Our GYO kits are a mycological kitchen-countertop-science-experiment, perfect for foodies, gourmands, epicures, locavores, vegans, paleo health-conscious cousins, nature lovers, show-and-tell grade-schoolers and as hard-to-please hostess gifts. They requires no more commitment than a house plant. Several harvests will occur over a period of 8-10 weeks, yielding approx. 1-2 pounds of Shiitake Mushrooms from one kit. Our kits need indirect sunlight to grow to their full potential, and prefer a room temperature range of 60-75 degrees F, but they are also pretty easy going and user friendly. Mushrooms have been doing their thing on earth for a long time.
Instructions will be provided on misting, fruiting, harvesting, storage and preparation of your mushrooms. Our website has tips, recipes and frequently asked questions. After the kit has ceased production, it can be broken up and added to garden soil or a compost pile.
Thank you for eating locally (it doesn’t get more local than growing in your own kitchen) and for supporting Pennsylvania farmers.
Our family wishes you good health!
PLEASE NOTE: All kits are made to order and may take 5-7 days to ship.
Remove your GYO Shiitake Mushroom Kit from the bag. Fill a 5 gallon bucket or large sauce pan with enough water to completely submerge your Shiitake Kit. Use a plate or another object of suitable weight to hold the Shiitake kit underwater. Let soak for approximately 5 hours. Remove your kit from the water and place on a plate or pie tin in a location with indirect sunlight. Shiitake mushrooms require some exposure to sunlight.
Begin misting the entire surface of the kit as well as the plate at least 3-5 times per day. More misting is always beneficial. Chlorinated or distilled water are not recommended for misting your kit. We recommend spring, well, or rainwater.
Tiny primordia (baby mushrooms) will begin to appear within 1 week from soaking. Continue misting at least 3 times per day, and also directly mist the forming mushrooms. If you live in a very dry environment, loosely draping a plastic bag over your kit between misting will help to maintain the necessary humidity for mushrooms to grow.
Mushrooms grow quickly and can mature in 4-7 days. Harvest individual mushrooms as the caps begin to flatten out, but are still mostly turned down. Some mushrooms may appear smaller than others even when fully mature. Harvest your mushrooms by gently twisting at the base. When all mushrooms have been harvested, let your kit rest for 5 days. After 5 days, repeat the soaking procedure. If kept properly hydrated, 3-4 flushes of mushrooms are possible, with each flush yielding slightly less.
Store your mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag or in an open container covered with a paper towel. Do not store them in any type of closed plastic container or plastic bag. This will cause premature spoilage.
Trim the stems and sauté on medium-high heat with butter or olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper, until golden brown. Serve on top of pasta, steaks, or add to sauces or stir-fry. Save the stems as they can be used to make a flavorful stock.
Q: What’s in this kit?
A: Your grow kit contains supplemented hardwood sawdust, and shiitake mushroom mycelium.
Q: What is this dust coming off of my kit?
A: The white “dust” you might see coasting out from under mature mushrooms is actually spores. The mushrooms have reached their next reproductive phase and are sporulating. It means your mushrooms are ready to harvest.
Q: I’ve been misting dutifully, but nothing is happening. What should I do?
A: Keep misting, the mushrooms are waiting to surprise you. As long as your kit is still hydrated, it’s still growing just fine. If it’s been more than 2 weeks and no mushrooms are growing, your kit may be dehydrated. Repeat the soaking procedure, and mushrooms should form within a few days.
Q: Should I pick all the mushrooms at the same time?
A No. Pick your mushrooms individually as they mature.
Q: How long will my harvest keep in the fridge?
A: Freshly harvested mushrooms will keep well up to a week or more when refrigerated. Keep them in a paper bag, or covered with a paper towel. Sealing them in plastic will cause them to get soggy and accelerate spoilage.
Q: What should I do with my harvest?
A: Butter. Saute them in butter, with white wine and minced shallots or garlic, but mostly butter. The fat and salt enhance the flavor tremendously. If butter’s not your thing, use your cooking oil of choice.
Q: Should I eat my mushrooms raw?
A: We recommend cooking them. They taste better and are actually more bio-available and nutritious for you after they have been cooked. Mushrooms cell walls are made of chitin, which our stomach cannot breakdown. Cooking dissolves the cell walls making the nutrients available to our bodies.
Q: Should I grow my kit outside? Or in the dark?
A: We recommend growing it inside. The mycelium in the kit smells sweet to insects and mites. Growing indoors will prevent your hard earned harvest from getting nibbled by them. We also recommend kits be placed in indirect sunlight. The more light they get, the deeper the cap color will be. Direct sunlight is too strong and may dry them out.