I've been growing my own oyster mushrooms at home for years and love sharing my expertise with others.
Before You Start
The oyster mushroom is a common edible mushroom now grown commercially around the world for food. Though it is one of the more commonly sought wild mushrooms, it can also be cultivated on straw and other media. It can also be grown at home, providing that proper care be given to it.
It is also vital to have an allotted space just for the mushrooms away from people. This is because mushrooms release spores into the air and can be dangerous when inhaled.
In this guide, I'll share details of my own oyster mushroom home farm and provide information on how you can set up a similar operation in your own home.
My Home Mushroom Farm Setup
Oyster mushrooms grow quickly. In one day, you can have pins in the morning and full-grown mushrooms after 24 hours.
However, I have a unique home farming situation; I no longer produce the fruiting bags myself. Producing the bags is a long process, and you need a lot of space to make them. I have a supplier that provides me with fruiting bags that are fully colonized by the spawn already. They are delivered to me before the oyster mushroom pins begin to emerge.
For my home farm, I allotted space with a dimension of 6' wide x 14' long x 10' high. This was a small space outside the house, the size of a small shed. We created walls for the area made of 2" x 2" wood and chicken and mosquito wire. We made sure that pests will not be able to enter the "mushroom shed." I then covered one wire wall with cotton fabric. Every day, I would hose it until it is entirely wet, in order to keep a lot of moisture inside. This needs to be done at least three times a day since we have hot and humid weather year-round (about 37°C).
I would typically order about 400 fruiting bags every six months, lining the bags into metal shelves and placing two rows of bags on each layer.
My Daily Routine for Taking Care of the Oyster Mushrooms
Here is the usual process I take whenever I get a new batch of fruiting bags to ensure that the mushrooms grow healthy and correctly:
- Every day, I spray water on the body of the bags, trying hard not to get the inside of the bag wet. This needs to be done at least three times a day. If the mushroom's edges turn a bit brown, I would then water them an additional two more times. I also make sure that the curtain outside is continuously wet.
- Whenever working with mushrooms, a mask is a must. With long tweezers, I inspect the inside of the bags, especially the opening for any green mold coloration. Usually, this appears when the inside of the bag gets wet. These need to be removed while it is still small.
- I make sure that no mushrooms are growing at the back or undersides of the bags. Any puncture on the bag will enable the mushroom to find its way out.
- If I need to hasten production, I will make holes in strategic areas of the bags. Mushrooms will grow out of these holes.
Clean Walls and Floors Are Essential
This is a must for any mushroom shed. You do not want any unwanted fungi except, of course, for just the oyster mushroom. So cleaning the area is critical. I do not suggest using any fungi killer; only clean with soap and water.
Oyster Mushroom Growth Time Lapse
Tom Yum Goong Recipe
Try making this simple soup with some of the oyster mushrooms from your home farm.
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 2 Thai red chili peppers, sliced
- 1 kilo shrimp
- 200 grams squid balls
- 4 slices galangal
- 5 cups water
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 6 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons Thai chili paste
- 1 can button mushrooms
- 200 grams oyster mushrooms
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- In a deep pan, add 5 cups of water.
- Add the lemongrass—with the back of a knife, bruise the lemongrass stalks to release flavor and chop into 4-inch stalks. Add the kaffir lime leaves, tomato, galangal, button mushrooms, and squid balls.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add the chili paste, fish sauce, and lime juice.
- Add the shrimp and the oyster mushrooms.
- Return to a boil.
- Take the pot off of the stove and add the milk, chilis, and cilantro.
Deep Fried Oyster Mushrooms Recipe
Here's another tasty recipe that prominently features delicious oyster mushrooms.
- 250 grams oyster mushrooms, remove the tough ends
- 1 egg
- 1 cup starch
- Small pinch of salt
- Small pinch of black pepper
- 2 cups oil, for frying
- Sichuan chili
- Remove the tough stems of the oyster mushroom and clean with water.
- In a plate, combine the starch, salt, and pepper.
- In another bowl, beat the egg.
- Dip the mushroom in the egg and transfer it to the starch mixture, coat both sides.
- Heat 2 cups of oil in a wok and deep fry the oyster mushrooms.
- Sprinkle with Sichuan chili and salt.
Sautéed Mushrooms With Fish Balls Recipe
Mushrooms can make most any recipe better, and this fish balls dish is no exception!
- 100 grams oyster mushrooms
- 100 grams button mushrooms
- 1 zucchini
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 200 grams fish balls
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Put coconut oil in a wok and sauté garlic and onions.
- Add water and fish balls and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the chopped zucchini.
- Add the button mushrooms and bring to a simmer.
- Add fish sauce and mix well.
- Add the oyster mushrooms and cilantro. Add pepper to taste.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Anna Javier
Anna Javier (author) on September 07, 2020:
Yes! It is a very small shed but right now I have about 600 fruit bags. So lots and lots of food!
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 07, 2020:
Wow you really grow your own mushrooms! Lovely! I love crispy fried mushrooms