GROWING MUSHROOMS ON SAWDUST BLOCKS
Growing mushrooms on sawdust blocks is the best way to grow consistent crops of a wide variety of gourmet and medicinal fungi. It is a more advanced method than growing on straw or preparing logs, and requires some extra equipment and experience, but it will also open the doors to a wider range of options in terms of species that you can grow.
The following species are suited to the methods described on this page, and are species which are permitted to be grown here in New Zealand. You can buy cultures or pre-prepared grain spawn of these species right here on this site.
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)
NZ Shiitake (Lentinula novae-zealandiae)
Pekepeke-kiore / Coral Tooth / NZ Lions Mane (Hericium novae-zealandiae)
Enoki (Flammulina velutipes)
Tawaka / Poplar Mushroom (Cyclocybe parasitica)
Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus species)
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
Growing mushrooms indoors on sawdust blocks is a great method to grow wood loving species of mushrooms, with a quicker yield and more consistency than outdoor log cultivation, which can take a year or more to produce a crop and depends on the whims of the weather conditions at the time. Whereas blocks can begin fruiting in as little as a few weeks. Sawdust block cultivation is the primary method of production used by small to large scale commercial growers of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms asides from button mushrooms which grow on compost.
The goal of sawdust block cultivation is to provide a good substrate for the mycelium to grow on. This is generally comprised of sawdust or fine wood chip, mixed with an additional (optional) nutrient suppliment like wheat bran or soy hulls. The substrate mixture is hydrated, sterilised, and then inoculated with grain spawn or liquid culture of the desired mushroom species, before being incubated until it is fully colonised, at which point the sawdust can be put into fruiting conditions to grow mushrooms!
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