How To Grow Oyster Mushrooms At Home (And Get Plenty Of Flavor And Protein For Free)

You don't need a garden to grow mushrooms—any cool, shady space will do, even a cupboard or dark corner.


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It’s fairly easy to grow oyster mushrooms indoors in a bag or a 2-gallon bucket using sawdust or spent coffee grounds as the growing medium. Mushrooms appreciate the nitrogen in coffee grounds, and the coffee-making hot water treatment clears grounds of mold or microorganisms that might compete with your fungi as they get their mycelium running.

Collect used coffee grounds from a cafe or save your own at home. Keep them in the freezer until you have enough to get growing, or pasteurize your growing medium in the microwave. Depending on the variety, it may only take two weeks or so to get your first crop of mushrooms.

Begin with your butts

Novice mushroom farmers stand the best chance of success by starting with a modest mushroom-growing kit, consisting of “spawn” of an easy-to-grow variety and a container of growing medium. But some mushroom varieties, notably oysters, can be established from the mycelium trailing from stem ends, or “butts.”

Look for mycelium on freshly-picked mushrooms from the wild or from your farmers market.

Packed with nutrients

Mushrooms are a good source of protein, energy-releasing B vitamins, and selenium, a mineral that supports the immune system and fertility. They’re especially helpful for vegetarians and vegans, whose sources of selenium are limited.

Counterintuitively, the shade-loving mushroom is the only produce source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin.”

Dry them for umami

Alternatively described as earthy, meaty, smoky, or savory, umami is the taste that brings flavors together and gives a dish substance. Dried mushrooms are an excellent pantry staple for instant, intensified umami. Cut clean mushrooms into thin slices or dry delicate mushrooms whole. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet—without oil. Dry them slowly in the oven at about 180 degrees, turning them over once, until they are brittle and completely dry on both sides.

Some cooks swear by the transformative magic of mushroom powder. Pulverize dried porcini or shiitake in a spice grinder or blender. Mix in herbs, chili flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on eggs, greens, risotto, pasta—even popcorn.

Mushrooms as medicine

Mushrooms are a good source of protein, energy-releasing B vitamins, and selenium.

Some varieties of mushrooms amp up their production of vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Mushrooms high in vitamin D are already being sold in supermarkets, and they could be a future non-animal source of vitamin D supplements.

Western medicine is catching up on an ancient aspect of Asian medicine—the medicinal properties of mushrooms. Recent research has shown shiitake mushrooms may help control the inflammation associated with conditions like arthritis and cancers. Some Japanese researchers are already treating cancer patients with lentinan, a compound derived from mushrooms.

This article appears in Cities Are Now, the Winter 2015 issue of YES! Magazine.

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October 19, 2018

The Moon is in egalitarian Aquarius as the day begins. The early morning hours are well suited for visionary thinking and planning. However, keep an eye on expenses. By the start of most business hours a void of course Moon period has begun…
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October 2018

October 14 - 18 Join the acclaimed Grandmaster William C. C. Chen for an intensive five-day Tai Chi Chuan Fall Retreat. Knowledge of the Yang-style short form is a requirement for participation....

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Eco Village
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
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October 14 - November 19 60 PDAs A 36 day retreat in which acclaimed Qigong master, Junfeng Li, will meditate and practice not only Sheng Zhen Gong daily, but will also share traditions that...

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Eastover Estate & Eco Village
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
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Lunare is open to magickal vendors and holistic practitioners wishing to offer their spiritual goods and services to an audience interested in all things mystical. General admission to...

Cost: Free general admission, lecture tickets $15

Where:
Hunt Memorial Building
6 Main St
Nashua, NH  03064
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Telephone: 603-801-2113
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Join Psychic Medium Diane Lewis for gallery style readings. Diane will be connecting to spirit delivering messages from those who have crossed over. Don't miss this free event sponsored by...

Cost: Free

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Hopkinton Public Library
13 Main Street
Hopkinton, MA, MA  01748
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Telephone: 617-645-6415
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Break emotional patterns that keep you stuck in the pain of addictive habits. Heal mental trauma through physical practices involving movement, breath, and meditation.

