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- Mushroom-growing kits are easy, simple ways to grow your own mushrooms at home.
- They can give you access to mushrooms you can’t buy nearby, like lion’s mane or pink oyster.
- We spoke to 3 experts for their tips on growing mushrooms and the best mushroom grow kits.
Mushrooms grow in forests, meadows, and on trees — more surprisingly, they can grow in your basement or in a cool area of your home, too. If you love eating mushrooms (and want more variety than what’s available at your local store), cultivating your own mushrooms may be worth your while.
“The typical grocery store generally has one type of mushroom,” explains Gretchen Testa, amateur mycologist and certified forager in Georgia. “It doesn’t matter that [it has] three different names — cremini, button, and portobello – it’s all Agaricus bisporus in three different stages of growth.”
Testa loves growing and having a variety of different mushrooms accessible because she finds “growing mushrooms is both creative and scientific — every part of your brain is engaged while growing mushrooms.”
Plus, you get rewarded for your time and care when it comes time to harvest. “I love growing all kinds of food — knowing how it’s been grown, what’s gone into it, caring for it, and the general enjoyment and pleasure of seeing it through to the end,” says Matthew Tutt, a hobby mushroom grower at Mushroom Growing, a resource for people to learn about growing edible mushrooms from home. “It’s a fun, interesting hobby which gives you a really nice reward in the form of healthy, fresh food.”
Mushrooms in particular are very easy to grow at home. “[They’re] totally unlike plants and even seem other-worldly,” says Andrew Carter, co-founder and CEO of Smallhold, a commercial mushroom farm based in different cities like Brooklyn and Austin. “You only need to cut the block and spritz it with water 2-3 times a day; you can watch them grow right in front of your eyes.”
Are mushroom grow kits worth it?
Growing mushrooms doesn’t require too many supplies, so if you’re curious about entering the world of growing edible fungi, consider trying your hand at mushroom-growing kits.
“They’re usually a very good, easy, and fairly cheap way to get started,” says Matt Tutt. “You won’t need any special equipment when you start off with just a grow kit.” A kit gives you a chance to get a feel for what’s involved to cultivate your own fungi at home and figure out if it’s a hobby you want to pursue in the long term.
More professional mushroom-growing can take a bit of trial and error, and many factors play a role to ensure success. To skip right to the fun, Testa recommends “getting yourself a grow kit to enjoy cool-looking mushrooms without all the commitment.”
The best part? “It will more or less guarantee that you will grow mushrooms!” says Tutt. “Many kits are aimed at beginners and the instructions are usually super simple; just add boiling water and place it in the right conditions.”