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Growing Mushrooms - 10 Reasons to Grow Your Own Mushrooms

Updated on June 4, 2010

1.) Taste

Freshly picked mushrooms taste so much better than store bought mushrooms it's incredible. You have to remember that mushrooms you buy at most stores are, on average, between 2 and 5 days old. During this time chemical changes occur in the mushroom that alters the taste. The alteration in taste is more than just the taste has faded or decreased. There is a richness, a heightened mushroomy taste present in freshly picked mushrooms that is absent in store bought mushrooms. If you have ever picked and eaten an apple right off the tree or a tomato right off the vine you have a pretty good idea of the difference in taste I am talking about. Home grown mushrooms just taste better.

2.) Nutrition

Freshly picked mushrooms are higher in nutrients than store bought mushrooms. Remember, mushrooms you buy at must store are, on average, between 2 and 5 days old. During this time the mushrooms, just like the fruits and vegetables you buy at a store, have lost some or much of their nutritional value. The older the mushroom is the more its nutritional value has been lost. While exact mushroom nutritional value varies from specie to specie one thing that is certain is that mushrooms are good for you. Mushrooms are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. They are rich in essential amino acids and a variety of vitamins including vitamin D.

3.) Going green


Growing your own mushrooms is a great way of going green. What do you do with the left over substrate when your mushroom kit will no longer grow mushrooms? Don’t just throw it out! Put it to good use by adding it to a compost pile to help decompose compost. Some kits are mostly dirt when finished so put it in your garden and your plants will benefit from all the nutrients left behind by growing mushrooms. If you really want to go green some mushrooms will thrive by growing them on old cardboard boxes like from crackers or cereal, paper egg cartons, or even the tubes paper towels and toilet are wrapped around. Why send those things to the recycling center or city dump when you can productively reuse them. Or even greater, one type of mushroom can even help reclaim soil and help clean up after an oil spill.

4.) Health Benefits


There are some mushrooms that have been revered for their health benefits like giving long life and fighting diseases. Some of these have been used for thousands of years. Reishi mushrooms and Turkey Tail mushrooms are just two of the many mushrooms that are used to promote good health. Usually these mushrooms are dried and are then turned into a medicinal tea. You may want to grow some for yourself and try out the health benefits these of highly sought after mushrooms. If you grow several types you can create your own blend that will benefit a wide variety of ailments.

5.) Educational


Growing your own mushrooms can be educational and addictive. Learning about the mushrooms you grow will allow you to explore the wonderful and fascinating world of Mycology. What exactly are mushrooms? How do they reproduce? How do they grow? What do they grow on in the wild? What growing conditions do they need to grow? What can you do with mushrooms besides eat them? There are some great books out there to help you learn. My favorite author is Paul Stamets. He is a world wide respected authority on Mycology and has written six books on the subject. His website is wonderful.

6.) Selection

Growing your own mushrooms allows you to have a much greater variety of mushrooms available to you. I found indoor mushroom kits for 20 different kinds of mushrooms. Plus there are a wide variety of outdoor mushroom kits or mushroom patches available as well. Now think about it, when you see mushrooms in a store there are generally only two or three kinds to choose from. Of course this may vary depending upon where you live. Where I live I can generally find white buttons, portabella, and occasionally white oyster mushrooms.  Not much of a selection when you compare all the different varieties you can grow yourself.

Toxic mushrooms blamed in dog's death by WCNCVideo

7.) Safety


Alright all you mushroom hunters and wannabe mushroom hunters out there. Granted a handful of you might be very knowledgeable and experienced in hunting mushrooms. The rest of you might be pretty good at recognizing one or two of your favorite mushrooms growing in your area, but how many of you know the differences between your favorite mushroom and toxic mushrooms that may look like your favorites. Hundreds of people are hospitalized every year, some people have even died, because they ate a toxic look alike mushroom. There are some toxic mushrooms that look exactly like edible ones and you have to run other identification tests to really tell what type of mushroom it is. Growing your own mushrooms eliminates the risk of misidentification.

The Good, the Bad, and the Deadly by mycogypsy

8.) Seasonal Availability

While it is a wonderful thing to go walking through the woods seeking your favorite tasty morsels. You'll have to admit that sometimes it can be a tricky thing to find the delicacies you are searching for. Most mushrooms only fruit at certain times of the year. In the spring you hunt certain mushrooms and in the fall you hunt others. You might dry a lot of them for later use, but dried mushrooms aren't nearly as good as freshly picked ones. And what happens when you just have a bad season and can't find your favorites in the quantities you normally do if at all. If you grow your own mushrooms you will be able to have fresh mushrooms year round. There's a good chance that you can find kits to grow some of your favorites.

KETC | Living St. Louis | Mushroom Hunting by ketc9

9.) It’s easy

The mushroom kit business is a booming business. Well maybe not booming, but it is a growing industry that has a lot of competition. One of the reasons for this competition is the fact that growing mushrooms is so easy. So with this competition comes the drive for each company to produce the best and easiest kit for their customers. Most indoor kits come with everything you need to grow mushrooms and they provide detailed instructions. These instructions take the guesswork out of growing your own mushrooms and have made it almost impossible to fail.

10.) Fun

What more can I say? Growing mushrooms is just plain fun!


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    • David Trujillo profile image

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      I love mushrooms and wish to know how to grow them in my farm. What kind of climate do I need?

    • profile image

      porcini lover 6 years ago

      Is it possible to grow porcini mushrooms?

    • teresa8go profile image

      teresa8go 7 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Thanks Steve! I've seen some of the pics of mushrooms you have taken and put up on one of your hubs about Tenerife. I'm making my way through your hubs. They are so wonderful. Makes me wish I could at least visit for a couple of weeks.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      L love mushrooms but have never grown any and much prefer wild ones to any from the shops so totally agree with what you have said here! Excellent hub that I have voted up!