FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I open the box?
Please read the instructions first. You do need to cut out the front of the box where the perforated rectangle is. That will expose the mushroom block wrapped in cellophane. You slice a big X from one end of the rectangle to the other. That is where you will water mist it twice a day and where the mushrooms will grow. The block stays inside the box.
Should I refrigerate my kit until activating it?
It is highly recommended that you activate the kit early. If you are not going to activate the kit within one or two weeks, put it in the refrigerator.
When do I stop watering the mushrooms?
Stop watering when the mushrooms are ready for harvesting.
How do I best assure success in growing the mushrooms?
Follow the instructions carefully. Maintain a humid environment, keep the mushrooms out of direct sunlight, and do not overwater. Best place to grow mushrooms is to place the box on the kitchen counter near the sink. This allows for humidity from the sink penetrate the mushroom box. This is not absolutely required just a suggestion. Be patient, take care and enjoy the process! Remember: mushrooms inhale oxygen and exhale C02.
There is white stuff on my kit. Is it growing mold?
No, it is quite normal. It is a white, mold-like substance called mycelium. The mushroom mycelium functions like the root of a plant, and it colonizes the block containing coffee grounds. Please contact GreenBox Family Farm if you still feel uncertain or need more information.
What are the yellow things growing out of my kit?
It is a harmless and quite natural byproduct of the mycelium's metabolic process, called mycelial exudate.
Could the mushrooms be contaminated or poisonous?
No, we make sure that the environment is sterile. GreenBox Family Farm inoculates the kit with the specific mushroom culture that we select.
What does 'fruiting' mean?
When the mushrooms start appearing. Mushrooms are spore-bearing since they are the reproductive organs of the fungus.
What do you mean by 'flush'?
A 'flush' is another word for a harvest. It refers to multiple mushroom fruit bodies being produced at once, as they grow in the kits.
How many flushes will my kit produce?
A first fruiting is guaranteed, but some species could have up to four, or even five flushes.
How many pounds of mushrooms will my kit produce?
Factors such as types of species, different environments, and how you take care of the kit, affect the results. The first flush usually produce in the range of 1/2 to 2 pounds.
When should I harvest my mushrooms?
Ideally, the mushrooms should be harvested before their caps flatten or become concave, in other words, the edges should not start turning upwards. Be careful not to wait too long before you start harvesting. If mushrooms look unappetizing in any way, or look dry or moldy, contact us.
My kit already had mushrooms growing when I opened it.
It is quite normal. In the case of Shiitake mushrooms you need to pluck off and discard the mushrooms already fruiting. Ignore early fruiting of other species.
Do I open the bag to harvest or will the mushrooms only grow in the slit?
Do not open the bag to harvest, otherwise you will not be able to get the second or third flush. Follow the harvest directions below.
How do I harvest my mushrooms?
You should be able to gently twist the mushroom clusters off the box of substrate by hand or take a kitchen knife and cut them off right next to the substrate. In the case of Shiitake, use a knife or clippers.
Do the mushrooms all mature at the same time?
Mushrooms usually flush at once. Some may grow faster than others. In that case, you can harvest those first and give the others a chance to mature.
Why are my mushrooms stringy? They have long stems and small caps.
The mushrooms probably did not get enough air, or there was not enough humidity around the kit.
The pins (baby mushrooms) in my mushroom kit have stopped growing. Can I do anything about it?
All is not lost. You could pick the mushroom pins, wait a few days, and start watering the block again since the block contains enough food for another batch.
What is the white stuff that spread on the surface around the kit just before I harvested it?
The mushrooms have begin to spread spores.
What is a humidity tent?
A humidity tent can be as simple as a large trash or plastic bag, punched with many ½ inch holes. It is easy to prop the bag by using a plastic bag as a frame. To keep the tent humid, be careful to spray the inside of the bag, twice daily.
Should I cook the mushrooms?
Yes. It is advisable to thoroughly cook the mushrooms before eating.