Mushrooms are a type of fungi that lack chlorophyll and therefore cannot produce their own food through photosynthesis like plants. Instead, they get their nutrients by breaking down organic matter. For this reason, mushrooms are often found in wooded areas where they can decompose fallen trees and other dead plant matter.
While some mushrooms can be found growing in the wild, others must be cultivated in order to achieve a bountiful harvest. Growing mushrooms at home is a relatively simple process that only requires a few materials and some basic knowledge of the fungi's needs.
One of the most important things to remember when growing mushrooms is that they need darkness to thrive. For this reason, most mushroom growers will set up their operation in a dark room or closet where no natural light can reach. Once the area is prepared, the next step is to create an ideal environment for the mushrooms to grow in.
This can be accomplished by constructing a simple wooden box that will act as the mushroom bed. The box should be filled with a substrate material such as straw or sawdust that has been soaked in water for 24 hours. After the substrate has been added to the box, it should be left to drain for another 24 hours so that it is moist but not wet.
Once the substrate is ready, it is time to add the mushroom spores. This can be done by mixing the spores with some water and then spraying them onto the substrate. Alternatively, the spores can be mixed with dry vermiculite which will help to keep them from drying out before they have a chance to germinate.
After the spores have been added, the substrate should be covered with a layer of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to create a humid environment. The covered substrate should then be placed in the dark and left undisturbed for 7-10 days so that the mushrooms can begin to grow.
After 7-10 days, small white bumps will begin to appear on the surface of the substrate. These bumps will gradually enlarge and develop into mature mushrooms over the course of the next few weeks. Once the mushrooms have reached maturity, they can be harvested and enjoyed fresh or cooked in a variety of dishes.