Keep your Fungipail away from AC units, heaters and woodstoves. These create a very dry environment and it would make it really hard to keep the right humidity your Fungipail requires.
Also, keep away from sunny windows. Mushrooms like indirect light and if you don’t have a window with filtered sun light, you are better off offering artificial lighting. You don’t need crazy growing light bulbs either. A regular room fixture is enough.
Yes, because we at Motown Mushrooms believe that ALL MUSHROOMS ARE MAGICAL
Well, we really appreciate your curiosity and excitement, but opening the top of the bag may not be the best move for fruiting. Mushrooms have a mind of their own, and if you let air get in contact with a large surface like the top of the bag, mushrooms are going to want to grow there instead of through the pail holes. Also, the substrate will lose moisture faster, resulting in less number of fruitings. So keep that bag close and tight, and wait until it is completely spent before messing with it. After that, it’s fair game!
The short answer to that is Yes. The long answer… it really depends on the species you have, where you live and the time of the year. As a rule of thumb, mushrooms don’t appreciate extreme weather, so you can leave your pail out during Spring and Fall, even at night. Hang it on the porch or under a tree, away from direct sun exposure and rain. During the coldest and hottest months of the year your Fungipail will be happier inside. Constant freezing will slow down growth even in a cold loving species like the Blue Oyster. Prolonged heat will attract fruit flies, which isn’t dangerous, but ain’t pretty…
There are two reasons we offer different refill flavors: The first one, is so you have the chance to grow mushrooms that are not available in supermarkets and the second one, is because we want you to grow mushrooms all year around, but some species do better than others certain times of the year. So after a lot of research and test runs, we found our seasonal varieties:
Winter: Blue Oysters
Spring: Pearl, Gray and King Oysters
Summer: Pink Oysters
Fall: Pearl, Gray and King Oysters
Grab the cluster of mushrooms with your hand and do a twist-pull motion to tear them from the Fungipail. Make sure to remove any stems or aborted pins still attached to the substrate. Harvest all the clusters at the same time, even if they are different in size. Once you harvest the biggest cluster, the Fungipail will go into sporalating mode, so the small clusters will not keep growing and they will lose their freshness.
Oyster mushrooms are at their best when the caps still curl downward slightly. So harvest your clusters as soon the caps start to uncurl. You may be tempted to leave the mushroom longer as they will keep on growing for a while, but they won’t be as tender or keep as long if you do that.
The substrate in your Fungipail went through a very intensive pasteurization process before being inoculated with the Oyster mycelium, so Oyster Mushrooms are the only ones that will be able to fruit on that substrate. In other words, if it looks like an oyster and quacks like an oyster…. then go ahead an eat them!
Between 5-10 days, depending on temperature and humidity
The first mushroom pins (A.K.A baby mushrooms) start peeking out around 3 weeks from the spawning date marked on the bucket. This is the date the Fungipail was created and we usually like to keep our newborns for a week, to make sure they are colonizing properly. That means that by the time you bring your Fungipail home, the colonization period is about half way through!
So check out the spawning date shown on your bucket and add 21 days to get a close estimate on when to expect pins. As with any living organism, this is not an exact science but just an approximation, and pinning could occur earlier or later, depending on external conditions.
At least twice, but it is not unusual to have it fruit 3 times. With enough love, you could get a 4th fruiting.
One of the reasons our kits are so prolific is because they contain live active mycelium. That also means that they do not have a “shelf life” per se. The mycelium begins colonizing as soon as the log is made (AKA spawning date) and it will fruit about 3 weeks from that date, even if you ignore your pail. It is possible, however, to delay fruiting for up to a month by refrigerating your fully colonized pail, preferably at least a week after the spawning date but before any pins are showing. Keep this in mind if you are traveling or buying Fungipails as gifts.
Although watering the heck out of your bucket once a day sounds tempting, the secret of mushroom farming (or any plant caring for that matter) is moderation. We tell you to mist your Fungipail, because mushrooms like high moisture but they do need to dry out in between misting. If you keep your Fungipail constantly wet and don’t allow for fresh air, you will be inviting other unwanted guests, like mold, to take over your substrate.
No, however, there is an extra step when you get a refill bag: open holes in the bag so baby mushrooms can surface. Since aligning premade bag holes with the holes in the pail would be extremely annoying, we decided it is better for you to create those holes once you place the refill inside of your pail. So place the closed bag inside of your pail and once you have it where you want it, create an X shape opening in the bag by sticking a knife through the holes in the pail and slicing through the bag. Don’t move the bag afterwards, because if the holes of the bag don’t align with the ones in the bucket, the mushrooms will start growing inside of the bucket and may not be able to reach the surface.
Your mushrooms require a higher moisture environment now they are fruiting. To achieve this, increase the frequency of misting to three or four times a day. Mushrooms should be misted until shiny but not dripping and be allowed to dry in between sessions.
You could also create the appropriate micro-climate with a plastic grocery bag. Cut a dozen X shaped holes in the bag and place it loosely over your Fungipail. Periodically remove the bag, mist both the pail and the inside of the bag and reassemble. Once fruits begin to develop cut out holes around the cluster of mushrooms and increase your misting (Mist both, the fruits and the inside of the bag).
