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How do you grow oyster mushrooms in a book?
Posted by Suttons Staff on 13 November 2014 01:34 PM

To grow the Oyster Mushroom Spawn choose an unwanted paperback book with 200 to 400 pages. Place the book in the large polythene bag and cover with boiling water. Carefully hold the book under the water and squeeze till the bubbles stop. Soak till cool enough to handle, then squeeze out the excess water. The book should be wet but not sodden. Without opening the oyster spawn packet break up the grain spawn into small grains. There is no need to be gentle; you are wanting as many little grains as possible to sprinkle in between the pages. Cut the top corner from the
spawn bag to form a spout.

Inoculate Book

Keep the book within the bag throughout this process and, where possible, avoid putting your hands inside the bag and handling the book directly. Sprinkle oyster grain spawn over several pages at the books beginning, middle and end. Press the book flat and tight shut. Make a plug with kitchen paper and place it in the gathered the neck of the bag and tie tightly with tape or
string.

Colonise Book

Place the whole thing in a warm area to allow the white threads of the mushroom mycelium ('white fuzz') to grow throughout the book. A temperature of 17-24°C (62-75°F) is best for quick colonization. Above 24°C (75°F) the mycelium will begin to die, below 17°C (62°F) growth will be slower. Over 3 to 6 weeks the book will gradually turn white all over.

Shock the Mushrooms

Put the bag in your fridge for 2 days. Remove and open the top of the bag. This lets plenty of air in. Now you need to water: once or twice a day cover the book with 5cm of cool, fresh water and then drain immediately. In about a week little clusters of white pin-heads start to appear. These baby mushrooms will grow quickly and you may cut back on the watering to only misting the inside of the bag once a day. After 2 or 3 days the mushrooms will be ready to pick, eat and enjoy.

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