This culture is a warm fruiting Shiitake and can fruit above 18°C (~65°F). It should be able to fruit at about 50-75/80°F.
This product may take up to 3 weeks to ship but most of the time will ship in 1-2 weeks. Please be aware of the lag before ordering. You will get an email with tracking 1 day before shipping, if you need to delay the order contact MMM ASAP to reschedule the order ship date.
Please see below the instructions for considerations about home grown food products and mushroom spores.
Instructions for use:
This information is specific to Shiitake.
- Check your block upon arrival to make sure there are no tears or signs of mold from shipping. If the block has broken into pieces during shipping, gently press the block together and let sit 3-5 days undisturbed before moving to step 2.
- Let the block finish maturing. After 1-6 weeks the block will begin to “popcorn” where bulbs form on the outside and it will also begin to brown on the outside (sometimes getting nearly completely brown).
- Induce pinning: To induce pinning the best option is to first slap the block and then put into the fridge for 12-24 hours (a “cold shock”). Literally slap the block on all sides (this is thought to stimulate a dead tree falling and is a practice used for centuries!) and put in a part of the fridge where it will not freeze. If a fridge is not available than try to move the blocks to the coldest room of your home, a garage/basement/crawl space, or even possibly outside it should be sufficient. You want the blocks to get at least 5-10°F less than where they will be fruiting.
- Once the block has been cold shocked, let sit at room temp for 24 hours. After 24 hours at room temp, remove the block from the bag entirely and place into fruiting conditions. Consider doing this over your sink and rinsing the block with cold water if there is any liquid in the bag.
- Place the Ready-to-Fruit block in the most humid part of your home (not in direct sunlight) or in a grow chamber or grow tent. The kitchen is a good household place in lieu of a dedicated fruiting chamber. Shiitake fruits best between 60-70°F but may fruit at ~50-75/80°F.
Search online for easy to make fruiting chambers: monotubs, shot gun fruiting chambers (SGFCs) and tents with foggers/humidifiers are all great options and will likely increase success in fruiting and producing healthy fruits. Even a trash bag with plenty of holes can be used to increase humidity!
- 2X daily (or more if your environment is dry) spritz the block with filtered/distilled water and look for mushroom “pins”. These are the start of mushrooms! Pins should take ~3-14 days to develop after the cold shock.
- Continue to mist the fruits and block while they grow. Shiitake are usually ready to harvest ~4-10 days after pins form and should be harvested before the caps flatten out and begin to drop spores. Earlier harvesting (once the cap opens) can be ideal as the fruits are tastier and less fibrous, but it will decrease yields. See below for example on mushrooms ready for harvest.
Image below is from @fungi_am_i who grew this culture around 71°F
- Cut the mushrooms from the block and enjoy for your next meal!
- To get another flush of mushrooms, allow the block to dry out for 2-4 weeks. It should be done in an area where the block is exposed (like a wire rack) or turn the block every 1-3 days to avoid moisture building on the bottom. The block should nearly completely dry out.
- After the block is dried, Soak the block in fresh, cold, distilled/filtered water for ~24 hours. You may need to put a heavy plate on the block to submerge it.
- After 24 hours soak, slap each side of the block and put the block back into fruiting conditions; you should get at least 1 more “flush” of mushrooms from the block.
*CAUTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
IF YOU PLAN ON CONSUMING YOUR HOME-GROWN MUSHROOMS MAKE SURE TO COOK THEM THOROUGHLY. IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TIME EATING THIS SPECIES, IT IS BEST TO START WITH A SMALL AMOUNT TO SEE HOW YOUR BODY RESPONDS!
MUSHROOMS PRODUCE SPORES AS THEY DEVELOP. THIS IS A NATURAL MEANS OF REPRODUCTION FOR THE FUNGUS. THEY USUALLY APPEAR AS A DUSTY SURFACE ON YOUR GROW KIT BENEATH THE MUSHROOM CAPS. PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES OR COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEMS MAY WANT TO CONSIDER PUTTING FRUITING MUSHROOM KITS OUTDOORS OR IN A WELL-VENTILATED AREA AS AIRBORNE SPORES SOMETIMES CAUSE RESPIRATORY IRRITATION. SPORES MAY ALSO CAUSE IRRITATION FOR SOME NON-ALLERGIC OR IMMUNE COMPROMISED MUSHROOM GROWERS, THOUGH THIS IS RARE. HARVESTING MUSHROOMS WHILE STILL IN THEIR YOUNGER GROWTH STAGES WILL REDUCE THE OVERALL SPORE LOAD.