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Yoga at the Ashram
368 Village Street
Millis, MA  02054
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The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

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Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
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With Carrie Rowan Wednesday evenings at 7pm, a 4-week introductory class that teaches quick energy medicine tools, mini meditations to help moms/dads and caregivers reduce stress and stay calm...

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Fitzgerald Institute
Northboro, MA


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October 18 - 21 Magnetic-harmonic vibrational therapist, Jay Emmanuel, A.K., N.S.,V.M. shares powerful energy techniques that use the forces of sounds produced by the human voice in combination...

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Eastover Estate & Retreat Center
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
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Course participant experiences:  “After this course, I learned how to recognize where I hold my tension and release it.”  “My favorite part of the program is the...

Cost: $650

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CHA Center for Mindfulness & Compassion
26 Central Street
2nd Floor Community Room
Somerville, MA  02143
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Telephone: 617-591-6132
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The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation) is an innovative holistic curriculum addressing the current health crisis and epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Telephone: 413-636-2475
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Milton, MA


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14 CEU Credits for Massage/Bodywork Therapists! Oct 19-21: Chi Nei Tsang And...pre-weekend women only event: Oct 18: Women’s Sexual Ecstacy - 1-6pm/6CEUs Chi Nei...

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Eastover Estate & Eco Village
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October 19 - 20 (Workshop runs 10-5 both days) When the phase of the Sixth Sun began with the eclipse of July 11, 2010 it was time, according to Sergio’s teacher, for the ancient...

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Natick Mariott Courtyard
Natick, MA


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With Yogi Amandeep Adi Shakti represents all divine energies. When activated, she manifests herself as creativity, prosperity, wisdom. Rare workshop uniting ancient science of Kundalini...

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Connect with the ancient wisdom of yoga. Learn how yoga practices are designed to address life’s problems, such as work stress, relationship difficulties, and common mental health issues. Be...

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Yogalife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
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No previous experience is required for this Friday evening event. It is essential for students who are unfamiliar with using the Pathway Prayer Process© and who plan to attend the 2-day...

Cost: $35

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Circles of Wisdom - New location late Summer '18
386 Merrimack Street
Methuen, MA  01844
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Bee Kind Music Class with Carrie Rowan inspires a love to music in little ones. 10am on Fridays for 8 weeks at Playtown Express in Southboro. To register call (508) 480-0022 or...

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Playtown Express
150 Cordaville Road
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The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

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Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
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Contact Name: Brad Fanger

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“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” — Sanskrit Proverb Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the healing...

Cost: $40 (limited hardship rates available)

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Museum of Modern Renaissance
115 College Avenue
Somerville, MA  02144
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Refresh, refocus, simplify. Discover easy tools and strategies to prepare for an incredible holiday season. 8:00–8:30 Registration open 8:30–8:35 Welcome 8:35–9:20 Circle...

Cost: $99

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Women’s Health Resource Center
9 Hanover Street
Lebanon, NH  03766
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October 20 - 21 Early Bird Special! Register before September 30 and save $45! Prerequisite: Be familiar with accessing the Akashic Records through the Pathway Prayer Process© either...

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Circles of Wisdom - New location late Summer '18
386 Merrimack Street
Methuen, MA  01844
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See all that is new at Dragonfly! Come and meet our new practitioners and teachers and learn about the innovative holistic modalities that are being offered. Participate in free classes, see...

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Dragonfly Wellness Center
176 Jackson Rd.
Devens, MA  MA
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October 20 & 21, 10:30am-6:30pm Practices and Approaches for PTSD, Depression and Anxiety with Erin Byron, MA, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, YACEP, Licensed Mental Health Professional Experiment with...

Cost: $325

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Exeter, NH  03833
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The shamanic rattle is a sacred tool that can be used to shift into an altered state of consciousness, sense and track energy, and heal the energetic body, which contains the codes underlying...

Cost: $40

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Akasha Studio
20 Birch Street
Roslindale, MA  02131
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