My first mushroom! About 4 1/2 inches in diameter!

Well, I harvested my first shiitake mushroom this morning. It looks great, and I’m happy about it, but with mixed feelings. I only got one mushroom!

When I bought the mushroom growing kit, the directions said to “place it upside down” when putting it in the tray/ humidity tent. I was mystified about that, as there is no arrow or text on the block that says “top”, “bottom”, or “this side up” would have been nice. It looks the same no matter how you look at it, and for the life of me, I could not recall if the person in the store turned it over when putting it in my bag, or if I had turned it over when taking it out of the bag.

Shitake mushroom, grown from a kit, at home.

I am suspicious that I should have turned the block over when I only saw the one sprout, but I had never grown mushrooms before, and though that others would sprout soon. Well that didn’t happen.

This one looks great though, and I will be keeping the block watered, and I think I will turn it over when I get home, for the next sprouting. It is supposed to have 4 harvests, so I’m hoping for more next time.

It is no easy task to turn the block over; there are 4 stakes you have to shove in it, to hold up the plastic bag for the humidity “tent”, and these have to be pulled out and re-inserted on the other side. Then I did not have an appropriate wire rack to set the block on to keep it out of the water that pools in the bottom from all the spraying (twice a day), so I put some scraps of wood left over from some projects I have been working on around the house, and they shift and fall down when I mess with the mushroom block.

Well, it’s not really all that hard to turn it over, I just have to do it.

I’m looking forward to a class on mushroom growing at home, later in May. Hopefully that will answer some questions I have and clarify what I’m doing wrong (or right, maybe?).

The underside of my Shitake mushroom.

Hamster report