There are some clear tell-tale signs that your fruiting environment needs some adjustments:
– Cracked mushroom caps: Your environment is too dry. Try increasing humidity by spraying more often. You could also use a small humidifier if your place is too dry.
– Long stems, small caps: This is usually because of lack of fresh air. Mushrooms release a considerable amount of CO2, so if you keep them on a tight closed space, they won’t get enough oxygen.
– Slimey caps: Too much water. Mushrooms breath trough their skin, so if you don’t allow the caps to dry between mistings you will end drowning them.
It may seems that to find the right balance you need to play the Goldie Locks game, but with a little bit of practice, you will begin recognizing the signs right the way and will be able to adjust the environmental conditions to achieve luscious fruitings.
No, your Fungipail has been designed to produce maximum yield with minimum effort. When you buy your first kit, you don’t have to do anything else than provide the right amount of light and humidity. The bag already has small holes in the right places to allow mushrooms to reach the surface and fruit. So don’t open the substrate bag or take it out of the bucket until it is completely spent. A substrate bag is considered spent when it doesn’t fruit again after 3 weeks, usually after the second or third fruiting.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the cycles of living organisms get affected by external factors like light, temperature and humidity. Probably you just got a laid back pail that is taking its sweet time to fruit, so give it a little bit more time to catch up. The easiest way to encourage fruiting is to increase the humidity by misting the Fungipail more often or by adding a humidity tent. To make a humidity tent, cut a dozen X shaped holes in a plastic grocery bag and place it loosely over your Fungipail. Periodically remove the bag, mist both the pail and the inside of the bag and reassemble.
A quick way to troubleshoot your Fungipail is to open the lid and take a look at the bag without opening the actual bag or pulling it out of the bucket (that is why we chose transparent bags, ain’t we smart?). Is there white fuzz growing on the substrate?
– YES: Your pins should show up soon. If you are entering the fourth week and still nothing has happened, put your Fungipail in the refrigerator overnight. The cold shock will encourage new growth, and you will see those stubborn pins appear after a couple of days.
– NO: If it has been more than 3 weeks and you don’t see any white fuzz whatsoever, something could’ve gone wrong, like the spawn got overheated during shipping. No need to worry! Motown Mushrooms is committed to your satisfaction, so fill out this contact form and we will get back to you in a flash to rectify the issue.
– Is there strange color fuzz growing on the substrate, like green fuzz? Huston, we have a problem! Most likely another kind of fungus, not the yummy kind, decided to move into your bag and we need to replace it. Fill out this contact form and we will wave our mushroom magic wand to make it all better. If that doesn’t work either, we will send you a new refill bag.
Not all the holes on your Fungipail will yield clusters. In fact, less than half will. This is very normal, as mushrooms tend to focus their energy in a few growing spots. Depending on the conditions, you will get between 2 and 4 clusters. But don’t feel bad if you are on the lower side; the fewer the clusters the bigger the mushrooms! In other words, no matter how many cluster grow out of your Fungipail, you will yield about the same amount of total pounds; so you could get lots of small clusters or a few heavy, beefy ones.
Actually, a fuzzy bag is a healthy bag. That white fuzz is the mushroom mycelium colonizing the substrate and once it has taken over the whole bag, it will start producing mushroom pins.
We chose Oysters as the main species for the Fungipail because besides being delicious and nutritious, they are prolific and resilient. So forgetting to mist once in a while shouldn’t be a big deal, unless you live in Death Valley!
However, prolonged low humidity will decrease yield and, in extreme cases (like in Death Valley) kill a cluster of mushrooms. If you abandoned your mushrooms to their fate, and they got dried out and yellow, simply remove the damaged cluster and raise the humidity. Your Fungipail will fruit again in a couple of weeks.
If you suffer from chronic forgetfulness or you are not home for very long periods of time, your best bet is to keep your Fungipail in the bathroom and place it inside the tub or the shower in one inch of standing water. Close the shower curtain or door to create a microclimate, but leave a window or the bathroom door open to allow for fresh air.
Go here to read more about each member of the Oyster Family
White powder = spores. If your mushrooms are covered in white powder or if there is white powder on or around your fungipail, it means that they went into sporelating mode. There are two main reasons why this happens:
– You didn’t harvest your mushrooms in time and now they are trying to reproduce. Harvest your mushrooms right a way and shake them off to get rid of the spores. Your mushrooms won’t be as fresh and tender at this point, but you can still be eaten in soup, sauces or a recipe that requires longer cooking times.
– Your mushrooms don’t have good fruiting conditions so they stop growing and start sporelating. Stunted clusters, cracked caps or mushrooms with very long stems are signs of unhappy mushrooms. Remove all the clusters and adjust the environmental conditions to avoid early sporelation in the following cycle.
If you made it all the way down to the end of this page, you are now officially a Jedi Mushroom Farmer. But if you still have a question that hasn’t been answered here, please let us know! There is probably more than one person wondering the same thing and we would love to answer you and them. There is no such a thing as a bad question and… always something else to learn there is, hmm.
Monica V Gallardo Stowe Vermont
Monica Gallardo VT