flourish and contaminate the coffee. Pasteurising gives the oyster mushroom mycelium (the fungal root-system) a short window of opportunity to grow and establish itself. If the coffee is left for more than 24 hours the competitors will begin to return, and it will be unuseable. So it really is very important that the coffee should be collected and used on the same day. Alternatively the grounds can be collected and frozen on the same day, then defrosted before use.
Order your spawn in advance (it will keep for up to 3 months in the fridge) and plan ahead. 1kg of sawdust spawn is sufficient for 2 x 2.5kg of coffee – 500g of spawn per 2.5kg. For King Oyster we recommend 1 kg of sawdust spawn per 2.5 kg of coffee. We prefer to use sawdust spawn beacuse it’s cheaper than grain spawn, and you can use more of it. The more spawn you use the quicker the mycelium will establish itself giving it a much greater chance of out growing it’s competitors. We recommend growing: Pearl Oyster, White Oyster, Grey Oyster, and King Oyster.
Collecting the Coffee
Most busy high street coffee shops and cafes will usually glady give you their waste coffee. If they refuse, then just go to the next one. Costa Coffee is one chain that advertises waste coffee to give away in most of their shops. Spent coffee goes to landfill, so you are doing them a little favour in taking some of their waste. In our experience it’s best to call in the mid afternoon after the busy lunch time period when they’ll have plenty to give away.
With mushroom growing cleanliness is essential to success, so make sure whatever you are using to collect the coffee is clean. As a guide 2.5kg-3kg of coffee will fit comfortably in a 5 litre container. We prefer a container with a lid, but bags are OK too.
Paint tubs used for growing
Choosing a Growing Bag or Container
The best bags are Filter Spawn Bags which are specially designed for mushroom growing. The filters prevent contamination entering the bag, and also ensure the right amount of oxygen is supplied to the mycelium. They can be purchased here.
Any other growing container should be filled to 2/3rd of its capacity to give the mycelium some air to utilise. A 5 litre bag or tub is a good size. A used tub (paint, ice cream etc.) should be thoroughly cleaned before use and have four holes made round the sides 10-15 mm in diameter. A lid is prefered but tin foil can be used instead.
Inoculating the Coffee
This is the process of mixing the spawn (the carrier for the mycelium) into the coffee. Again, cleanliness is paramount, and all utensils, mixing containers, etc, should be thoroughly cleaned before hand. For ease of mixing it’s best to mix in an oversized bowl or container with a 15 to 20 litre capacity. With 1 kg of sawdust spawn you can inoculate 5 kg of coffee with 1 kg of spawn and then divide it between 2 containers, or inoculate 2.5kg of coffee with 500g of spawn and store the remaining sawdust spawn in the fridge until you get the next batch of coffee (remember for King Oyster it’s 1kg of spawn per 2.5kg of coffee).
With the bag still sealed, gently break up the spawn until it returns to sawdust. Cut off one corner of the bag and distribute the spawn over the surface of the coffee. Use a clean large spoon/spatula/scoop to mix the sawdust spawn thoroughly into the coffee, ensuring that it is evenly distributed throughout. About 2-3 minutes of mixing will be sufficient.
Fill your chosen container with the coffee/spawn mixture ensuring there are no air pockets. Shake it down, and agitate the mixture so that it fills evenly ensuring the top is level. For spawn bags fold over the top of the bag to half way above the first filter strip and tape it airtight. Ordinary bags should be sealed airtight and then have 4 holes punched in the bag half way between to the top of the bag and the top of the coffee.
The process can be broken down into 2 stages: 1) The Spawn Run; and 2) Fruiting.
Stage 1: The Spawn Run
Mycelium Colonising Coffee
Sawdust spawn is the carrier for the mushroom mycelium (the mushroom’s root system) which has been inoculated into the coffee. To produce a crop (or flush) of mushrooms, the mycelium must first grow through, or colonise, the coffee. It has a source of food, but it also needs warmth for it to do so. The ideal temperature for a fast spawn run is around 20 deg.C (average room temperature). At around this temperature it will take 7-14 days for the coffee to be fully colonised with mycelium. Keep the bag/container in a warm dark place in the house, and one that is preferably warm both day and night—this could be an airing cupboard, under the bed, or in a cupboard.
After 3-5 days check for white ‘cottony’ growth appearing in small patches on the coffee. As time progresses the patches will join up, and, after a minimum of 7 days and a maximum of 21 days, the coffee will have turned completely white with mycelium.
