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Home Mushroom Cultivation with Hydrogen Peroxide
An instruction manual in two volumes based on the use of peroxide in mushroom cultivation, by R.R. Wayne, Ph.D.
Now translated into Spanish - Romanian And announcing: An entirely new approach to mushroom growing
Non-Sterile Mushroom Cultivation Mushroom growing - a great pastime, but... Mushroom growing has the potential to be a fun and fascinating pastime. Our forests have provided many species of fungi that are both beautiful and delicious, and learning to cultivate them can revive our connection to nature and the earth. But if we have to buy a lot of equipment to sterilize substrate and clean the air of contaminants, growing mushrooms can lose its romance. And it can get absurdly complicated when cultures keep spoiling, despite our most elaborate precautions. Simplify! So why use hydrogen peroxide in mushroom growing? Hydrogen peroxide simplifies the whole process of growing fungi. There's no need to build a sterile laboratory, buy a special giant pressure cooker, or even construct a glove box. A low concentration of peroxide keeps out the contaminants, while allowing healthy growth of mushroom tissue. And as the mushroom tissue grows, it converts the peroxide to water and oxygen, leaving a clean, vigorous mushroom culture. Growing Mushrooms the Easy Way I performed my first experiments to test the peroxide idea in 1993, and it worked. Although the invention was patentable, I decided instead to offer the information to the public in the form of an instruction manual. The manual, now in two parts, is entitled Growing Mushrooms the Easy Way, Home Mushroom Cultivation with Hydrogen Peroxide. It is the product of nearly seven years' experimentation to perfect the procedures and find new applications for the peroxide method. The manual in all editions is now in the hands of mushroom growers in 80 countries around the world. In stepwise directions, the peroxide manual explains how to:
Grow mushroom cultures in an ordinary room. Handle cultures in the open air in a kitchen or non-sterile workshop. Protect cultures from bacteria, yeast, mold, and mushroom spores. Prepare mushroom cultures without an autoclave. Prepare bulk fruiting substrate at room temperature, without heating and cooling. Do away with costly filter-patch culture bags; use ordinary trashbags instead. Prepare sawdust-based mushroom spawn medium with just a ten minute steaming. Grow mushroom spawn and agar cultures on a bookshelf or in a closet.
Slideshow What's in Volume I of the peroxide manual? What's in Volume II of the peroxide manual? What's this about Non-Sterile Mushroom Cultivation? How do I order the manuals? Growers comment on the Peroxide Method FAQs on peroxide in mushroom growing Try it yourself! List of countries where growers have obtained the Peroxide Manual FAQs on mushroom cultivation Basics of mushroom cultivation Mushroom links, books, and vendors of cultures Updates for users of the peroxide manual Sources of supplies for the peroxide method About the Author Found a link that's not working? Please e-mail me.
You can see the halo of white mushroom tissue on the plate. already sterilized in the flame of the alcohol lamp nearby. but other mushroom species can be handled exactly the same way. with no air filtration in use. for cutting a chunk of agar culture from a peroxide plate to transfer the mushroom tissue (mycelium) to a jar of "10-minute spawn" medium. Virtually any commonly cultivated mushroom species can be grown on peroxide-treated nutrient agar Cutting agar to transfer mycelium Here I am using a metal X-acto knife. This is taken in my kitchen. a wood decomposer. After the agar solidifies and the plates are dried for a few days. although the photograph exaggerates the size of it relative to the size of the plate. The organism is Hericium erinaceus (Lions Mane). all in the open air of my kitchen.Pouring Agar Plates Here I'm pouring melted nutrient agar containing peroxide into a set of reusable plastic petri dishes. they are used for maintaining mushroom tissue cultures. .
suitable for cultivation of wood decomposing mushrooms. Jars of Ten Minute Spawn on a Bookshelf Here's the bookshelf where I grow my peroxide-treated "Ten Minute Spawn. A stack of peroxide-treated agar Petri dish cultures sits to the left. Spawn is essentially a mushroom "starter" culture used to inoculate the final mushroom-producing cultures." which will be used to inoculate the final bulk substrate for mushroom production. in this case wood pellet fuel and paper fiber pellets. Some species are better grown on sterilized grain spawn. The Ten Minute Spawn is a sawdust based medium. compared to at least 45 minutes to sterilize ordinary spawn in a pressure cooker. inside a plastic food storage bag. which can also be treated with peroxide after pressure-cooking to destroy the peroxide-decomposing . As always. The medium contains materials chosen to be compatible with peroxide. using a flame-sterilized X-acto knife for the transfer. The Ten-minute spawn is so-named because it takes only 10 minutes to steam it.Inoculating mushroom spawn Here I'm inoculating a jar "Ten-minute spawn" medium in the open air with a chunk of mycelium from an agar culture of Hericium erinaceus. there is no air filtration in use.
