It seems there can be some confusion about mushroom cultivation for beginners and those who are finally ready to step away from spores. The golden question amongst beginners is, what are mushroom cultures? This is an important question and if you are seeing the phrase for the first time it can be confusing.
Generally, when people see the word “culture” thoughts like behaviors and traditions of a group of people with a particular ethnic background come to mind. You’re not wrong, so don’t beat yourself up. You are about to take a step into a much larger world. We are very honored to have you learn this from us.
What are mushroom cultures?
Okay, say you order a mushroom culture from the internet. In a couple of weeks what you get in the mail will come in the form of a syringe, a petri dish, or a test tube. In each of these, you have the live mycelium of a particular mushroom species.
The species you receive depends entirely on what you select and the reliability of your vendor. When the vendor is competent you should receive a culture of an isolated strain. When thinking about strains it can be easily understood by looking at people. Human beings are one species and within that species are different people with different genetics. So we can look at each human as a different strain because of the differences in our genes.
Genetics is a major key!
The reason it is important to have cultures of isolated strains is to eliminate competition. Two strains of the same species will not always be compatible and will compete over the substrate they have been introduced to. When you are growing mushrooms for food or profit it is ideal to have a single strain. Minimize competition and contaminants to basically spoil your mushroom strain so they produce the best mushrooms they can.
Now, it is important to always remember, that it is not solely based on your technique that produces the best yields with the biggest fruits. Genetics plays a massive role in what kinds of yields and fruits you are able to produce. Don’t get me wrong, your technique is a major key in mushroom production. The other major key is strain selection. Preserving a mushroom culture with the ultimate genetics is what we all strive for.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the results you want right away. Take a good look at the source of the culture before you buy. You might see a listing for Harry’s Mycelium Mall or something crazy with the best prices, but always check out reviews. For one, it is not always easy to get a refund or a replacement from a vendor. Always make sure to do your research.
Now ya know…
What are mushroom cultures? Now you have a much better idea and have taken a step into a fascinating new world. There is always something new to learn with fungi. If you have any further questions about mushroom cultivation or fungi, please do not hesitate to contact us.