Stage 2: Fruiting
Now that the coffee is fully colonised, the mycelium has built up a strong network and enough resources to produce the first flush of mushrooms. Move the container to a light airy place, and preferably somewhere that cools down overnight—like a kitchen worktop, a shaded windowsill that doesn’t receive direct sunlight or a porch area. Also, make sure the bag isn’t near a direct source of heat like a radiator. Unlike other mushrooms, Oyster mushrooms require daylight to grow—enough light to read a newspaper at arms length.
Exposure to oxygen stimulates the mycelium into producing mushrooms. Solid containers with holes in the side will produce mushrooms from these holes – just mist the holes a couple of times a day to prevent the mycelium from drying out. For bags, there are 2 ways of introducing oxygen, each with its own merits. Method 2 should be used for King Oyster because it likes to grow from a horizontal surface.
Method 1: Cut a cross shaped hole in the bag at the centre of the coffee on the largest side. Try not to damage the mycelium when doing so. The best way to do this is to gently push down on the top of the bag so it comes away from the mycelium. Using good sharp scissors pierce the bag and cut a 10 cm slit down the bag. From the middle of the slit, you can gently prise the bag away and cut 2 horizontal slits 5 cm to the left and 5 cm to the right. The hole needs to be kept damp to prevent the mycelium drying out. Mist it a couple of times a day, about 5 squirts will be enough.
Method 2: This involves applying a ‘casing layer’ to the top surface of the mycelium. This layer prevents dehydration and provides a nice damp atmosphere for the mushrooms to form underneath. You’ll need 75g of Vermiculite soaked in water for 10-15 minutes, and then drained. Cut off the bag 5cm above the surface, and put a rubberband round the top of the bag to prevent the vermiculite slipping down between the sides. Gently spread the vermiculite in an even layer accross the entire surface without leaving any patches of mycelium exposed. Vermiculite holds water very well, so will only need misting once a week to keep it moist.
Primordia Close Up
7-10 days later primordia (the term used for ‘baby’ mushrooms) will begin to form either under the cross slits or they will push their way up though the vermiculite. Forming overnight, they appear in clusters and look like little off-white pin-heads—so keep a careful eye out during this time—and mist at least twice daily once they appear (which stops them drying out). Primordia really do enjoy the misting, so mist as often as you can. Continue to mist at least twice daily while they mature into mushrooms.
The perfect stage for cropping
The mushrooms will be ready to be cropped in around 5-7 days after the primordia have formed. They are best cropped before they reach full maturity, as they produce a tremendous amount spores when fully mature. Crop before the caps have flattened out and are still slightly rounded and the rims will be slightly rolled under (as pictured). Some mushrooms will be larger than others, but still crop the hole cluster at once by carefully grabbing the base of the cluster where the stems meet, and with a twisting action, gently ease away.
The coffee is capable of producing a flush approximately every 2 weeks, for around 10 weeks. To make sure it continues to produce—after each flush—remove any stem debris left behind carefully from the vermiculite/hole with a pointed knife. Ensure all the stem is removed, leaving just coffee behind. If the cross slit won’t close back over after cropping (which protects the mycelium underneath from drying out) then use a piece of tape to close it, then remove the tape after a couple days and it will then stay closed. Continue to mist the hole twice daily (or the vermiculite once a week), and after a few days, the mycelium will re-colonise the hole in preparation for another flush.
Oyster Mushrooms and Polony Sausage on Toast
Oyster mushrooms can be compared to fresh fish in terms of storage. They are best enjoyed as fresh as possible, and this really is the advantage of growing your own. Often the simplist way of cooking them is the best. Torn into strips and stir-fried with onion, garlic, and soy sauce, till golden brown and a tablespoon of sesame seeds added just at the end, then served on wholemeal toast is a wonderful breakfast.
Once it has finished producing the coffee can be used as spawn to created an outdoor bed using woodchip, or it can be mixed into a compost pile where it may continue to produce.
If small patches of green mold appear, then don’t worry the oyster mycelium will deal with it and eventually overrun it. But if the green mold runs rampant there is little you can do unfortunately and the coffee will have to be discarded.
If the primordia appear then shrivel up, then conditions are too dry, so move to an area that is damper and isn’t heated. Equally if the mushrooms start browning at the edge and look dry and dull then conditions are too dry and they should be re-located, and sprayed copiously with water several times over an hour to rehydrate them.
