Mushrooms ~ Growing Your Own

Itís been a few years since I was actively growing Psilocybe cubensis (my current flat is not really suitable space wise, and anyway, Iíve found plenty of Semilanceata in recent autumns). Never the less, I did have some success.

I got my spores from SmartBotanics (www.smartbotanics.com). If you are interested, the following is copy pasted from their web-site www.smartbotanics.com

PFE syringe, The original strain from Psylocybe Fanaticus (P. Cubensis - var. "Amazonian"), which grows best on rice/vermiculite mixtures. One 10 ml. syringe containing a sterile spore-suspension is more than enough to inoculate 10 medium-sized jars. This method is thoroughly explained in the Magic Mushroom Growers Guide>> and in Rene Rikkelman's book Magic Mushroom Cultivation Techniques

There are others types of syringe/spores mentioned but my experience is limited to Psilocybe Cubensis, which has the reputation of being the easiest to grow indoors. If this is what you want to try to do, you will need some kit, - not too much expense, but a little time effort and practice is required for the procedures. The reference I followed is the Magic Mushroom Growers Guide>>

The procedure is a little bit fiddly, particularly in terms of the need to work clean. But none of the equipment is hi-tech, out of this world or anything like that. Ideally youíd need to build a proper terrarium once the mycelium cakes were ready to come out of the jars. In theory they can be grown by simply keeping them under cover (but with some light source) and keeping the humidity up by regular manual misting. But the way I did it was with an electronic humidifier feeding into a purpose built terrarium (built out of polystyrene). - More hassle to set up, but less looking after and maintenance once itís done.

Another important aspect is making sure that the rice flour (or rice grains, if youíre going to make your own flour) is organic. If the rice has been treated with fungicide the mycelium will not grow. I had some failures. I reckon the reason was the flour used, even though it said organic on the packet.  It could have been some other factor, e.g. contamination in the procedure being my fault, but I highly suspect that not all produce labelled as organic is quite as chemical free as the manufacturers would claim. Try getting rice / rice flour from a number of different sources, e.g. different health food shops, different brands, so that the jars are not all made containing the same rice. It would be a shame to get everything else right, then fail with what is a fairly inexpensive component of the recipe.

I found the resulting mushrooms to be very potent. I didn't notice much in terms of variability strength wise from batch to batch.

I managed to get quite a few generations of mushrooms going from the original syringe spores, i.e. from the first harvest, took spore prints, and then from these inoculated new batches of mycelium culture.  I did this about three or four times (generations) before the inoculations mysteriously failed.  As I said before, the prime suspect was changing the brand of rice flour (can't remember brands used, though I recall that the country of origin for the failed batches was Italy).  Like I say, it could have been something else.  I'd also moved flats; maybe the new environment was not as 'clean'.  But anyway, just to say for now that taking spore prints is viable and therefore so is self-sufficiency.