Congratulations! You have reached the first step of starting your venture into fungi culture and supporting sustainable food production!
We are excited to welcome you into the wonderful world of urban farming. Your white elm oyster mushroom growing kit is unlike any other because it provides the living grain spawn separately to the substrate.
This is great and a valuable learning curve because you are able to carry out inoculation yourself. You can fully immerse yourself into the mushroom growing experience. This also ensures freshness and vigorous growth. Whether you consider yourself green-fingered or not, having a go at this kit is the first big step towards becoming a fully-fledged Urban Farmer. Once you start, it will quickly become a lifestyle and passion!
The substrate Pleurotus ostreatus var. Florida, commonly known as the white elm oyster mushroom, is a species of fungus in the Pleurotaceae family.
They were first grown in Germany as a subsistence measure during the first World War and is now grown commercially around the world for food.
In the box you should find:
- White liner- To waterproof your box and create a great growing environment
- Black substrate bag- A heat resistant bag containing the material that the mushrooms breakdown and use for food
- Information pack with skeleton instructions
You’ll also need:
- 3 litres of boiling water – This is for pasteurising the substrate.
- Clothes peg or sticky tape- This is to secure your substrate bag.
- Sharp knife – You need this to cut grow holes in the substrate bag.
- Mist sprayer – This is for keeping your young mushrooms well-watered. Please note this must be new with no contaminants.
How To Use Your Mushrooms
Mushroom Cooking Guide:
Prior to cooking, oyster mushrooms should be prepared by removing the tough stem ends as these are extremely chewy. However, these are great for making mushroom stock!
Oyster mushrooms are best eaten fresh. However, you can store them in the fridge for several days. If you would like to store long term, then drying is best!
White elm oyster mushrooms are very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be sliced and cooked in soups, mixed into sauces, sautéed and served over steak, cooked into omelettes, sprinkled over pizza, or cooked and served on toast. They can also be stir-fried with other vegetables, baked in a tart, or sautéed until crispy and made into a crumbled pieces.
When you think they are done, cook them some more!
Frequently Asked Questions
During the fruiting stage, Insufficient air circulation will result in misshaped mushrooms with long stems and thin caps. If this occurs, remove the deformed mushrooms and move to a better ventilated location.
Lack of light in the fruiting stage can cause coral-like growths instead of mushrooms. The light intensity and temperature will directly impact the colour intensity of the mushrooms. We recommend placing them in indirect sunlight such as on top of a high bookshelf.
Be careful not to overwater your mushrooms. We recommend spraying them once or twice a day to make sure they have moisture but ensure they aren’t sitting in standing water – this will encourage mould and rot.
If 30 days after opening the box (step 8) your kit hasn’t produced mushrooms, it may be because your ambient temperature is too high. In this situation, we recommend placing your kit in the fridge for 24hrs to provide cold shock and trigger fruiting.
Oyster mushrooms produce a lot of spores. These have been known to cause allergies in some people. Picking mushrooms before they mature minimises the risk of a reaction. Do not consume if a different species has grown or the mushroom fruit has gone bad. Please take sterilisation and cleanliness seriously to avoid contamination. This is the most likely cause of the failure of your kit. If you see mould or unrecognisable growth, do not consume.
For extra support, hints and tips. You can register for free to the Urban Farmer members’ area of the website.