Edible Landscaping – Edible of the Month: Two Simple, Beginner Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow indoors from kits or using your own production method.
Wine cap mushrooms are easy to grow outdoors, yielding large caps similar in taste and texture to portobellos.
November is usually a down time in many gardens. But for intrepid gardeners who need some winter projects to keep their passion fed, why not try growing mushrooms? It’s easy, fun, and tasty. There are a variety of mushrooms that can be grown in the garden and indoors. While I could talk about shiitake, morel, and oyster mushrooms, I’m going to focus on two of my favorites, which also happen to be the easiest to grow; portobellos (Agaricus bisporus) and wine caps (Stropharia rugosoannulata).
We’re all familiar with portobello mushrooms from restaurants. They taste great grilled, sauteed, and sliced in a veggie burger. The big caps with a meaty flavor are a meal onto themselves. Plus, they’re easy to grow. Portobellos are actually brown crimini mushrooms (related to the white button mushrooms) that have been allowed to unfurl their 4- to 6-inch diameter caps. Wine cap mushroom are bigger than portobellos (caps can grow to 1 foot across) and have a brown, almost burgundy color, when mature. They grow easily planted in beds outdoors. Here are two simple techniques for beginning mushrooms growers to try, one for indoor growing and one for outdoor growing.
Grow Portobellos Indoors
The simplest way to grow portobello mushrooms is to buy a handy kit. These kits sell for less than $50 and come ready to go. All you have to do is open the box, mist regularly, and place them in a cool, dark location. In a few weeks, mushrooms will begin sprouting. But if you’re a gardener you might want a little challenge, right?
You also can buy portobello mushroom spores. Spores are how the mushrooms get started. If you buy the spores, then you’ll have to create the medium or bed for the mushrooms to grow in. This is best done indoors where you can control the environment. It’s a great winter project.
For growing portobello mushrooms indoors you’ll need a growing tray. The tray should be about 8 inches deep to hold compost, peat moss, and the spores. Partially decomposed compost is best. You’ll also need to find a dark room where you can keep the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F.
Purchase portobello mushroom spores on-line. You’ll need about two cups of dried spores per 6 to 8 square feet of tray. Fill the tray to within 2 inches of the lip with compost, then sprinkle the spores onto the compost and press down firmly. Keep the tray moist and in the dark until you start to see white webbing (mycelium) appear in the compost. Then cover the tray with a 2-inch thick layer of damp peat moss and a layer of newspaper. Keep the newspaper misted daily for about 1 to 2 weeks and keep the temperature around 55 degrees F. Check after a week to see if any white pin heads of young mushrooms are forming. If you see them, remove the newspaper, keep misting daily, and let them grow into full-sized mushrooms. Harvest when they’re about 4 to 6 inches in diameter. You should get two to three flushes of portobellos over a period of a few weeks.
Portobello mushrooms are actually brown crimini mushroom that have been allowed to mature to their full size.
Growing Wine Caps Outdoors
For those gardeners that want to grow mushrooms outside, wine caps are a snap. Although not as well-known as portobellos, wine caps are large, flavorful, meaty mushrooms that grow well in outdoor beds. The risk of inoculating an outdoor bed is contamination from other fungal spores in the atmosphere. However, if you’re sure of your mushroom identification and only eat the wine caps, you should give this a try. You can grow a large area of mushrooms outdoors and even get them to “naturalize” in your yard under the right conditions. While they will grow whenever the soil is above 50 degrees F, in most areas the time to inoculate beds is in late winter or spring Here’s how.
Create a raised bed border with rot-resistant wood, cinder blocks, stone, or brick. Fill it 6 to 8 inches deep with a mix of fresh wood chips and partially decomposed compost. Sprinkle the spores on the bed as described in the indoor cultivation method. Cover with a 2 inch thick layer of compost. Keep well watered until the mycelia run and fill the bed. Keep well watered. After a few weeks your mushrooms should be up and ready to harvest. Allow some mushrooms to open their caps and spread spores around the yard. You never know where they will turn up next. I once grew wine cap mushrooms outdoors and had them popping up in the shrubs and perennial garden for months after the main bed had finished. Once the main bed is finished producing, add a layer of fresh wood chips and hopefully, it will produce more mushrooms.
