Shocking Your Grow Kit
Fungi are living organisms that sometimes need a prompt to realize it is time to start fruiting and growing mushrooms.
The biological reasoning is that fungi are opportunists and when they sense there might be an opportunity for a new food source, they start reproducing like mad to be ready to expand and colonize. A heavy storm is the perfect opportunity for fungus: freshly fallen trees to colonize, moisture to support mushroom growth, and of course puddles and water to support little insects which will feed on the mushrooms and spread the spores.
What does this mean for home mushroom production? We found our shiitake blocks do better when we provide triggers to let the mushrooms know they should fruit.
Check out our Instagram video with Farmer Elizabeth 'shocking' a shiitake block. Some ways you can do this:
- Do a temperature shock by placing it in the refrigerator for a day or two
- Drop your block a few times (while it is still in the bag)
- Give it some squeezes and/or light punches
- Cut it in half, like a tree limb splitting
- Water it really, really well. Keep it in the kitchen sink for the first two days and water a lot and water often, mimicking a few days of rain.