Growing your own mushrooms is not only possible, but it's also a rewarding experience which is fun for people of any age!
Harvesting Lion's Mane mushrooms are also known as "Hou Tou Gu" or "Yamabushitake", and they grow in large, shaggy clusters of one or two "fruits", and can become quite large. Some say that they taste like crab meat!
To Get Those Mushrooms Growing
- Try to keep mushrooms in an area 65F- 75F.
- Prepare an area for the box to sit which has access to plenty of bright, indirect light
- Turn the box to the side, and remove the perforated cardboard window, revealing the mushroom substrate
- Using a sharp knife, cut an "X" in the plastic bag containing the substrate. Try to make it so that the X is around 2" long.
- Mist the "X" with water 2-3+ times a day until harvest
- In 7-14 days, mushroom primordia "pins" will start to develop in the area you made your cut
- Harvest Mushrooms when they are fully mature. Lion's Mane mushrooms tend to be ready for harvest 14-21 days after the primordia "pins" first appear.
How to tell when Lion's Mane Mushrooms are Ready to Harvest:
- Lion's Mane will stop growing larger when they're mature and ready.
- Another method to determine if they're ready to harvest would bet to look at the mushroom's "spines" - they will grow much longer, and will change from bright white to an off-yellow.
- Harvest before the mushroom turns a proper yellow.
- When harvested young, the mushroom will have a firmer appearance and texture. Mature fruits will be less dense.
To harvest: Place one or both hands on the cluster of mushrooms and proceed to gently twist/pull the mushrooms away from the substrate. Harvest all mushrooms at one, cook, and enjoy!
HOW TO GET ADDITIONAL HARVESTS
- Use a fork or similar object to scratch the surface of the substrate where the original "X" was cut. Fold back the plastic with one hand and use the fork to scrape off the top layer of mycelium.
- Remove the substrate bag from the box and place it in a large bowl to soak for 24-48 hours. Make sure the substrate is completely submerged under water during the soak. Use a heavy object like a plate, or a pan, to weigh down and hold the substrate under water.
- Let the substrate recover from the soak for 48 hours, and then re-soak for 24 additional hours to increase your chances of a successful harves.
- Replace the plastic bag into its box, placing it in the same warm, well-light area.
- Resume misting the "X" with water 2-3+ times a day until harvest.
- It can take up to 3-6 weeks for the mushrooms to begin to grow the second time around. Once mature, you can harvest them just as before.