More articles on growing mushrooms:
Grow your Own Gourmet Mushrooms
How to Grow Winecap Mushrooms
North American Mycology Association
Making the Growing Medium (weeks 1 – 4)
To produce mushrooms a growing medium is needed. Mushrooms have no chlorophyll so they must get all their nutrients from the organic matter in their growing medium. Compost is made with straw, dried poultry litter, canola meal, gypsum and water. The ingredients are blended together and placed into “tunnels” where air is forced through the material. Temperatures and oxygen levels are closely managed until the compost is ready for pasteurizing. The use of tunnels to prepare compost is new technology in North America.
Pasteurizing the compost is also done in tunnels at Ostrom Mushroom Farms. This is a process of managing temperature, oxygen and time to convert ammonia into a useable form of nitrogen which the mushroom needs for it to grow. Compost Preparation and pasteurization is a four week process, and is followed by introducing mushroom spawn to the compost.
Spawning the Compost (weeks 5 – 6)
Mushroom spawn is grain that has been colonized with a pure culture of mushroom fungus. The spawn is mixed into the compost. Over the next two weeks, under carefully managed conditions of temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide, the thread-like mushroom fungus, called mycelium, begins to grow through the compost.
After the mycelium has completely colonized the compost, a layer of soil is applied to the surface of the compost in each growing tray. This layer is a moisture-rich growing soil consisting of peat moss, sugar beet lime and water, and provides a water reservoir for the growing mushrooms.
Formation of Mushrooms (weeks 7 – 9)
At a commercial mushroom farm mushrooms must be induced to grow in order to produce a high yielding and high quality crop. This is called “pinning”, and is accomplished by making adjustments to the oxygen, carbon dioxide, humidity and temperature levels in the growing room. After approximately eight days tiny “pinhead” mushrooms are visible on the surface of the layer of soil and by day twelve the mushrooms are mature enough to pick. The mushrooms almost double in size every 24 hours.
Picking and Packing (weeks 10 – 12)
Picking mushrooms is done by hand every day of the year. The best quality is accomplished by trained pickers who select the mushrooms, cut the root structure from the stem and place them directly into the shipping boxes. This direct-picking technique is used to minimize over-handling the mushrooms. Each room will produce three “breaks” of mushrooms over a three week period before the room is removed from the production cycle.
Portobello mushrooms have sprung up on restaurant menus all over North America. And why not? They have excellent nutritional value and, with their large size, Portobellos are hearty enough for a low fat entrée. I always have Portobellos on hand during barbecue season because they are positively delicious when grilled. Since I eat so many of them, I wondered if I should start growing them myself. I did a little digging, and here’s what I learned about growing mushrooms.
Mushrooms, being fungi, do not grow like a regular garden vegetable. They are generated from spores, not seeds. They contain no chlorophyll. When growing, their nutrients are delivered from the medium they are grown in and absorbed through the root system supporting the mushroom, which is called the mycelium. The fruit of the mycelium is the mushroom cap and stem that we are used to seeing in grocery stores.
The medium varies, depending on the type of mushroom. Sawdust, manure and compost are all commonly used as substrate in mushroom farming. In order for mushrooms to grow, the medium must contain mushroom spores. But getting the spores in there is not an easy task. The spores from a mushroom must be collected and then used to inoculate grains or seeds to create spawn (the equivalent of seeds). The term “inoculate” has connotations of a doctor’s office, and the comparison is a reasonable one: in commercial mushroom farming, the entire process of collecting spores and growing spawn is done in a sterile lab. As such, growing mushrooms from scratch may not be the best option for either the casual gardener or the hardcore green thumb.
Mushroom Growing Kits
If you are interested in growing your own mushrooms, you can order kits that contain pre-inoculated media or that require you to do the inoculation yourself. There are many sources available online – a simple Google search for mushroom growing kits will lead to many vendors. The kits range from the low end box of mycelium and medium for indoor growing (about $30 – $40), to much higher end (and more complicated) “systems” that enable you to inoculate your own substrate, for anywhere between $300 and $500.
A look at the low end kit demonstrates the general growing process. After receiving your kit, you must maintain a proper temperature and moisture level throughout the incubation period that is required for the mycelium to colonize the substrate. This process usually takes a week to ten days. The next step is to force the fruiting of the mycelium by keeping the kit moist and, in the case of Portobellos, dark. (The requirement for darkness, often thought to be common to all mushrooms, is actually unique to Portobellos and their relatives the White and Crimini mushroom. Other varieties, like Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms, require some light.)