ultraviolet lights. To measure the peroxide concentration in the bottles you get from the store. and a cool space. If you are just a beginner at mushroom growing. some fresh trash bags. a hand mister. a couple of pots for boiling water. less reliably. you will probably want a pressure cooker for making agar plates (although they can be made. etc. without it). whether or not you use the peroxide method. foot washes. some small boxes. Some mushroom growing equipment for the peroxide method Here's some of my basic equipment for the peroxide method: a bag of pellet fuel (in this case oak. Later you may want a fan and an automatic misting system. some petri dishes. You will NOT need a glove box.enzymes present in the raw grain. air locks. There are even forms of grain that can be prepared with a brief steaming much like the Ten Minute Spawn. but these tend to be much more expensive than raw grain. jars with lids. laminar flow hoods. a small scale or balance for weighing. for measuring peroxide. a bottle of 3% peroxide solution. a sterile laboratory. and a 500 ml graduated cylinder with a 10 ml measuring pipette inside. a 5-gallon bucket with lid for mixing substrate. etc. an alcohol lamp. and a balloon. from Pennington Seed). you will also need a small test tube with a lip. For some suggestions on obtaining the supplies used in the peroxide manual if you live in the US or the UK. visit my Sources page Testing peroxide concentration . HEPA filters.
because it is completely peroxide-compatible. Once all the peroxide has broken down. The test tube received a few milliliters of hydrogen peroxide solution. free of enzymes that break down hydrogen peroxide. Crown™ Animal Bedding or Good Mews™ Cat litter). Pellet fuel is an ideal substrate for the peroxide method. Some mushrooms. the sawdust derived from milling of kiln-dried lumber. headless. which has now decomposed to release oxygen. Fussy Puss™ litter). with all the action performed in the open air.This shows my simple test for peroxide concentration---necessary because stock solutions can lose their punch. filling the balloon. paper pulp. additive-free composite logs (in the UK. or steam it 24 hours. grow best on compost. such as white buttons and their relatives. You can use straw and similar drainable materials (details in Volume II of the manual). and clean cardboard. my fingers are holding in place a fat rubber band wrapped around the mouth of the balloon to keep a tight seal on the tube. Any other porous substrate commonly used for mushroom growth. Although you can't see it in this picture. the balloon is carefully removed and the oxygen is measured by releasing it into an inverted graduated cylinder filled with water Inoculating Pellet Fuel Mushroom Substrate Here I am. inoculating a 5 gallon bucket of peroxide-treated oak pellet fuel substrate with a jar of elm oyster "Ten minute spawn. . paper fiber pellets (in the US." As usual. although I am investigating ways to improve compost making with the help of peroxide. or bake it for several hours at 275-300 degrees F (150 degrees C). this is taken in my kitchen. Clean Heat™ logs). or certain peroxide-compatible porous woody materials such as sawdust-based cat litter (in the UK. will work with peroxide if you first pressure-sterilize the substrate. to destroy the peroxidedecomposing enzymes present in it. which can generally be prepared without peroxide. such as raw sawdust. But pellet fuel is far from being the only substrate that works.
Of course. There is no filter on the bag for gas exchange. rather than before. Jars of "Ten Minute Spawn" in the background. In some cases. some mushrooms may be grown in beds rather than in bags. And there are various alternatives to using bags. I put a small slit in the side of the bag. peroxide-treated substrate and sealed with a twist tie. it may be more convenient to add spawn to the bags after filling.Bagging Pellet Fuel Mushroom Substrate Here I'm pouring inoculated. This is taken in my kitchen. I leave the bag in the cardboard box until the mycelium knits the substrate together. When the culture is ready to form mushrooms. as the thin plastic allows enough oxygen to diffuse through to the culture. Mushroom substrate. and the mushrooms grow out the slit . bagged and sealed This is what my wood-decomposing mushroom cultures look like after the trash bag is filled with inoculated. such as plastic buckets with loose fitting lids. peroxide-treated pellet fuel substrate from a 5 gallon bucket into a fresh plastic "tall kitchen bag" supported by a cardboard box. No HEPA filters or glove box in sight.
