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Is anyone currently working with cultivating mushrooms? I recently developed a passion for the things and am going to try to start cultivating my own. My wife is a vegetarian and I started looking for meat substitutes for her and found that some mushrooms contain complete proteins. This raised an eyebrow, but then I started thinking and this wouldn't require much light (immediately giddy) so I got on the Troubled Times site and did some looking for information to help me get started. I found a link to some site that sold kits to grow at home and books on the subject. When I learn things it usually is with a great deal of trial and error, and I want to help other people skip this error part if I can.

I already tried a kit and failed in the endeavor. I lost it to mold. It took over and I couldn't get rid of it. I'm going to grow another now that I know what I did wrong. I used a 18" x 24" x 8" Rubbermaid container and a makeshift greenhouse out of a perforated clear plastic bag. I watered it twice a day until I noticed the mold. I didn't suspend the kit above the bottom of the container so the kit was sitting in runoff water (not good). After I noticed the mold I put a cookie cooling rack under the kit which kept it suspended above the lying water. If anyone else is thinking of growing mushrooms and has gotten any better results or has some tips on propagating, please let me know. Thanks in advance. I'll keep posting what I learn.

I got another mushroom kit. One thing that I did differently to make a cleaner growing environment was sanitize everything with a weak solution of bleach before I used it. I used a 18in.x24in.x8in. Rubbermaid tub, a kitchen cooling rack to keep the kit off of the bottom of the tub, a plastic humidity tent (a clear plastic bag with small holes in it for breathing) that came with the kit, wooden skewers to keep the tent suspended above and away from the kit. In order to get the kit to start to fruit, I had to shock it by putting it in the refrigerator for a few days. Now I am seeing some fruiting happen. Nothing worth eating yet, but at least it's looking better than my last attempt.

The instructions that came with the kit said that I should mist it 4-5 times a day. I'm not at home often enough to do this, so what I do instead is make sure that there is water in the basin to keep humidity up within the humidity tent. Don't leave enough water in the basin to touch the kit, but just below. I mist as often as possible though. Some mold is growing on top of some of the budding mushrooms, but the directions say that I should be able to take a damp cloth and wipe it away. I only noticed minor problems so I wiped it away with my finger instead while I was misting, I hope this wasn't a mistake. I'll try to keep you up to date on my progress.