Most kits have a tent to retain moisture, but you do need to spray regularly. And you need to use the right kind of water – chlorine is a no-no, so if you must use tap water, you need to let it sit overnight so the chlorine can evaporate.
Most kits produce mushrooms within a couple of weeks. Each harvest is called a flush and you can expect about two or three flushes per kit. Portobello kits yield about 3-6 pounds of mushrooms over three months.
If, after trying an indoor kit, you decide to get really serious about growing your own gourmet mushrooms, you can try the even more labor-intensive outdoor mushroom log. I, on the other hand, will continue to harvest my Portobellos from the crop at the local grocery store.
Portabella Mushroom Info: Can I Grow Portabella Mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms are delicious large mushrooms especially succulent when grilled. They are often used in lieu of ground beef for a tasty vegetarian “burger.” I love them, but then again, I make no distinction between mushrooms and love them all equally. This romance with mushrooms led me to thinking “can I grow portabella mushrooms?” Read on to learn how to grow portabella mushrooms and other portabella mushroom info.
Portabella Mushroom Info
Just to address what might be confusing here. I am talking about portabella mushrooms but you are thinking about portobello mushrooms. Is there a difference between portobello vs. portabella mushrooms? Nope, it just depends on who you are talking to.
Both are just slightly different ways of saying the name for more mature Crimini mushrooms (yeah, sometimes they are spelled cremini). Portabellas, or portobellos as the case may be, are both simply criminis that are 3-7 days older and, thus, larger – around 5 inches across.
But I digress. The question was “can I grow portabella mushrooms?” Yes, indeed, you can grow your own portabella mushrooms. You can either purchase a kit or start the process on your own, but you will still need to buy the mushroom spores.
How to Grow Portabella Mushrooms
When growing portabella mushrooms, probably the easiest thing to do is buy a handy-dandy kit. The kit comes complete with everything you need and requires no effort on your part except to open the box and
then mist regularly. Place the mushroom kit in a cool, dark area. In just a few weeks you will begin to see them sprout. Easy peasy.
If you are up for a little bit more of a challenge, you can try growing portabella mushrooms the DIY way. As mentioned, you do need to purchase the spores, but the rest is pretty simple. Portabella mushroom growing can take place either indoors or out.
Growing portabellas outdoors
If you are growing outdoors, be sure that daytime temps do not exceed 70 degrees F. (21 C.) and that night temperatures don’t drop below 50 F. (10 C.).
If you want to start your portabella mushroom growing outdoors, you need to do a little prep work. Build a raised bed that is 4 feet by 4 feet and 8 inches deep. Fill the bed with 5 or 6 inches of well-seasoned manure based compost. Cover this with cardboard and attach black plastic to cover the bed. This will create a process called solar radiation, which sterilizes the bed. Keep the bed covered for two weeks. At this point, order your mushroom spores so they will arrive by the time the bed is ready.
Once the two weeks have passed, remove the plastic and cardboard. Sprinkle one inch of the spores atop the compost and then lightly mix them in. Allow them to sit for a couple weeks, at which point you will see a white webbed film (mycelium) appear across the soil surface. Congratulations! This means your spores are growing.
Now apply a one-inch layer of moist peat moss across the compost. Top this with newspaper. Mist daily with distilled water and continue in this vein, misting twice a day for 10 days. Harvesting can be done at any time thereafter, depending upon your size preference.
Growing portabellas indoors
To grow your mushrooms inside, you will need a tray, compost, peat moss and newspaper. The process is pretty much like outdoor growing. The tray should be 8 inches deep and 4 feet x 4 feet or similar size.
Fill the tray with six inches of the seasoned manure based compost, sprinkle with spores, mix into the compost and lightly tamp down. Put the tray in the dark until you see the tell-tale white growth.
Then, lay a layer of damp peat moss down and cover with newspaper. Mist twice a day for two weeks. Remove the paper and check on your mushrooms. If you see little white heads, remove the newspaper permanently. If not, replace the newspaper and keep misting for another week.
Once the paper has been removed, mist daily. Again, harvest to suit your size preference. Because you can control the temperature, growing indoor portabella mushrooms can be a year-round venture. Keep the room between 65-70 degrees F. (18-21 C.).
You should get 2-3 flushes of portabellas over a two week period.
