Inside your kit is a living organism, so we recommend activating it upon receipt. If you need to wait, you can store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight or in the fridge for around 2-3 months.
All of the species used in our kits are very vigorous and viable, so after storing for a few weeks, they may start fruiting in the bag! It's no issue, but some recipients can be surprised or concerned which is why we have activation and storage recommendations.
Our kit should stay in the bag (and inside the box) while they grow.
After removing the front panel of the box along the perforated lines, cut an X into the exposed plastic. Enough oxygen gets to the block through this cut and it directs the mushrooms to form there. Remember to leave the plastic flaps of the X on the bag, they'll help to keep moisture in. The mushrooms will easily grow out of the sliced X section, so no need to open it up more as they fruit.
You don’t need to empty the bottle each time you spray, but it is important to get the area where you cut open the bag nice and damp! Try 5-10 sprays each time. It can take a little trial and error to get the frequency and amount just right. If the surface of the block seems very dry the next time you spray it, you should give it a bit more water or water a bit more often. If you run AC or live in an arid climate, using a humidity tent can be useful to prevent your block from drying out.
Your kit was inoculated in a sterile environment with a selected mushroom culture. It is incredibly unlikely you would ever have a competing species grow from your kit. However, if you'd like to make sure what is growing from your kit is indeed the correct species, simply take a photograph and email it to us for confirmation. Save the image on the front of your kit bag or box for reference.
We do sometimes make mistakes, being human and all. So, it is possible we packed a mushroom bag in the wrong box. If this sounds like what happened, please reach out! We want to make it right for you.
Sounds like you've got a very vigorous kit! This is totally normal. If you're growing oysters, lion's mane, pioppino, or chestnut you can ignore the mushrooms that may be fruiting inside your bag. If they're easily accessible you can break them off and compost them, so you can start fresh.
We guarantee at least one fruiting of mushrooms off your kit, but depending on the species you choose to grow it is likely you will get a second, third, fourth, or even fifth fruiting with care and patience. Growing mushrooms is an art, and it takes skill to be good at it. Be patient, follow the instructions carefully, and try to maintain a humid environment for your kit and you should succeed.
In terms of yield, you can usually expect your first flush to be somewhere in the range of 0.5-3kgs. This varies significantly species to species, environment to environment. It depends greatly on how much care you put into maintaining your kit! Each subsequent fruiting will likely be smaller as the fungi use up nutrients in the substrate.
Yes, you should make sure any mushrooms you eat are thoroughly cooked. Mushrooms contain a compound called chitin which is difficult to digest. Chitin also occurs in arthropod shells giving them strength and flexibility. It readily breaks down with heat, so cooking mushrooms makes them easier on our bodies.
Hold the cluster near the base and spin them. If you'd rather use a knife and cut them, that's fine too! Clean off any loose bits from the kit before continuing to spray and cut off any bits of sawdust from the block on your mushrooms before cooking and eating them.