You don’t have to be up-to-date on all of the latest TikTok trends to realize that mushrooms are having a moment. Gone are the days of trying to get down rotten, stinky funguses. Nowadays, you can enjoy their benefits in the form of herbal supplements, powders and even in your coffee! There’s truly an option for everyone.
But what if you want to take it a step further and grow your own mushrooms? There’s an option for you, too!
We’re going to cover all of the ins and outs of growing fresh mushrooms from home, but first, let’s review the different types of mushrooms and what they are good for.
Our Favorite Mushroom Grow Kits:
Benefits of Mushrooms
While there are definitely non-edible types of mushrooms that you’ll want to stay far away from, there are also plenty of edible mushrooms that provide serious health benefits.
Some of the more popular edible mushrooms include Reishi, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Oyster, and the ever-popular morel.
While each kind of mushroom offers its own specialized health benefits, there are a few universal benefits to these funguses as well.
High in Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in our overall well being. Not only does vitamin D help us absorb the calcium we need for strong bones, but it also helps support our brains and our overall gut functions.
While the sun is a great source of vitamin D, it is also ridden with some ugly side effects. Mushrooms are not only a great source of this important vitamin, but they are the only food source that offers such high levels of vitamin D. You can even boost their potency by placing them in the sun!
Good Protein Source
Mushrooms are one of the only sources of plant-based protein options to contain all nine essential amino acids‚ making them a complete protein. Most non-meat protein options run short on their aminos, meaning mushrooms are even more impressive for this reason.
High In Antioxidants
Mushrooms are chock-full of antioxidants, which are substances that keep our cells working exactly as they should while keeping carcinogenic free radicals out! Some of these include selenium, ergothioneine and glutathione, all of which are key players in staying healthy, warding off cancer and promoting anti-aging properties.
Growing Mushrooms: 101
In the wild, mushrooms start as tiny spores that aren’t even visible to the naked eye. In order to grow into a tasty mushroom, spores need a substrate, like wood, straw, sawdust or even manure. Eventually, these spores will group up and form mycelium and the mushrooms we all know and love.
Ironically, despite a mushroom’s elevated levels of Vitamin D, these guys don’t like to grow in the sun. Instead, mushrooms need some alone time in a dark, humid area, so they would do well with some regular misting to keep things moist. (They are a fungus, after all.)
In the wild, spores float around, waiting to find the perfect real estate. However, their struggle is as real as a first-time home-buying millennial.
There are plenty of ways you can grow your own mushrooms. However, hands-down the easiest way is by using a mushroom gardening kit.
Best Mushroom Growing Kits
Mushroom experts help bypass the variables and cultivate mushroom spawns, a carrier to hold the mycelium in stasis until it is ready to move into a new home. Because we all love a good ‘shroom, we’ve compiled a list of our 8 favorite mushroom grow kits. Whether this is your first time trying your hand at an indoor garden or you have a natural green thumb, you too can enjoy fresh mushrooms.
For Pearl & Pink Oyster Mushrooms: Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Grow
When it comes to organic, non-GMO mushroom cultivation, few have more positive reviews than this Oyster mushroom kit from Back to the Roots. Like all of the best companies, this one started out in a college apartment.
Our favorite thing about them? Their Grow One Give One campaign! Just by sharing a picture of your garden on social media, Back to the Roots will donate a kit to a classroom of your choice. Science class just got a lot tastier.
For Versatility: North Spore
North Spore is one of the leading names for those looking for a DIY mushroom experience. This company is “on a mission to disrupt the food system” by helping people grow and harvest their own nutritionally dense mushrooms. They offer everything from foraging tools & guides to mushroom teas to sterile substrates. You can also opt for organic grain spawn, spray and grow kits or fruiting block kits.
No matter what you choose, you can be sure you’re going to be supplied with everything you need to grow your own quality funguses.
For Shiitake Logs: Uncommon Goods
Believe it or not, Uncommon Goods has been sneaking onto the mushroom growing scene with their DIY Shiitake log. The brains behind the operation belong to Howard Berk and Todd Pittard, two fungi-loving Georgians who just can’t help but share their passion with the world.
This kit comes with recently salvaged wood planted with organic spores. Simply soak the wood and keep it in a cool, dark place. In six weeks, you’ll have a little log of mushroom paradise.
For Morels: GMHP Gourmet Mushroom
In the wide world of mushrooms, Morels are the elite. These meaty funguses have an earthy and nutty taste. However, unlike other variations, Morels can only be found in the wild—until now.
GMHP provides everything you need to transform your backyard soil into a mini morel garden. And the best part? Unlike other kits that provide an isolated growing season, this kit helps you maintain your yard so you can enjoy morels for years to come. One customer found a morel 26 years after using this kit!
For Blue Oyster Mushrooms: GMHP Gourmet Mushrooms & HodginsHarvest
If your idea of a pet is a rock, but you love the thrill of growing your own plants, GMHP also offers a Blue Oyster mushroom kit for effortless, fresh mushrooms. Reviewers have raved about how easy it is to use this organic kit. It’s just 9×9” and produces its first crop in as little as 7 to 14 days.
Another great pick is this oyster mushroom grow kit from HodginsHarvest. It comes with 6 to 7 pounds of organic mycelium, which is enough to grow 3 pounds. If you want mushrooms STAT, this kit produces its first crop in just 5-10 days.
For Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Michigan Mushroom Co.
Lion’s Mane mushrooms are chock-full of benefits, ranging from brain injuries to stomach ulcers to stress relief. Save yourself a trip down the health food aisle with this foolproof kit from Michigan Mushroom Co. Whether you choose a 4-pound kit or 10-pound kit, you can be sure you are getting quality, organic and highly-reviewed mushrooms.
For Reishi Mushrooms: Mush Cult Supply
Reishi mushrooms are notorious for boosting immune systems, fighting stress, and keeping your body clear of free radicals. In the wild, these mushrooms thrive in Asia. But Mush Cult Supply is bringing them right to your kitchen counter.
If you know your way around mushrooms, MushCult Supply is a great stop for getting substrate bags and grow kits. You’ll find Reishi, of course, but also LIon’s Mane kits, Agar Plates and mushroom grain bags.
For Specialty Mushrooms: The Cultured Mushroom
The Cultured Mushroom is local to North Carolina and specializes in all things mushrooms. If you are a mushroom connoisseur, you can find specialized mushroom grow kits from this shop, including Reishi antlers, King Trumpet Oysters, Turkey Tails and Enoki mushrooms. This shop has over 4,100 sales and averages a 5-star review.
Let’s Get Growing!
With so many benefits to mushrooms, you’d be hard-pressed not to add these superfoods into your diet. And thanks to the ease of grow kits, harvesting delicious mushrooms has never been easier. Whether you prefer Lion’s Mane, Shiitake or Reishi, there is really a grow kit for everyone.
No matter what your past experience with mushrooms or plants in general has been, you’ll be saying, “There is a fungus among us” in no time!
You might also be interested in: How to Start a Patio Garden (Gardening Without a Yard)
Best Mushroom Grow Kits:
- For Pearl & Pink Oyster Mushrooms: Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Grow
- For Versatility: North Spore
- For Shiitake Logs: Uncommon Goods
- For Morels: GMHP Gourmet Mushroom
- For Blue Oyster Mushrooms: HodginsHarvest
- For Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: Michigan Mushroom Co.
- For Reishi Mushrooms: Mush Cult Supply
- For Specialty Mushrooms: The Cultured Mushroom