Portobello mushrooms are identified by brown caps, meaty flesh and an intense flavor. They contain a number of nutrients such as vitamin B, protein, minerals, and fiber. While providing numerous nutrients, the mushrooms are low in calories and fat and are cholesterol free; therefore they are a perfect alternative to meat and can be added to any diet. Vegetarians and those who want to lose weight would find Portobello mushrooms a great addition to a healthy diet. Wondering how to grow Portobello mushrooms at home? This is something you can definitely do! There are a few simple steps to follow, and you will be well on your way to growing Portobello mushrooms.
What are Portobello Mushrooms?
Portobellos are members of the agaricus bisporous family, a kind of edible mushrooms first known to have existed in Europe and North America. Portobello mushrooms are actually the mature form of common crimini mushrooms, or button mushrooms, which are often harvested while immature. Once the young crimini mushrooms have grown up to 4 to 6 inches in diameter, they are known as portobello mushrooms.
When it comes to portobello history, it is said that portobello mushrooms were first grown by the Americans with spores from Italy. The New York Times first brought crimini and portobello mushrooms to the public’s notice in the mid 1908s. Since then, the knowledge on how to grow portobello mushrooms has spread worldwide and people have practiced growing portobello mushrooms for decades.
There used to be a debate about whether the name portobella or portobello is more correct. In fact, both are accepted and the use of which name to use is simply a marketing brand issue. For the name portobello itself, there are several assumptions for its origin. The mushrooms could have been named after a town in Italy, or after Portobello Road in London which is popular for its valuable antique shops and fashionable stores. Another assumption for the name is the TV show Portobello. No matter where the name originates from, portobello mushrooms have become a hugely popular ingredient in various dishes such as grills, soups, salads or sandwiches.
Shape, size, taste
Identified by their brown caps, meaty flesh and intense flavor that remains intact even after cooking, portobello mushrooms are said by Wades Whitfield of The Mushroom Council to have become a phenomenon in the food business. It is not an exaggeration to say that this mushroom has gone from being practically unknown to becoming a gourmet item.
Growing portobello mushrooms in the past was not a good investment as there was no market for them. However, their meatier flavor really sets portobello mushrooms apart from crimini mushrooms, and that has been the key to the rapid gain in popularity of these mushrooms. Growers started to switch from growing crimini to growing portobello mushrooms.
Growing portobello mushrooms is not a big deal for those who are experienced with crimini mushroom cultivation as one must simply let the crimini mushrooms mature for another 3 to 7 days and what they then harvest will be portobellos. Although white button mushrooms are still the more popular of the two, portobello mushrooms have made inroads into the market and the consumption keeps going up all over the world.
As a kind of fungi, mushrooms in general, or portobello mushrooms in particular, are distinguished from plants by the fact that they don’t have chlorophyll and cannot make their own food via photosynthesis. Plants start from seeds and grow from soil, while mushrooms start from spores which germinate and spread widely into hair-like mycelia while developing on substrate in commercial growing or on decaying materials in nature. Cool, dark places with high humidity are best for growing portobello mushrooms. Temperature greatly affects the outcome of the mushroom harvest, so it should be kept stable and the humidity kept between 65% to 80%. It is said that a temperature between 60°F to 70°F is ideal for mushroom fruiting and the range from 63°F to 68°F is best for both the quality and quantity of portobello mushrooms.
Humans need basic nutrients such as fat, carbohydrates and protein on daily basis. Portobello mushrooms provide a balance of carbs and protein with low fat. It is recommended that men should consume 56g of protein a day and women 46g, and both should go for 130g of carbs per day. Just 100g of portobello mushrooms will supply your body with over 3g of protein, 4 ½g of carbs and just ½g of fat. This means that adding portobello mushrooms to your daily diet helps to balance your protein and carbs intake while reducing your meat consumption.
Fiber, a key element in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar is found in moderate amounts in portobello mushrooms. Specifically, 100g of portobellos have just over 2g of fiber. The calories that a 100g of portobello mushrooms contain about is just 30, a pretty low level. That’s why they are listed as low-energy density foods.
Like a variety of other fungi, portobello mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D preserved in portobello mushrooms depends on the amount of exposure to ultraviolet light. Some growers intentionally raise the time that their portobello mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet light on purpose in order to increase their vitamin D content. B vitamins are also found in moderate amounts in portobello mushrooms, so having them together with green vegetables, fish and whole grains should supply your body with an adequate amount of B vitamins. Copper, selenium, potassium, phosphorous, and sodium are among the minerals that can be found in portobello mushrooms as well.
