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Shroom Grower's Survey
by Tony Galuhn
Citation:   Tony Galuhn. "Shroom Grower's Survey: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp2240)". Jun 29, 2000.



I said I'd post the results of this 'sometime around the first week of May', so here we are. (It was either this or start grading this big stack of lab reports that I really don't feel like reading.)

Feel free to distribute this in whatever form you wish, and it couldn't hurt for it to be archived. I'm mailing a copy to the person who told me he was working on a full FAQ for growing shrooms, so eventually some form of this will wind up in that.

OK, for those who don't know/don't remember, I posted two requests asking how successful people had been with growing shrooms. I also asked that those replying give as many details as possible regarding sources, methods used, etc.

A couple more things before we get to the results- I've summarized what people told me, rather than directly quote the messages people sent. I can change that, especially if one of the respondents wants to see their reply quoted. No names have been used, but if you responded and want credit, let me know. Also, if anyone who hasn't responded before wants to, I can update the results in future versions.

Besides posting to alt.drugs, I'm e-mailing this to anyone who asked me to. If you'd like a copy, feel free to e-mail and ask me. (Although, how would you know to do that if you weren't reading this to begin with?)

OK, last thing, and then the results: ObStandardDisclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only, and I am in no way advocating any illegal activities. This information does not reflect the opinion of, nor does it have anything to do with, Pomona College. (Although it would be nice if it did.)

(Whoops, OK, this, for sure, is the ABSOLUTELY LAST THING before I get to the results: I refer below to the 'brown rice method'. This refers to a method of cultivation that gets posted to alt.drugs from time to time. It can be found in the file 'mushrooms-growing.z' on ''. The path is '/pub/user-supported/alt.drugs'. All files in this directory are in gzip format, which is not compatible with either standard UNIX uncompress or PKware's pkunzip. First get any file in that directory called '000-Readme-Zip' or 'Readme-zipformat' or whatever it might be called (I forget exactly). It tells you where to get gzip, and gives 'quick and dirty' compiling instructions. This explanation of this growing method might also be available from the new archive at '', but I don't know what it might be called there. (Files at fenris are in standard UNIX compress format.)

OK, now the results:

I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the number of respondents. To those who did respond, thank you once again. I had 4 people reply saying they knew someone who'd been successful, and 2 who had friends who'd not been successful.


4 positive responses, detailing the attempts of 6 separate people.

1) 3 separate people, all successful. Used the brown rice method. Worked in draft free areas, and used much Lysol to control dust and airborne contaminants. All present wore germ masks. They were able to repeat their success, and improved their yields in successive generations.

2) 1 person. Used the brown rice method. 6 of 12 jars were successful. Grower then tried to make spore prints from the product under non-sterile conditions, but was unable to get these to grow.

3) 1 person. Respondent unsure of method used, but person observes very careful sterile procedure- has converted a closet to a 'transfer area', which resembles a shower stall w/plastic wrap.

4) 1 person. Used the brown rice method. Obtained initial print from FMRC. Typical success rate, 4-5 out of 7 jars. Besides spore prints, has also used live culture taken from an active jar, and even dust from a bag of purchased shrooms, all with the same success rate. (I guess this person emits some sort of sterile field that suppresses the growth of anything that isn't desired- no one else could get things to work starting from such a non-sterile source of spores.)

And now, the bad news-


2 respondents, with a total of 3 people making attempts.

1) 2 people with a total of 4 attempts, no details of method used.

2) 1 person. Used brown rice method, with spores from Homestead Books. Mycelial growth started, but then mold struck. Person had covered the jars with paper towels to allow air exchange, but will not be doing this 'next time.'

Well, that's what I've heard so far. What's it mean? Well, it is possible to cultivate your own. From what I've read from what people have sent, it would seem to be best to be as paranoid as possible about sterility. A recent posting mentioned the use of a 'glove box'- you would have a transparent lid on a box, with gloves on one side you could put your hands in to work. The inside of the box would then be sterilized, and all transfers of spores would be done inside this box. I don't know if one would need to go that far, but definitely avoid drafty rooms, spray down with Lysol first, wear a mask, etc.

Also, the brown rice method DOES work, apparently with a decent amount of success. This method would seem to have an advantage in not requiring separate culture and growth media, so you eliminate the risk of contamination when transferring from the culture medium to the growth medium.

Exp Year: 1993ExpID: 2240
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Jun 29, 2000Views: 46,310
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Mushrooms (39) : General (1), Cultivation / Synthesis (31), Unknown Context (20)

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