Growing your own mushrooms is not impossible, and many people prefer to do it themselves so that they know exactly what they’re consuming. Not only will you gain a sense of accomplishment, but also a decent reward once the shrooms are ready to be eaten! We’ve broken down the process into five easy to follow steps below.
Different Ways of Growing Magic Mushrooms
The key to growing your own fungi is to be absolutely sterile and meticulous with keeping your equipment clean. The spread of bacteria can cause contamination which in turn can be dangerous for your health should you go on to ingest those mushrooms.
Where to Grow Magic Mushrooms
The most steadfast way to grow your mushrooms is to make the climate indoors as similar to their natural environment as possible. That means creating an environment that has high humidity, and low risk of contamination.
A Step by Step Guide to Growing Shrooms From Scratch
From scratch, following the PK Tek method, you will need the following:
- 12 Wide mouth half-pint jars with lids (make sure to get wide mouth)
- Measuring cup
- Hammer and small nail
- Large mixing bowl and spoon
- Tin foil (heavy duty)
- Large cooking pot with a tight lid (or an Instant Pot)
- Small towel
- Microspore tape
- Clear plastic storage box 50 – 115 L
- ¼ inch drill bit/Drill
- Mist spray bottle
- Spore syringe, 10-12 cc – can be bought online
- Organic brown rice or brown rice flour (use a coffee grinder for brown rice)
- Vermiculite, medium/fine
- Drinking water (preferably distilled)
- 70% Isopropyl alcohol and lysol (or similar)
- Bic lighter (or propane torch)
- Air sanitizer
- Latex gloves, surgical mask
Step 1 – Preparation
Once you have sterilized the jars, evenly punch four holes through the jar lid using the nail and hammer. Following this, you can prepare your substrate by mixing ⅔ up vermiculite and ¼ cup water in the mixing bowl. Using a disinfected strainer, remove any excess liquid from the mixture. Now combine the ¼ cup brown rice flour per half-pint jar to the bowl and combine with the moist vermiculite. (For 12 jars that would mean 3 full cups of brown rice flour).
Now you can fill the jars, but not right to the top. Leave around half an inch and make sure to sterilize this area carefully. Finally, before putting on the lid tightly, add a layer of dry vermiculite. Once the lid is sealed, cover the entire jar with tin foil. Place the small towel into the pot and then position the jars on top. Add water and bring to boil, placing the lid on and leaving for around 75-90 minutes. Some people prefer to use a pressure cooker (or hotpot), in which case you only need around 60 minutes. Once this process is over, leave the pots until they return to room temperature.
Step 2 – Inoculation
Before starting this step, make sure your spore syringe has been thoroughly sanitized. You can use a lighter to heat it and then wipe with disinfectant. Remove the foil from the jars, and inject around ¼ cc of the spores into the side of each jar, using one of the holes in the lid. Repeat for every hole and make sure to disinfect in between each injection. Once completed, cover the holes with microspore tape.
Step 3 – Colonization
Place the jars in a space which doesn’t have access to direct sunlight. Keep them at room temperature. Between seven and 14 days, you should start to see fluffy, white mycelium. It’s crucial during this stage to throw out any ‘weird’ looking or smelling jars as they may be contaminated.
After 3-4 weeks you should have some successfully grown jars. Leave these for another week, so that the mycelium can gain a stronger hold on the substrate.
Step 4 – Growing Chamber and Fruiting
Using your drill, punch holes all over the storage box. Keep the holes around two inches apart from each other. Then, prop the box on top of four objects so that air can flow underneath. Wash the perlite, let it drain and then layer it over the bottom. Repeat until you have a couple of layers (around five inches deep).
Now it’s time to remove the dry vermiculite, otherwise known as ‘cakes’. If they don’t come out easily, turn the jar upside down and gently tap them on to a disinfected surface. Carefully rinse the cakes and then add them to a container. Submerge them fully under water, placing another container on top of them so they stay under the water. Leave them for around 24 hours so they can rehydrate.
Next, you need to roll the cakes in dry vermiculite to keep in moisture. After this, cut up squares of foil and place into the box (ensuring the cakes won’t have to touch the perlit) and place your cakes on top. Mist the box four times a day using the bottle and fan, but make sure not to drench the cakes. Use the fan six times a day to increase the airflow.
Step 5 – Harvesting and storing
After around 10-14 days, your shrooms will be ready to be picked! Make sure to pluck them as close to the cake as you can. Once they’ve been picked, they need to be stored properly otherwise they will quickly go off. Using a dehydrator to fully dry them is the best option.
Growing your own shrooms is a great alternative for those who want the challenge and satisfaction of eating something they’ve home grown. And the great news is – you can reuse the cakes for future batches of magic mushrooms! For those who want less hassle and quicker results, buying a growing kit works just as well!