All of our kits are made from a blend of locally sourced, all-natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients from farms in New England and North America.
That's not mold. That's mycelium!
Your kit includes an amended sawdust block fully colonized with mushroom mycelium. It may appear covered with a soft, white, mold-like substance - that's the mushroom mycelium! It is completely normal. The mycelium of some species is more prominent than others.
The classic North Spore recipe is to chop the Oyster mushrooms and sauté them in a heavy pan on medium heat with butter, garlic, and loads of fresh thyme and rosemary (or whatever other herbs you happen to have on hand!). Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, then continue cooking until that liquid has cooked off and the mushrooms begin to brown. This can take from 20-30 minutes. Deglaze your pan with a splash of white wine, reduce once more, and finish with a touch of heavy cream. Season generously with salt.
Oyster mushrooms have a high protein content, several B vitamins, and all the essential amino acids (Marley, 2009). Their medicinal benefits include promoting anti-tumor activity and lowering high cholesterol. Oyster mushroom fruiting bodies and distillations have been shown to reduce tumor size in several studies on mice, rats, and hamsters (Hobbs, 1995). Additionally, Oyster mushrooms have been used in the Czech Republic as the main ingredient in a dietary supplement used to treat high cholesterol (Hobbs, 1995). Studies in animals have shown that a diet of Oyster mushrooms reduced the development of plaque in major arteries (Bobek et al., 1995).
1) Inside this box is an amended sawdust block that has been completely colonized by mushroom mycelium. Open the front of your kit along the perforated line and dispose of the remaining cardboard.
2) Slice an 'X' into the plastic underneath with a sharp knife or scissors.
3) Fill the sprayer included in your kit with tap water and spritz the plastic where you sliced your 'X' shape. Spritz your kit at least twice daily - more if you're in a particularly dry climate. (If your mushrooms start to grow but dry up and die, your growing conditions may be too dry and you should make a humidity tent! See instructions below).
4) Place your kit in the most humid part of your home and outside of direct sunlight. We suggest putting it on a kitchen counter close to a sink. The mushroom mycelium will sense the oxygen in the air and produce mushroom 'pins,' another term for 'baby mushrooms.' This will usually begin to happen within two weeks of slicing the plastic.
5) Harvest before the caps flatten out and become concave. Mushrooms grow quickly, so when you spot your first pins keep an eye on them. The warmer the environment the faster they will grow. Mushrooms should be ready to harvest 2-5 days after pin formation.
How to make a humidity tent:
Simply take a trash bag or other loosely fitting plastic bag and put PLENTY of 1/2 inch holes in it (THIS IS IMPORTANT: Mushrooms exhale CO2 and inhale oxygen. They will suffocate themselves if there isn’t adequate airflow! Golden Oysters that look stringy or strange are usually growing that way because they need more air!). Spray the slice at least once per day with the included spray bottle. If you choose to use a humidity tent make sure to spray the inside of the tent once per day to maintain humidity.
IMPORTANT: Cautions & Considerations
If you’re going to consume home-grown mushrooms, make sure to cook your fresh mushrooms thoroughly with heat. If it is your first time eating this species, it is best to start with a small amount to check for allergies, even if cooked.
Mushrooms grow spores as they develop. This is a natural means of reproduction. This is when people with allergies or compromised immune systems may want to consider putting fruiting mushroom kits outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Spores in mushrooms sometimes cause respiratory irritation. In rare cases, spores may also cause irritation for some non-allergic or non-immunocompromised mushroom growers. If you are one of them, it is recommended to reduce the overall spore load by harvesting mushrooms while they are still in their younger growth stages.