Oyster and Shiitake Home Kit Instructions

Growing your own mushrooms can be fun and educational as you experience the environmental challenges that a mushroom grower contends with. As a result of your efforts you are rewarded with the freshest (and Yummiest!) mushrooms you have ever eaten!

We offer our Oyster 'Logs' as well as Crimini ~ Portabella Box kits.

Please contact us if you are interested in our growing kits.

Oyster and Shiitake are grown differently from Crimini.  They prefer a woodsy based substrate and log style while the portabella/crimini prefer a bed of specially made compost and casing layer

At our farm the Shiitake and Oyster are kept in a different growing environment from the buttons and crimini/portabella.  

The Oyster are kept in an environment with about 90% humidity, that has good indirect airflow to encourage evaporation and a temperature of between 62-68 deg F.

For you to achieve this with your home log you should build a humidity tent. You can do this in a couple of ways.

(The demonstration pictured below is from our original instructions.  We now include a smaller version of a "humidity tent" with our logs which includes a bag and plastic frame.  The humidity tents shown here are something to consider if you have a curious pet that enjoys eating mushrooms as they are more heavy duty.)

One is to have a wood frame that you cover with a clear garbage bag or clear sheet plastic such as painters plastic. The other is to take a box and line it with painters plastic. As in the photos below.

Light ~ Cutting windows on each side so you can watch the mushrooms grow is a good idea. It also gives the mushroom a little indirect sunlight which the oyster mushroom, in particular, needs. We leave a light on in our growing room to imitate this. If there is no light the Oyster tend to get "leggy". We suggest at least 12 hours of light a day. Either natural sunlight or a lamp. We left our sample kit in the house with indirect sunlight.

Airflow ~ To obtain the proper amount of air circulation you can cut small holes in your plastic or leave a couple of corners open to allow for airflow. We suggest to have the air holes toward the top of your tent and toward the base. (d)We used the flap from our box as a vent control. We would open it wider and close it up as needed.

Too much airflow will stunt or even kill your mushrooms and they will be hard and somewhat dehydrated in appearance and texture. Too little airflow and the mushrooms will be soggy/spongy, may grow a bacteria that will appear on it as spots, or even be slimy. You don't want to eat a slimy mushroom.

Humidity ~ To control humidity you will want to have a spritz bottle and spray the inside of your humidity tent with the bottle whenever you see that it is dry or evaporating quickly.  Do not spray the oyster log directly.  If there is a little moisture on the sides of the tent you are good. If it is dry then you need to spray it more. How fast evaporation occurs depends upon the outside environment as much as it does on airflow. So, how many times you have to spray may change from one day to the next. (e) If you happen to have an air pump from an aquarium you can set that up with an air hose having an air stone on the end sitting in a jar of warm water. This will help keep the environment warm and humid. You can also set up a baking pan with water in it, place a block of wood or brick in the center and the log on top of that making sure that the log is not sitting in the water.  Unlike the oyster, the Shiitake log should be sprayed directly morning and night to prevent it from drying out.

As you can see the Oyster and Shiitake really like an environment that resembles a moist Spring day.

Below are photographs of an Oyster log kit and a humidity tent that we made using a cardboard box, packing tape, and painters plastic.

 

a)  b)  

c)  d) 

e)

 

Our demonstration uses an Oyster Log. However, the same design can be utilized with a Shiitake.

 

 

You will begin to notice pins forming in clusters around the log.

 

As they form you may notice that some seem to be 'trapped' under the layer of plastic that forms the log. You can 'release' them by cutting a small hole with your scissors.

It is very interesting watching the pins emerge and grow. Your mushrooms are ready to be picked!

To pick an Oyster hold the 'flower' or cluster at the base and twist off the log.

This is what we got in the first picking of our demonstration log:

Now, to cook your bountiful harvest.... First you should cut the 'petals' from the stems.

Then, rinse them quickly under the tap if you would like. Don't drown them by dunking... just rinse them off. In that way they won't have a chance to sop up a lot of water.

Put your pan on high heat and melt butter in it. Once melted drop in your mushrooms.

    

Cook them on high heat until they are golden brown.

Then serve them to your favorite connoisseur.

And watch as they disappear and you don't get to have a bite! She was 5 here... 16 now. She still does it to me today! But now, I can ask her to make some for me when she is making a batch for herself.  : )