Texas.Mushrooms Grown by the Peroxide Method Enoki and King Oyster mushrooms grown with peroxide by White Rock Creek Mushrooms in Hillsboro. Texas. . Photo courtesy of Joe Durham. Photo courtesy of Joe Durham. Lions Mane photo courtesy of Joe Durham. Shiitake mushrooms grown with peroxide by White Rock Creek Mushrooms in Hillsboro. Lions Mane and Almond mushrooms grown with peroxide.The Results -.
Photo courtesy of Joe Durham.Maitake mushrooms grown with peroxide by White Rock Creek Mushrooms in Hillsboro. Texas. This is what it is all about! .
using peroxide at room temperature. and kiln-dried sawdust. rather than pressure sterilization. This is one of the fastest methods of making mushroom spawn yet devised.Frequently Asked Questions Click the link. And. you can prepare sawdust cultures without pressure sterilizing either the bulk substrate or the supplements. or scroll down the page. What are the additional advantages of the peroxide method? What are the limitations of peroxide use in mushroom growing? What are the different ways a mushroom grower can use peroxide? Can I use peroxide for growing mushrooms on straw or compost? What substrates can I use for mushroom growing with peroxide? What mushrooms can I grow in the presence of peroxide? How effective is peroxide treatment in mushroom cultivation? How safe is peroxide use in mushroom culture? Can peroxide be used for certified "organic" growing of mushrooms? What equipment do I need to grow mushrooms using the peroxide method? Can the peroxide method be used to grow mushrooms commercially? What are the comparative costs of growing mushrooms with peroxide? How do I order the peroxide manual? Mushroom Growing FAQs Mushroom Growing Basics What are the additional advantages of using peroxide in mushroom cultivation? With peroxide. With peroxide. and it gives the details on how to select appropriate materials and supplements. The spawn can then be grown on a bookshelf in your home. You can even do it without heating the substrate. since you can use any of a variety of large pots with fitted lids instead. To do this. . Volume II of the manual presents an "add-and-stir" protocol for preparing peroxide-compatible porous substrates such as pellet fuel. rather than in a sterile laboratory. the amount of spawn you can make isn't limited by the size of your pressure cooker. you can make sawdust spawn medium from wood pellet fuel with just a ten minute steaming. Volume I of the peroxide manual describes a simple pellet fuel procedure with a boiling-water pasteurization. you will need to use peroxide-compatible starting materials such as wood pellet fuel and selected nitrogen supplements.Peroxide in Mushroom Growing . paper fiber pellets.
or in reusable plastic buckets with lids. they can be mixed with the substrate and treated with it. and probably also the sawdust derived from milling of kiln-dried lumber. etc. a number of "drainable" materials can be prepared readily with peroxide despite the enzymes. For mushroom mycelium to grow in the presence of peroxide. nonallergenic. this means pressure sterilizing. Clean newsprint. With current technology.Peroxide can do away with costly filter-patch culture bags for bulk substrate. so you can grow agar cultures in the same building you use to fruit your mushrooms. easy to handle. Peroxide kills contaminants without encouraging new resistant strains.The heat and pressure used to create such pellets destroys the peroxide-decomposing enzymes. non-volatile. kill only bacteria. using the peroxide method prevents use of commercial spawn. Added peroxide keeps cultures from going anaerobic (breakdown of the added peroxide by the mushroom mycelium releases oxygen). cardboard. and wood chips (see Volume II of the manual for details).). low toxicity. (Antibiotics. to enrich substrate for oyster mushrooms following the "Add-and-stir" procedure in Volume II of the peroxide manual. and can select for antibiotic resistant mutants). non-irritating. In some circumstances. baking. stable. However. which lack the peroxide-decomposing enzymes found in traditional supplements. Wood pellet fuel is sawdust that has been made into hard dry pellets that can be burned in special pellet stoves. most soft-textured raw nitrogen supplements (such as bran. or prolonged steaming. it must be . paper fiber pellets (e. readily available. Therefore. Also. even if the mushrooms produce a high spore load. Because of their enzyme content. Peroxide kills mushroom spores. These materials include straw and similar plant remains. cornmeal. This makes it possible to pack sawdust-based substrate more tightly. and paper pulp can also accept peroxide as can the woody material in composite logs. and environmentally benign. entirely biodegradable. wood pellet fuel. However. Instead. sometimes added to agar medium. seed and nut hulls. my recent research has shown that steel cut oats can be used without sterilization despite their enzyme content. do not have to be baked or pressure sterilized (see Volume I of the manual for details). certain processed supplements. and some kinds of kiln-dried sawdust can accept peroxide without pressure sterilizing. Grow cultures in ordinary trashbags (placed inside boxes) right out of the package.g. mechanically dispensable. Crown™ Animal Bedding or Good Mews™ cat litter. creating a denser substrate favored by many species. Hydrogen peroxide in 3% solution is inexpensive. Finally. etc. What are the limitations of peroxide use in mushroom growing? Enzymes in raw sawdust will destroy peroxide in short order.) still need to be baked or pressure sterilized before adding them to peroxide-treated bulk substrate. odorless. cottonseed meal. something has to be done to eliminate these enzymes before peroxide can be usefully added to sawdust.