So far we have learnt about the nutritional facts of portobello mushrooms. So just how beneficial are they to our well-being? The remarkable benefits that portobello mushrooms are well-known for are fighting against cancer, combatting inflammation and protecting the immune system.
The anticancer properties of portobello mushrooms are thanks to the presence of phytochemicals that positively affect living and dead cells, metabolism and immune responses. In particular, portobello mushrooms are meat-free sources of CLA, an ingredient that helps to prevent cancer cells from proliferating.
A low level of ergothioneine (ERGO) is associated with a high risk of chronic inflammatory diseases. However, portobello mushrooms are a rich source of the ERGO that humans cannot synthesize by themselves. Consuming mushrooms are the best way to supply our bodies with the element.
For those who wish to lose some weight, portobello mushrooms are a great choice for their low calorie content. You may consume a large volume of portobellos without worrying about going over your daily calorie allowance. For vegetarians, ortobello mushrooms are an ideal alternative to meat for their protein supply.
Vitamin D helps to facilitate normal immune system function, and bone and teeth growth while B vitamins are essential for a healthy metabolism, nervous system, and for maintaining healthy skin, hair and eyes. Minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, copper, and selenium help to strengthen bones and keep blood vessel healthy. Consuming portobello mushrooms could bring you all these health benefits.
How to Grow Portobello Mushrooms: Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you have gained some basic information about portobellos, you may be tempted to rush to the nearest grocery store to shop for this fresh meaty flavored mushroom. It’s no big deal to purchase portobello mushrooms for your diet, but have you ever thought of growing them at home? If you wonder how to grow them, the following paragraphs will help you find out how. If you are eager enough to grow this mushroom for yourself, the practical steps below will be a helpful guide to see you through the cultivating process.
Growing Portobello mushrooms is quickest and easiest when you buy a kit including everything needed to grow the mushrooms. The kit already has spores grown in the medium, and all you need to do to harvest the mushrooms is follow the instructions included with the kit. Keep them in a cool, dark place, keep them moist, and wait approximately a month to harvest the mushrooms. However, if you would like to know how to grow Portobello mushrooms completely from scratch, there are two methods you can choose between – growing them indoors, or growing them outdoors.
Growing Portobello Mushrooms Indoors
Step 1: Material Preparation
Firstly, you will need to prepare the trays that the mushrooms will be planted in. These should be 4 feet wide, 4 feet long and 8 inches deep. You will also need some compost, peat moss and newspapers. This is the medium you will use to grow the mushrooms in. Unlike other vegetables that grow from seeds, mushrooms belong to the fungi family, and grow from spores. You can look for Portobello mushroom spores at local gardening centers or buy them online.
Step 2: Planting The Mushrooms
Once you have gathered the necessary materials, you can fill up the trays with manure compost – approximately 6 inches of it. Then sprinkle the spores on the compost, mix them in and pack the compost down slightly. Put the trays in a cool, dark place and wait for a white growth to develop on top of the compost. As soon as you notice the white growth, place a layer of peat moss over it, and a layer of newspapers on top.
Step 3: Care
You do not need to do much to take care of the mushrooms. Trays with a small amount of white growth should be misted twice daily for a couple of weeks. The temperature should be monitored and kept between 65◦ F and 70◦ F. Remember the environment should be just moist, not soaking wet. Once the white heads have grown a little bigger, you can remove the newspapers. If they have still not grown taller, keep misting them for another week until you notice growth.
Step 4: Harvest
Portobello mushrooms can be harvested as soon as the newspapers are removed, however, you might want bigger mushrooms. If you do want them to grow bigger before harvesting them, continue to mist and wait for the mushrooms to grow to your preferred size. They are best if they are harvested when the caps are still a little curved down, rather than flattened. Indoor growing allows you to grow mushrooms all year round because the temperature and moisture can be monitored.
Growing Portobello Mushrooms Outdoors
Growing Portobello mushrooms outdoors differs little from growing them indoors. However, you do need to pay more attention to maintaining the correct temperature and sterilizing the materials. The temperature that the mushrooms are exposed to should not go over 70◦ F or fall below 50◦F. You will need the same materials you needed for growing mushrooms indoors. Additionally, you will also need cardboard and black plastic. Now you can begin growing your mushrooms outdoors.
