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Growing Your Own

Edible Mushrooms

Image by Jaap Straydog

  • Unsplash

Researching human interactions with mushrooms put me in the mood to grow my own! I purchased two mushroom kits from different brands, Dave’s Mushrooms on Amazon and Back to the Roots, and watched them grow! I felt it was important that not only do I talk about human connection to nature through mushroom education and research, but actually through growing and consuming my own mushrooms. I’ve documented my thoughts and feelings during the process and to determine where the source of my own mycophobia stems from. 

First impression: Both kits were intimidating. I did not want to touch them too much as I feared that I would become ill from breathing in the spores, a definitely irrational fear. I had to cut the plastic cover to begin watering the substrate and caught a glimpse of what the mushrooms would be growing on. It was slightly terrifying.


Pre-growth: I had to mist both kits daily with purified water and keep them in indirect light. At first I feared that the kit was not working as I am extremely impatient and was hoping for results within 2 days. I diligently watered the mushrooms until I saw results.


First day of growth: I first noticed a fluffy, white blob in the center of the mushroom log. I did not know what it was until I saw a small brown cap, the beginnings of the mushroom! It was an exciting moment, to say the least. I came back later in the day and was surprised by the growth. The small caps had begun protruding from the center of the log.


Second day of growth: The mushrooms were more well deformed and had begun resembling little stems. They were finally looking like mushrooms!


Third day of growth: The mushrooms were huge! They began to have stable caps that fanned out and had visible gills. I showed all my housemates the growth and as I was so amazed! This project was doing so much better than I had expected!


Fourth day of growth: The mushrooms had stopped growing, or were growing so slow I didn’t notice. The mushrooms had sprouted from every possible space and had grown into each other. I then harvested the mushrooms and cooked them! One concern of mine was how to tell if the mushrooms were ready to harvest. I looked at many guides to determine the right time to harvest. It was intimidating ripping my oyster mushrooms from their home, but I had to do it.

Try this Delicious Recipe:

Pan Fried Oyster Mushroom

& Green Onion

  • a few of the oyster mushrooms 

  • a pinch of salt 

  • 1 bunch of green onions 

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil



  1. heat up the sesame oil on low heat

  2. chop up green onions, garlic, and oyster mushroom 

  3. toss green onion and garlic into hot pan and cook until fragrant 

  4. add oyster mushroom and cook until brown and crispy

Though simple, this recipe turned out delicious! The mushrooms were chewy and tasted great! The texture was almost like meat as it was slightly tough and chewy. I was slightly scared of using mushrooms that I grew to cook with, but they turned out amazing! I will definitely make this recipe as it turned out so well and is so simple! 


  • Valverde ME, Hernández-Pérez T, Paredes-López O. Edible mushrooms: improving human health and promoting quality life. Int J Microbiol. 2015;2015:376387. doi:10.1155/2015/376387

  • (n.d.). Retrieved from

  • Blagodatski A, Yatsunskaya M, Mikhailova V, Tiasto V, Kagansky A, Katanaev VL. Medicinal mushrooms as an attractive new source of natural compounds for future cancer therapy. Oncotarget. 2018;9(49):29259–29274. Published 2018 Jun 26. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.25660

  • Ritchie, Hannah, Reay, S., D., Higgins, & Peter. (2018, April 23). Potential of Meat Substitutes for ClimateChange Mitigation and Improved Human Health in High-Income Markets. Retrieved from

  • Kowalski, K. (2019, December 3). Recycling the dead. Retrieved from

  • L. Hauben, personal communication, February 29 2020

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