Volume II of the manual contains substratepreparation procedures designed for any scale of use. The procedures described in Volume I of the peroxide manual are scaled to hobby use. the peroxide will disappear by decomposition sometime after the grower drains off the soaking solution. No need for heat-resistant space bags. can be pasteurized with a peroxide soak and then inoculated with commercial spawn. Without this adaptation process. There are two drawbacks of peroxide for liquid culture. and some may prove awkward to use on larger scales. No need for glove boxes or sterile facilities to keep out contaminants. however. Add peroxide to supplemented wood pellet fuel substrate or other peroxide-compatible materials (procedures described in both volumes of the manual). For instance. it is best to start them first on nonperoxide medium and then transfer the mycelium to peroxide agar. straw. Prepare straw and similar substrates by a simple soak-and-drain procedure (procedure described in Volume II of the manual). the mycelium grows freely in peroxide-treated bulk substrate. or break them up and use as spawn to inoculate straw. allowing growth of the non-adapted mycelium in the peroxide-treated substrate. peroxide will strongly inhibit or even kill mycelium at the concentrations used to prepared bulk substrate. compost. Use the resulting cultures for fruiting mushrooms. One is that blenderized mycelium has to be used to inoculate liquid cultures. etc. Use the resulting cultures to inoculate spawn and to maintain the mycelium. There are. the peroxide concentration will steadily fall as mushroom tissue circulates through the medium during the course of ordinary growth. logs.adapted to peroxide at a low concentration. those materials which contain active peroxidedecomposing enzymes. . Spawn sold commercially has generally not been adapted to peroxide. if you don't have an autoclave. Use the resulting spawn to inoculate sawdust. for growers interested in the commercial applications of the peroxide method. The other drawback is that. But when properly adapted. such as straw and similar drainable "raw" substrates. certain exceptions to this rule. Blenderizing releases peroxidedecomposing enzymes previously encapsulated in the mycelial cells. 3) For bulk substrate. compost.. What are the different ways a mushroom grower can use hydrogen peroxide? 1) For petri dish cultures of mycelium: add peroxide to your agar medium. Procedures for doing this are now included in Volume II of the peroxide manual. decomposing peroxide as it goes. Nevertheless. usually by incubation of a sample of mycelium on peroxide-treated nutrient agar for a period of roughly two weeks. etc. logs. If you want to germinate mushroom spores. In these substrates. causing peroxide to decompose in the medium. or they may not work at all at those scales. assuming one could overcome the first problem. No need for a laminar flow hood or a spawn laboratory. Sawdust spawn made from pellet fuel cooks in ten minutes. so it will normally fail to thrive when inoculated into peroxide-treated substrate. 2) For spawn making: add peroxide to your spawn medium.
