Blue Capped Oyster Mushroom
The blue capped oyster mushroom is the perfect choice for
mushroom cultivation in cooler climates. It grows at temperatures
from 50° to 70°. This mushroom grows well outdoors in the shade.
How to make straw blocks to grow Blue Capped Oyster Mushrooms
At your'How to
Grow Pink Oyster on a block of straw' page, there is no
information on what to do BEFORE the straw is in the bag.--There
should be. The site was originally made for folks who buy kits
from me. To make a kit yourself, just cook straw at 160-180°f. for
one to two hours. (I use a hardware cloth basket that just fits
inside a food grade 55 gallon drum, and heat it with a weed
burner, to make 9 in a batch.) You can easily make a basket from
the type of hardware cloth used in the bottom of a rabbit hutch.
It's strong and can be tied into the shape of a cylinder with tie
wire. #9 tie wire can be used to form handles. Make the cylinder
just smaller than the drum. Cut two circles from the hardware
cloth for the top and bottom. In the bottom of the 55 gallon drum,
place 2 steel stakes or other spacers. This allows water to
circulate under the straw while you cook it.
Pack straw in a wire basket.
18 kg of straw ready to cook
Once the straw is pasteurized, cool it to <100°f. and
innoculate with grain spawn at a rate of 5 to 20%, wet spawn to
dry straw. Keep everything, including your hands, clean with
>90% alcohol. Break clumps of grain apart; a clump has the same
effect as a single grain, so breaking a clump into grains
multiplies its effect. Distribute kernels of grain spawn
throughout straw as evenly as possible. Pack into 18"x24" poly
bags. Pack the straw tight. When I'm not using spawn I expanded
out myself, I buy spawn from Bill Chalmers or from Paul Stamets.
When I buy $60-$100 worth of spawn at a time, it costs me about $2
per bag of straw for spawn . It costs $10 or $15 to ship one or
two bags of spawn. I'll do what I can to encourage you to try
this. Watching the mushrooms grow is fascinating. Watching
people's reactions to the fresh mushrooms is also fun.
Submerge straw basket in hot water .
Second batch cooking while first batch is being
Innoculate the straw with grain spawn .
20 kernels of grain spawn per 5 cm layer of straw is
Next, poke holes in the bag. -- I usually poke 30
holes with a three blade hunting arrow.
Water them as needed. -- Once holes are cut in the bag,
it is a good idea to keep them moist. If you notice water droplets
inside the bag, all is well. If you see liquid collecting in the
bottom of the bag, you have been watering too much; stop for a few
Are these good to eat? -- Yes.
Can these be grown outside? -- Yes, if it is above 50°.
Are there disadvantages to outdoor cultivation? -- Yes.
Flies lay eggs (that become maggots) in the fruiting bodies. Wild
creatures may sample them before you get the chance.
Can this cultivation kit be expanded to new straw to make
more kits? -- Yes. Success depends on how clean and complete
a capture you have with the kit, and the age of the mushroom when
it was expanded into the straw. If you want to do that, check with
the spawn cultivator to see how many times that particular
mushroom has been expanded before expending the effort to use the
kit for spawn. The cost of new, vigorous, spawn is only about $15
per bale of straw. The largest cost is labor to assemble them.
You can learn how to grow delicious, edible mushrooms at home.
For information call: (360) 477-4228
You can learn more about the Kitsap Peninsula
Mycological Society at their website.
You can contact KPMS by e-mail at:
Please include the words: "subscribe, cultivators' list" in
the subject window.
This site created and maintained by Lowell Dietz. Mushroom
cultivation is my hobby. I make my living doing carpentry in Sequim
Washington. You may view my carpentry website