Table Top Farms are an incredible introduction into the world of fungi. They are available in several unique varieties (Shiitake, Oyster, Lion's Mane, Pioppini, Reishi, and Chestnut). All are fun and easy to grow. Follow the five steps for setting up your Oyster Mushroom Table Top Farm.
Setting Up Your Table Top Farm:
1. Preparation and Setup
Open the box containing your ready-to-fruit mushroom block. Set the box up on its side (Figure 1). Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut a diagonal slit from corner to corner (Figure 2).
2. Fruiting Location
Your Table Top Farm is aptly named. It can be grown on your kitchen table, countertop, shelf, or other surface that receives indirect sun or incandescent light (Figure 2). A grow light works equally well (at least 8 hours a day). Room temperature should be between 55-75°F.
3. Maintaining and Monitoring
Mushrooms require humidity to develop. Generally the relative humidity of a household is enough to provide an adequate growing environment, however your kit may need occasional misting if your household is dry (RH of 40% or less). Tiny mushrooms will begin forming at the cut site 7+ days after setting up the farm (Figure 3). If the mushrooms appear dry and begin to yellow, mist the kit lightly with a plant mister, otherwise they may abort.
4. Harvest Mushrooms
Monitor your farm closely as the mushrooms are developing and harvest them when the edges of the cap are still curled down (Figure 4). To harvest, simply grab the cluster of mushrooms, twist, and pull them off the block. Store your harvest in the refrigerator up to 10 days in a brown paper bag in your refrigerator's crisper drawer.
5. Additional Fruiting
After your first harvest, remove the mushroom block from the box. Flip the block and return it to the box so that the previously fruited side is now on the inside of the box. Cut open the fresh side, cutting a diagonal slit from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Care for it with the same guidelines as the first fruiting. Second fruiting will often be much smaller than the first.