Although one might be able to control such mold or pathogen growth with peroxide. If compost (or straw) is your preferred substrate. even after it heats up to temperatures high enough to kill insects and weed seeds.com for more information on what makes good compost. Although straw contains peroxide-decomposing enzymes that will rapidly do away with any peroxide you add. This diversity of microoganisms should protect the mushrooms from molds and pathogens. No need for air filtration. however. In addition. perhaps because it was allowed to get too hot. can be prepared very easily by room temperature methods using peroxide. The appearance of significant mold growth during the colonization of compost by mushroom tissue is a likely sign that the compost lacks an important set of microorganisms. <> What substrates can I use to grow mushrooms with peroxide? You can use straw and similar drainable materials. and nut and seed hulls (details in Volume II of the . The most recent procedures for whole straw are incorporated into Volume II of the manual. See Dr. if you do have an autoclave (or if you plan on baking or lengthy steam pasteurization). Properly made compost should have a tremendous diversity of microorganisms in it. wood chips. Can I use peroxide to grow mushrooms on straw or compost? Yes. most mushrooms that grow on straw or compost will also grow on wood pellet fuel or similar peroxide-compatible materials prepared by the peroxide method (as are the almond mushrooms shown below) although the overall yield may be lower for some species. This is because compost is by nature not a sterile substrate. despite the enzymes. There is little use for peroxide in preparation of compost. Elaine Ingham's fascinating website. Soilfoodweb.4) For bulk substrate cultures. a better solution is to correct the procedure for compost preparation. Add peroxide to your own favorite substrate mix at the time of inoculation. you can still use peroxide to maintain agar cultures and prepare spawn. reduces overall rate of contamination. my recent experiments show that straw (and presumably other similar drainable substrates) as well as pelleted straw.
. Hypsizygus tessulatus (shimeji). I personally have used peroxide successfully to keep agar cultures and prepare spawn of Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster). Texas. or certain peroxide-compatible porous woody materials. Lentinula edodes (shiitake). and Grifola frondosa (maitake).manual). Agaricus subrufescens (almond mushroom). will work with peroxide if you first pressure-sterilize the substrate to destroy the peroxide-decomposing enzymes present in it. pelleted straw. and clean cardboard. Fussy Puss™ litter). the sawdust derived from milling of kiln-dried lumber (oyster mushrooms only). paper pulp. Clean Heat™ logs). Crown™ Animal Bedding or Good Mews™ Cat litter). What mushrooms can I grow in the presence of peroxide? King Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus eryngii) grown by the peroxide method at White Rock Creek Mushrooms in Hillsboro. Coprinus comatus (shaggy mane). Pleurotus eryngii (King Oyster). Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) and morel mycelium. and it is highly likely that any mushrooms that otherwise can be cultivated can be grown this way. Photo courtesy of Joe Durham. Every mushroom species I have tested can be grown in the presence of peroxide. such as raw sawdust. Hypsizygus ulmarius (white elm mushroom or elm oyster). additive-free composite logs (in the UK. such as wood pellet fuel (sawdust made into hard dry pellets). sawdust-based cat litter (in the UK. paper fiber pellets (in the US. Others have used peroxide to grow Psilocybe species (in countries where it is legal to do so). Hericium erinaceus (Lions' Mane). Any other porous substrate commonly used for mushroom growth.
healthy halos of mycelium. Canada. Finally. and some may find it acceptable as an alternative to compost in Agaricus cultivation. ulmarius. With bulk substrate. a very dangerous. H. Agar cultures containing hydrogen peroxide give fine. produces small amounts of dioxin. So far. environmentalists are campaigning to get paper companies to bleach their paper fiber with peroxide rather than chlorine. Indeed. How effective is peroxide treatment in mushroom growing? I am currently able to grow grain or sawdust spawn consistently without contamination. hydrogen peroxide is chemically quite stable in sterilized mushroom substrates. the favored substrate for these species. around the world. In addition. There is little practical use for peroxide in the production of compost. and A. yeasts. I have not yet heard opinions from certifying organizations in any other locations. subrufescens. I have seen absolutely no evidence of any mutagenic or toxic effect of peroxide-treated mushroom substrate on the mycelium or fruiting bodies. Much of the peroxide found in nature is created spontaneously by ultraviolet light falling on water. and the concentration of