Step 1: Raised Beds
For indoor growing, we used trays to contain the medium that the mushrooms grow in. When growing the mushrooms outdoors, you will need to raise a bed to grow the mushrooms in. The bed should be at least 4 feet in length, 4 feet wide and 8 inches deep. If your outdoor space allows for wider and longer beds, you can extend them to 6 x 8 feet. You can create the raised beds using logs, woods, or concrete blocks. Once you have made the beds, fill them with seasoned manure compost up to 6 inches, the same as you did with your indoor trays. However, you will need to cover the compost with cardboard and then black plastic that has been fastened to the edge of the bed for 2 weeks. This will create a solar radiation effect, which will help to sterilize the soil.
Crimini / Baby Bella / Portabella Mushroom Kit
Crimini /Baby Bella
The Crimini / Baby Bella / Portabella mushroom is one of the tastiest mushrooms ever grown. It is very versatile in its uses. When harvested young in the button stage it is called a crimini or baby bella and can be used in the same way as the regular white button mushroom. When harvested as a mature mushroom, with the gills exposed, it is called a Portabella. One of the nicest features of the Crimini is its high solid content. The Crimini / Baby Bella is probably 50%higher solid content than the white button mushroom. This unique feature makes this mushroom a meaty and wonderful mushroom to cook with. Crimini / Baby Bella caps can grow as small as 1 inches across to as large as 2-3 inches across, with the average size being 2 inches in diameter. These mushrooms when cooked can taste similar to eating meat and is often used as a meat substitute. Our mushroom kit grows several crops of these delicious mushroom. The first two crops are usually very large almost filling the box with mushrooms. The third crop is fairly big as well. The subsequent crops after that get smaller fruiting in clusters and lesser amounts, until the mushrooms finally stop. No matter what they are called they taste great. The kit is complete all you add is water. Kits are time sensitive and should be started within 10-21 days after there start date. Start dates can be delayed if the kit is refrigerated. These mushrooms are grown on pasteurized compost and do not smell. All mushroom kits can to some degree attract small fungus gnats this is normal. Shipping charges are calculated at time of check out. View our 2 videos at the bottom of this page.
Contains: Inoculated mushroom compost, casing and instructions. All you add is water. It is complete.
Best Temperature for Growing: 63 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit
Kit Instructions: See Mushroom Kit Instructions
Mushroom Kit Dimensions: Length 12″,Width 10″,Height 8″.
Mini Kit Dimensions: Length 9.5″,Width 7.25″,Height 7.5″.
Mushroom Kit Shipping Weight: 12lbs. / Grows up to 4 lbs of mushrooms total.
Mini Kit Shipping Weight: 6lbs. / Grows up to 2 lbs of mushrooms total.
Outer Boxing Available! Nondescript packaging: Choose “Plus Outer Box”. Your order will be placed in a second plain brown box so the recipient will not know what is being delivered. This feature can also help mushroom kits survive shipping during harsh, cold weather.
Choose “Plus Outer Box” in the product selection above.
Available from September 15 through May 5
Any orders placed prior to our opening date will not be shipped, but held and shipped when we open. This is necessary to ensure cooler temperature during shipping.
Our products grow best in cooler months. It’s too hot to ship and grow kits during the summer
Grow your own edible and medicinal portobello mushrooms with liquid culture
Agaricus bisporus, more commonly known as portobello mushroom or the
common mushroom, is native to the grasslands of Europe and North America.
When immature, Agaricus bisporus is the small button mushroom that we
commonly see in stores. It can either be white or brown when immature and is
known as the portobello when mature. One of the most widely consumed
mushrooms, it is cultivated in more than seventy countries worldwide. It is rich in
nutrients, containing B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid,
as well as phosphorus, potassium, copper, selenium and proteins. With its high
nutritional value, there are many health benefits to consuming Agaricus bisporus.
2. Energy boost*
3. Supports the cardiovascular system*
4. Detoxify the body*
Agaricus bisporus’ cap grows in a hemispherical shape until it flattens out at
maturity. It is 5-10cm in diameter with either a white or brown colored cap. It can
be grown on a mix of compost and manure and needs to be kept in the dark. It
likes a lot of humidity but should not be directly sprayed on.
Out-Grow is proud to present a full line of edible and medicinal mushroom
cultures. Economically priced so that everyone can enjoy the wonderful hobby
and benefits of mushroom cultivation. Our cultures are made by experts and are
100% clean and viable.
The liquid culture syringes are between 10 and 12cc and are ready to inject to
your substrate of choice such as sterilized rye berries.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure,
or prevent any disease.