Frequently Asked Questions
What does a healthy MiniFarm look like?
A healthy MiniFarm will have its mycelium mat all around the block (sometimes very light) and will be free of any green, bright red or large black spots. The white or pink (in case of pink oyster mushrooms) mold looking material, small brown droplets and dense patches of material are all normal and will have no impact on your MiniFarm fruiting.
How much fruit does each MiniFarm produce?
That largely depends on the, strain, environment and the level of care you give your MiniFarm. On average, our Oyster verities yield 3/4 to 1 lb on their first harvest and our Lion's mane yields about 1/2 to 1 lb per harvest. Subsequent flushes can yield about 1/2lb per harvest.
I just received my MiniFarm, how would I know it is healthy and ready to grow?
It is easy! Take out the block from the box,
look all around it and make sure you do not see any green, bright red or dark
black spots. Environmental factors, temperature and handling conditions during
transport for example, can cause issues with MiniFarms. If you observe any
suspicious growth, contact us and one of our customer service specialist will
help you out!
I would not be able to start my MiniFarm rightaway, can I store it?
Yes you can! You just need to make sure the MiniFarm is placed in a cool and dry environment in its box. Given the right conditions MiniFarms can be stored for more than a month. All MiniFarms aside from Pink Oyster ones can be refrigerated, that will increase their shelf life to more than three months.
I want to start my MiniFarm, what should I do?
After you have inspected your MiniFarm, you
place it back in its box and follow these steps:
1. Remove the front panel.
2. Wash your hands and make an X shaped cut on your MiniFarm with a SANITIZED
knife. It is important that you make sure everything that touches the opening
on the MiniFarm is sanitized (rubbing alcohol does a great job) or at least thoroughly washed with soap and warm water.
3. Place your MiniFarm in a place with ambient light, adequate airflow, high humidity (above
70%), cool temperature (between 18 to 28° C), and away from direct sunlight.
4. Fill up your spray water (with cooled boiled water preferably) and spray around the opening at least twice a day. Avoid spraying directly on your mushrooms.
5. Continue spraying, monitor the humidity and enjoy watching your mushrooms grow!
How long does it take for the MiniFarms to grow mushrooms?
Given the right conditions, our oyster verities start growing mushrooms in seven to ten day time period. Lion's mane grows a bit slower and usually takes about two weeks to grow.
When should I harvest my mushrooms?
For the oyster mushrooms, you want to harvest them just before the caps flatten out! Lion's mane tends to start browning at the base as it grows, so you want to harvest it before the base is completely brown.
How should I harvest my mushrooms?
When it is time to harvest, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water. Hold your MiniFarm still with one hand and grab your mushroom cluster with the other. You want to lightly twist and pull your mushroom cluster until it easily separates from your MiniFarm.
I just harvested my mushrooms, what should I do next?
After harvest care is crucial to ensure getting subsequent fruiting. You should remove all the remains of your previous harvest with a clean hand making sure no tiny mushrooms remain on the face of your MiniFarm. After that, you should continue caring for your MiniFarm as before and you will have your next flush in the next two to three weeks.
How should I process my harvest?
You want to remove all the particles (mushroom substrate and mycelium) from the base of your mushrooms by cutting them out with a sharp knife. After that you can use the "fruits of your labor" as you wish! We have many delicious and easy to make recipes on our Instagram account.
How many harvests can I get from my MiniFarm?
Our MiniFarms are all 5lbs and not the 3lb commonly found in the market. That not only lets you have a better yield on your first harvest but also it leads to better second and third flushes. Please note that we guarantee one harvest because of the fact that subsequent harvests are very dependant on environment and the level of care you give your MiniFarm. Having that said, we have had customers sending us fabulous pictures of the third and fourth harvests!
My MiniFarm has fruited multiple times and it is done growing, how can I discard it?
You can remove the plastic bag from your MiniFarm and simply compost it. The mycelium rich substrate makes a great fertilizer so if you have a garden or plants, you can simply break down the MiniFarm and spread/mix it with your soil. Another fun way get some more fruits from your MiniFarm is to remove the plastic bag and burry about 3/4 of your MiniFarm in a cool shaded area in your garden!
Do I need a growth chamber?
Simple answer is Yes!
But your growth chamber does not have to be expensive or complicated. It can be as simple as sanitizing a clear plastic bag, piercing a couple of holes on it to vent and placing it over your MiniFarm. We also have our one of a kind reusable Habitats that do the job perfectly and enable you to watch your beautiful mushrooms grow.
Why do I need a growth chamber?
Mushrooms require very high humidity levels to thrive. The average humidity that gourmet mushrooms need for optimal growth is above 80% while the average household humidity is below 40%! That is why we highly recommend using a chamber to ensure your MiniFarms have what they need in order to produce the best fruits. Another important advantage of using a growth chamber is the fact that it prevents your MiniFarm from getting exposed to environmental contaminates (mold spores, pet derbies, bacteria etc) which ensures a great harvest and subsequent fruiting.
I received my kit and there are mushrooms growing out of it already, what is happening?
We use the most vigorous and healthy strains, so it is completely normal that a small percentage of them find a way to get some air and start growing! But, that is nothing to worry about, you can simply remove and compost the growth and use your MiniFarm with no issues.
Why do my mushrooms look odd?
There are a couple of environmental factors that can make mushroom grow sub-optimally. Here are a the most common ones:
My mushrooms are growing very long stems! What that means is that your mushrooms lack air, so they are simply reaching out for oxygen. Just like us, fungi take in oxygen and produces carbon dioxide, so it is important to have enough airflow for your mushrooms to "breathe".
My mushrooms are very pale and look odd! Even though mushrooms do not photosynthesize, they need ambient light in order to grow optimally, imagine the indirect sunlight and moonlight in the forest, that is what they would love to have. When placed in a dark environment, most mushroom do not grow, and inadequate light can lead to pale and oddly shaped mushrooms.