peroxide we're using is so low that the amount of substrate oxidation going on has to be very low indeed. There is some question as to the effect peroxide oxidation may have on the mushroom substrate itself. Canada. and another correspondent tells me that peroxide is allowed as a "disinfectant" for organic certification in British Columbia. and the final fruiting cultures produce mushrooms as beautiful as any grown by traditional methods. thousands of proponents of a system of healing called oxygen therapy ingest peroxide solution on a daily basis to cure various ills and promote vitality. my success rate in preventing contamination currently runs around 99% when I follow the protocols set forth in the manual. white button mushrooms. This means that aerobic organisms most likely have developed metabolic machinery to deal safely with the oxidation products that result from the reaction of peroxide with biological materials. The mycelia of certain mushrooms produce their own peroxide to help break down the woody substrates the organisms encounter. cancercausing chemical. and mold. Can peroxide be used for certified "organic" growing of mushrooms? Organic certification standards vary from one place to another. protecting it from bacteria. P. eryngii. As a result. etc. there can be no trace of the added peroxide left in the mushroom crop. living organisms have evolved for millions of years with hydrogen peroxide both in and around them. usually only on older plates at the edges where the peroxide has largely disappeared. Chlorine. erinaceus. beyond what is naturally there due to metabolic processes. the almond mushroom. Portabellos. . hydrogen peroxide itself is found naturally in all aerobic living organisms and in a variety of natural environments. How safe is peroxide use in mushroom culture? The peroxide added to mushroom cultures decomposes entirely to water and oxygen as the mushroom mycelium occupies the substrate. Agaricus species such as crimini. With agar cultures. although it was lower in the early days of my experimentation with peroxide because of my own inexperience with mushroom growing. Each has different characteristics and requirements. but others have used the method to grow shiitake successfully.The mushroom species I have grown most often are H. And peroxide is even a part of the healing defenses of the human organism. Moreover. but straw can be readily prepared with the help of peroxide.) or undetected spoiling of certain ingredients. I get occasional mold colonies. the only exceptions being gross errors on my part (getting my finger in the container. and as a result. I have heard from one correspondent that peroxide is acceptable for organic growing in Ontario. and the almond portabello (Agaricus blazei) can all be grown with the help of peroxide for agar culture and spawn making. From time immemorial. I have not ruled out this possibility. I am not a shiitake grower. when it reacts with organic materials like paper pulp. it is conceivable that peroxide could produce some other harmful substance when it reacts with the organic materials in mushroom substrates. For one thing. honeybees have secreted enzymes which add peroxide to their nectar. and some people have done so for many years. or dropping a lid. Still. but I consider it unlikely. and imparting antibacterial properties to the resulting honey. Hydrogen peroxide does not produce dioxin.
You will NOT need a glove box. For some suggestions on obtaining the supplies used in the peroxide manual if you live in the US or the UK. jars with lids. To measure the peroxide concentration in the bottles you get from the store. . you will probably want a pressure cooker for making agar plates (although they can be made. some petri dishes. a small scale or balance for weighing. an alcohol lamp. foot washes. whether or not you use the peroxide method.What equipment do I need to grow mushrooms using the peroxide method? Handling and measuring the peroxide itself requires only a measuring pipette (10 ml volume) and a graduated cylinder (probably 100 ml volume). and a cool space. ultraviolet lights. a sterile laboratory. air locks. and a larger container such as a five gallon plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid. some small boxes. HEPA filters. etc. Later you may want a fan and an automatic misting system. a second pot such as a teapot to boil water for pasteurizing containers. Preparing and handling bulk pellet fuel substrate by the methods described in the peroxide manual requires a covered pot for boiling and cooling water. you will also need a small test tube with a lip. without it). visit my Sources page. a hand mister. some fresh trash bags. less reliably. Can the peroxide method be used to grow mushrooms commercially? Golden Trumpet mushrooms grown by the peroxide method at White Rock Creek Mushrooms in Hillsboro. laminar flow hoods. If you are just a beginner at mushroom growing. etc. Texas. Photo courtesy of Joe Durham. and a balloon.
