*Your blocks are meant to be opened immediately for best results. Ready-to-fruit blocks will begin producing mushrooms quickly after arrival at room temperature, but they can be refrigerated up to 1 month prior to opening.
Table Top Farms are an incredible introduction into the world of fungi. They are available in many unique varieties (Shiitake, Oyster, Lion's Mane, King Oyster, Pioppini, Black Pearl, Reishi, and Chestnut). All are fun and easy to grow.
Setting up your Table Top Farm
1) Select a growing space
Black Pearls have a wide fruiting temperature range and are very enthusiastic fruiters. The average kitchen counter top or basement works great. Temperatures of 55-62°F are ideal with 8-12 hours of natural or regular incandescent or LED lighting. The Black Pearl needs little more than the humidity of the average household, but if your house has very low humidity (especially in winter), you may need to mist your kit with a plant mister.
2) Setting up your Black Pearl Mushroom kit
Black Pearl Oyster mushrooms are typically fruited from the top surface of the block. To open the block, use scissors to cut off the top of the bag above the filter patch (Figure 1).
The remaining bag will form a protected, low air flow, high humidity microclimate around the top of the block to stimulate and support pinning.
3) Maintaining and monitoring
Mushroom pins will begin developing on the top surface of the block 7-12 days after opening (Figure 2). If the humidity is lower than recommended, mist the insides of the plastic bag daily with fresh water to keep the mushrooms succulent. If conditions are too dry, the pins will stop growing and die back. Generally we recommend a relative humidity of 50- 85%, and as long as the developing mushrooms remain dark in color and uncracked you can assume your humidity is perfect.
4) Pearl Oyster Mushroom harvest and storage
Black Pearl Oyster mushrooms are fully developed and ready for harvest when the cap is almost fully open and only the rim of the cap are curled down (Figure 3). If left to over mature, the mushroom cluster will become soft, punky, and difficult to slice. Mushroom quality is better if they are picked before this happens. To harvest, gently grab the cluster of mushrooms and slice them off at the base. Mushrooms need to be stored in a refrigerator until you are ready to use them. They can be stored for up to one week.