Gardening can be a rewarding hobby year-round, and more people are doing it than ever before. It’s estimated that 77% of households in the U.S. enjoy a range of gardening activities both indoors and outside.
But what if you don’t have the space for a garden? Or what if it’s challenging to tackle your gardening duties when the weather takes a turn in the fall and winter?
A mushroom growing kit could be the perfect solution. Even if you’re a complete beginner (or have little ones who have never even planted a bean), nurturing plants indoors can give you the confidence for more ambitious gardening projects later on.
In this post, you’ll learn all about mushroom growing kits and how they work. You’ll also discover their many health benefits and explore the range of mushrooms you can grow at home. With so many varieties of organic mushrooms to grow, you’re sure to find a favorite!
What Are Mushrooms?
The classic umbrella shape of a mushroom is the fruiting body of a particular type of fungi, which are their own kingdom, just like plants and animals. The gills on the underside of a mushroom cap shed mushroom spores as part of their reproduction process.
Unlike plants, mushrooms don’t have any chlorophyll. Instead of using the sun’s energy to grow, mushrooms use fibers called mycelium (which are similar to the roots of a tree) for taking in nutrients from the environment and substrates such as straw, sawdust, or logs. You might have seen a shiitake mushroom log on a hike and not realized it.
Why a Mushroom Grow Kit?
Seasoned gardeners and newbies alike can have fun with a mushroom growing kit. It’s easy, low maintenance, and gives you a chance to connect with your food in a whole new way. They’re also a fun DIY project for kids who will have a blast learning about the science behind the growing process. (Fun fact: You’ll be ready for your first harvest in as few as 10 days!)
Another bonus of getting a mushroom growing kit is how much money you’ll save. Let’s be honest — gourmet mushrooms can cost a pretty penny. But you can give your wallet a break by growing your own mushrooms. You’ll be saving your hard-earned dollars while still adding fresh mushrooms to your kitchen creations. Win-win, right?
When you pick up a Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit, you’re getting everything you need to grow fresh mushrooms at home — and it’s a cinch to get started. Open your kit and cut into the grow bag so you can prepare the substrate. Your substrate is already infused with mushroom spawn, streamlining the growing process.
After you soak your grow bag and tuck it back in the box, all you have to do is stay on top of misting and watch your mushrooms grow — don’t worry, the perfect size spray bottle will already be inside the box. Keep in mind that indirect light will make your mushrooms much happier than being on a bright window sill. By following your kit instructions, you’ll be harvesting mushrooms in no time.
Back to the Roots mushroom growers are always 100% USDA certified organic, non-GMO, and made in the USA. You’ll always know you’re getting the best for you and your family. You can find them online or at your local Home Depot Garden Center or Walmart Garden Center.
Mushroom Health Benefits
Mushroom cultivation goes back centuries with certain varieties dating to 600 AD. We love mushrooms because they’re so darn delicious, and they come with a bevy of health benefits.
Rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, mushrooms are an ideal addition to a healthy lifestyle. They’re also low in sodium and glucose, helping you avoid blood sugar spikes.
Regularly eating mushrooms helps your body stay in balance, and you can benefit from their health-promoting properties. These friendly fungi can fortify your immune system, increase cellular function, prevent cognitive decline, and improve heart and bone health. (They’re high in anti-inflammatory beta-glucans and a good source of vitamin D).
While the health benefits apply to edible mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms have other qualities too (more on these soon).
Different Types of Mushroom Growing Kits
Whether you’re ready to imagine new culinary creations with gourmet mushrooms or you want to explore the world of medicinal mushrooms, you have plenty of options. We’ll give you a brief background on a handful of each and let you decide where to start.
Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that can pack any dish with loads of umami flavor. There’s so many to choose from beyond the white button mushrooms you see at the grocery store. Supermarkets are getting better at stocking a wider variety of edible mushrooms, so you can start experimenting in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Morel Mushrooms: Morels are related to truffles and have an earthy, nutty flavor. Typically, the darker the mushroom, the bolder the flavor. Try including morels in your next risotto or bisque.
- Oyster Mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms come in a range of colors and have a delicate flavor. Back to the Roots has both pink oyster mushroom and pearl oyster mushroom grow kits.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms can be cooked in several ways and have a hearty, meaty flavor. Save the stems of these dark brown mushrooms for stocks and soup.
- Enoki Mushrooms: Enoki mushrooms are sometimes called Snow Puff mushrooms and have long stems with white caps. These dainty mushrooms are easy to overcook, so be sure to add them when you’re just about done in the kitchen.
- Chanterelle Mushrooms: Chanterelles are brightly colored, yellow to orange mushrooms with a nutty flavor. They’re a delight in many dishes, but like Enoki mushrooms, you’ll want to be careful not to overcook them.
Medicinal mushrooms have been a go-to ingredient in folk medicine for centuries to help with stress, boost the immune system, sharpen your mind, and more. Keep your eyes open for these so you can take advantage of their nourishing properties:
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Lion’s mane mushrooms have neuroprotective qualities, which means they work hard to protect your brain. They’re also believed to assist with cognitive function, so you can focus more and strengthen your concentration.
- Chaga Mushroom: Chaga mushrooms are known for boosting your immune system and their high antioxidant value, which fights free radicals and reduces oxidative stress.
- Reishi Mushroom: This mushroom could come in handy during cold season as it nurtures your immune system. It may help you get a better night’s rest and manage stress and anxiety, too. Reishi’s mood-boosting properties can help you feel calm when you need it.
- Turkey Tail Mushroom: Like the others on our list, turkey tail mushrooms positively affect your immune system through a compound called polysaccharide-k or PSK. Because of its antioxidant activity, turkey tail mushrooms have been used to prevent cancer.
- Cordyceps Mushroom: If you lead an active lifestyle, cordyceps could help you maintain energy levels and recover faster from your workout. Cordyceps assist your body in using oxygen more efficiently and increases blood flow.
Regardless of which mushroom growing kit you choose, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying healthy and delicious meals.
Make Indoor Gardening Easy With a Mushroom Growing Kit
A mushroom growing kit is a radically simple way to get more in touch with nature and experience the pride of growing and harvesting your own food. It’s nearly foolproof and provides a beautiful opportunity to get the whole family in on the joy of gardening.
Take your time deciding which grow kits you’d like to start with and what you’d like to do with your mushrooms once you harvest them. From salads to pizza, pasta, and stews, the possibilities are endless. Plus, with Back to the Roots’ zero-risk gardening, you’ll have mushrooms growing in no time, guaranteed.