whereas heat resistant bags cost anywhere from $. Your amortized cost of equipment is also very low. which may take time to optimize for yields comparable to traditional substrates. and I have bought oak pellet fuel for $120 a ton (50 bags). including pellet fuel ($0. bag in my area of the US. but it is also possible to get discounts for large quantities. and preparing mushroom spawn.02). Volume II of the peroxide manual presents two peroxide methods for preparing bulk mushroom substrate in any quantity at room temperature. if you are using pellet fuel with peroxide. even when compared to commercial set-ups using expensive contamination control systems. However. Albert Bates of Mushroom People wrote an article on shiitake production for the Fungus Digest--now defunct--that estimated $2. my blocks cost about $0. autoclaves.50 per block). down to $0. especially compared to the costs of air filtering equipment and pressure cookers. bags ($0.80 each (if you buy just a few for hobby use). Perhaps some of this difference should be balanced against the experimental nature of the peroxide substrates.06). rather than the special heat resistant space bags usually used for pressure cooking sawdust.12 to $0. all crucial aspects of commercial cultivation as well.04 each for trash bags from the grocery store. with boiling water pasteurization of pellet fuel. and energy use ($0.14 per mushroom block. or $0. But this in turn should be balanced against the reduced contamination rate that can be expected using peroxide.00-4. you can easily make your own spawn without a laboratory using the peroxide method. These methods are well suited to commercial cultivation. This works out to about $0. perhaps saving you the cost of the lab or the purchase price of spawn ($10 to $20 for every five to six pounds). supplements ($0. storing strains. In addition.50 per block for shiitake cultivation with traditional methods (for example. my own spawn ($0.06 a pound dry weight. I pay $0.00 retail per 40 lb. What are the comparative costs of growing mushrooms with peroxide and pellet fuel? Pellet fuel costs about $3.Yes. or steam chambers. you can use ordinary trash bags to hold your substrate. lime ($0.15 each (if you buy them in great quantities for commercial use). you avoid lengthy pressure sterilization (or lengthier steaming). Both volumes of the manual present peroxide methods for maintaining tissue cultures.25 to $2.04).05). so your energy costs are very low.01?). peroxide ($0. . All told.01).14). Finally.33 each. This is a significant expense if you can get sawdust for free. This compares to estimates I have seen ranging from $1.
(To make sure your peroxide solution still has some punch. Sterilize a measuring pipette or steep it in boiling hot water for a minute. After adding peroxide to the agar. When your plates have solidified.Growing Mushrooms with Hydrogen Peroxide -. take the tops off a couple of them and let them sit in the open air for a while. The solution should fizz vigorously). Add 6 to 8 mls 3% hydrogen peroxide to one liter of your favorite agar medium. Then close them up and incubate for a week or two. Then pour your plates. but you'll still need to flame your scalpel as you ordinarily would. Check back in a week or so. pour a little into a small glass and add a bit of banana. then let the hot agar cool down. then cool. How are they doing? For best results with regular use. First pressure cook the medium for the standard length of time. perhaps an hour. you'll need to measure the actual concentration of peroxide in your solution. (Petri dishes should be sterile). Wrap the inoculated plates in a plastic "food storage" bag and incubate. and that you're not . You can work in the open air. See any colonies? Meanwhile. before using it to transfer peroxide. inoculate some of the other plates with your favorite mushroom mycelium. mix it in thoroughly with a swirling motion. to make sure that you have enough.Try It! Try it yourself. until you can handle the container comfortably.
How feasible will it be? I live in a hot climate. For outdoor growing. How can I do it? I want to start a mushroom growing business. I describe the proper procedures in detail in the peroxide manual. You'll also need to "clean" the mycelium of occult contaminants that build up after a few transfers.overdosing your cultures (I use different concentrations for spawn and bulk substrate). or truffles. you prepare an outdoor space according to specifications and inoculate with morel spawn. or else you'll eventually be transferring bacteria instead of mycelium. at least in any quantity. What mushrooms can I grow? How long does it take to grow mushrooms? What books are there that tell how to grow mushrooms? Can morels be cultivated? How can I grow them? Yes." With these. matsutake. Can morels be cultivated? How can I grow them? I want to grow chantrelles. some companies are selling morel "kits. Then. but these mushrooms are still among the most difficult to grow. Mushroom Growing Frequently Asked Questions Click the link or scroll down. mushroom growers have worked out ways to cultivate morels. . Boletus edulis.
