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Shroom Growing Kits
« on: Dec 31st, 2002, 9:54am »
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I would just like an opinion of someone who has experience with growing shrooms.  I see a lot of ads for complete growing kits.  This sounds much easier than the process detailed in the clusterbuster faq.  Can someone tell me the pros and cons of using these kits instead of the clusterbuster technique?
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Re: Shroom Growing Kits
« Reply #1 on: Dec 31st, 2002, 8:56pm »
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It depends which kit. If it is a kit sold without presterilized jars of substrate (mushroom "soil"Wink, the only advantage to the kit is that everything you will need (except the spores, in most cases) is all in one place -- at a premium price, of course. There is nothing in those kits that you can't obtain for less on your own. Also, some kits are outrageously overpriced.
However, at certain times of year (especially in Chicago), it may not be easy to get vermiculite and perlite. You can get by without the perlite (it is used to regulate humidity in the fruiting chamber), but vermiculite is a must.
If the kit is sold with pre-packed, pre-sterilized jars of substrate, it saves you the necessity of buying brown rice flour and vermiculite, mixing them up with some water, loading the mix into the jars, then boiling the jars. However, it must be noted that this mixing, loading and sterilizing can be completed in a couple of hours.
There is an alternative... a spore supplier named "Sporeworks" sells plastic bags of pre-sterilized substrate. Many growers use these bags rather than the jar and fruiting chamber method, since the bags contain enough free space in them for the mushrooms to fruit directly inside the bags. This saves you the small additional expense and effort of setting up a fruiting chamber.
Some clusterhead fungus farmers swear by these bags, others have had nothing but frustration with them. My personal preference is for the mason jar / fruiting chamber method.
Regardless of which kit you buy, there is no way to speed up the growing process. The minimum time from injecting the spores to harvesting your first mushroom will still be 4 weeks under ideal conditions, kit or no kit; bag or jar.  
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