Morel spores germinate very quickly. The almond mushroom. visit the web site of the Mushroom Growers' Newsletter. Volvariella volvacea and its close relative Volvariella bombecina. I want to start a mushroom growing business. The medicinal Reishi mushroom. covering an agar plate in 3 days or so. How feasible will it be? The business of mushroom growing is not a simple one. eventually producing truffles. But because of unsuitable weather conditions for truffle growth in Oregon recently. I live in a hot climate. and the mycelium grows faster than virtually any other mushroom mycelium. grow best at temperatures between 75 and 95 degrees F (24-35 degrees C). The one exception is truffles. The King Stropharia. The Paddy Straw mushroom. keeping equipment functioning. Stropharia . among others. to be successful at mushroom growing. or truffles. For more on the business of mushroom growing. Boletus edulis. it is far more difficult to grow a large number of mushrooms for commercial sale.if you are lucky and weather conditions cooperate. where tree seedlings have been successfully inoculated with spores from European truffles. Ganoderma lucidum. excluding contaminants. Although it is easy to grow a few mushrooms for home consumption. visit www. I want to grow chantrelles. And even if you succeed in growing the kind of crop you need to make money. (For information on acquiring truffle tree seedlings. you need to be determined and you need to be good at improvising and solving problems. regulating climate and ventilation. What mushrooms can I grow? [Back to Mushroom FAQs menu] There are several commonly cultivated strains of mushrooms that grow well in hot weather. How can I do it? All of these species require association with a live tree to produce mushrooms. Agar cultures of morel mycelium and morel spawn can both be prepared by the peroxide method following the same procedures used for other mushrooms. only chantrelles have been grown "in captivity. fruits at temperatures above 75 degrees F (24 degrees C). and the Florida oyster. although the mycelium should not get above 90 degrees F. it may be a number of years before this possibility can be clearly confirmed or disproven. There is also little evidence that any of the first three of these species can be deliberately introduced into a chosen outdoor plot where they are not already growing. So. you may run into other obstacles like high insurance prices and unreliable markets. is a warm grower. either by spore slurries or mycelial transfer. The reasons include problems of maintaining reliable supplies of substrates and supplements.truffletrees. which makes them poor candidates for cultivation. and the trees have been grown to maturity in the US. excluding insects and rodents. maintaining production schedules. keeping stock cultures healthy and viable." and then only by heroic measures which the hobbyist will not likely duplicate. prefers warm weather (75 degrees F/24 degrees C). and managing space requirements. Agaricus subrufescens. you may see morels the following season. dealing with waste. a strain of Pleurotus ostreatus. But the difficulty with morels is getting the mushrooms to form.com. Of these four.) There is also some indication that Oregon white and black truffles can be introduced into suitable groves of Douglas fir trees by spore slurry inoculation. matsutake.
including the stage of mushroom growing you want to start with. it takes about two to three weeks for standard oyster mushrooms to reach fruiting stage. Covers cultivation of 31 species. the kind of substrate you are using. the mushroom species. from oyster mushrooms (several chapters) to shiitake to portobellos.rugosa-annulata also fruits only when temperatures rise. remember that they all still need significant humidity. and the specific mushroom strain. and a similar length of time for Lions Mane (although I prefer to incubate them longer before letting them fruit). What books are there that tell how to grow mushrooms? Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. for example) to spread across the better part of the plate.) In general. This is the best available book on cultivating wood decomposing mushrooms by traditional (that is. (Thicker. whereas the Elm Oyster takes six weeks. 3rd Edition by Paul Stamets. fleshier mushrooms tend to form and mature more slowly than others. Ask around! Although these mushrooms can all do well at warmer temperatures. If you start with a ready-made kit. depending on the species. . there may be mushrooms native to your area that people are cultivating. non-peroxide) methods. it can take from a week to a month for mushrooms to form. the temperature. Using a chunk of agar culture to inoculate small jar of spawn. it can take 2-4 weeks for the spawn to reach maturity (1-2 weeks if you inoculate the spawn with other spawn). Beyond that. the more optimum the substrate. the temperature. How long does it take to grow mushrooms? The answer to this question depends on several things. A culture of mushroom mycelium growing on a petri dish of nutrient agar can take 24 hours (for morels) to upwards of a month (for Agaricus species and Stropharia Rugosa-annulata. of course. mushroom spores can take from a few hours to several days to germinate. already grown-through with mushroom mycelium. (This all can be accomplished more quickly using liquid inoculation techniques). the faster the mushroom mycelium and the forming mushrooms will grow. If you start with a quantity of spawn and fresh bulk substrate. the method of inoculation. and any other relevant growing conditions. and shiitake can take longer. This new edition of Stamets's definitive text has been expanded by over 150 pages compared to the 2nd edition. Starting at the very beginning.
The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home. . If you are going to grow shiitake mushrooms. This book is somewhat dated. by Paul Stamets and J. you should definitely have this book in your collection. Shiitake Growers Handbook : The Art and Science of Mushroom Cultivation by Paul Przybylowicz and John Donoghue. but still the best reference available on growing Agaricus and other compost-loving species by traditional methods.S. Chilton.