As people continue to search for more ways to experience fun psychedelic trips, the popularity of magic mushrooms, or simply “shrooms,” is also rapidly increasing. It is no surprise that more and more people are now looking into growing their own magic mushrooms right from the comfort and security of their own homes.
The main benefits of DIY cultivation are that you have a steady, reliable supply, you reduce the risk of erroneously identifying a species in the wild, and you get to occupy yourself with such a fun hobby. There are two ways you can go about growing your own shrooms.
Option 1: Get yourself a grow kit.
The first method is the easy way. You can openly buy grow kits in Canada. These kits already contain the living organism from which your magic mushroom will grow. You just need to keep that just at the right level of humidity.
Option 2: Do it yourself.
The second technique involves starting from scratch. Going this route means you have more control over your shrooms, you can be as careful as you want to prevent contamination, and you learn more.
- 1 spore syringe or spore print from a magic mushroom (Psilocybe cubensis is generally recommended for beginners, Copelandia cyanescens and the like for experienced growers.)
- 1 Bunsen burner
- 1 gas bottle
- 1 pack of Petri dishes with pre-prepared agar-agar (normally sold in packs with 5 to 10)
- 3 or 4 big jars
- 1 knitting needle or any big and wide needle
- Few liters of vermiculite
- Around 10 kg rice flour
- 1 cooking pot (preferably totally sealed pressure cooker)
- 2 to 3 sturdy boxes, which will serve as your shrooms’ home (Styrofoam and planks are okay. Just make sure that they can be opened and closed. Line the inside of your boxes airtight with foil for security and for retaining humidity.)
- Organic Rye
- 1 scalpel or a sharp knife
- Cover for your hair, gloves, and surgical mask (optional)
Step 1: This is mostly preparation. Choose an area that will be your grow room. Make sure that it is clean and not prone to molds. Put the Bunsen burner together on a perfectly level surface. On a table, place the closed Petri dishes, needle, and spore print.
Step 2: This step has to be done very quickly, and the Petri dish cannot be open for longer than around 3 seconds. With the spore print on the table, put the front tip of your needle on the Bunsen burner flame until it becomes noticeably red. Let it cool, then put it back into the flame for around 5 seconds at most. Let the needle cool again, but this time only until its temperature is not too much over room temperature.
Press the heated needle front against the spore print. Open a Petri dish, touch the agar-agar with the needle tip, and then close the Petri dish again. Do this for all Petri dishes, and remember not to open a dish for too long.
Step 3: This step generally takes 4 to 10 days. Place the Petri dishes in a dark room. Wait for 4 to 10 days, during which the magic mushroom should colonize.
Step 4: Do this once you see that the spores have colonized the entire Petri dishes. Mix 3 parts organic rye, 1 part vermiculite, and 1 part rice flour. Distribute this mix evenly among the preserving jars. Then, pour in 2 small cups of water into each preserving jar just before you close each lid.
Step 5: This is the sterilization step. Put the jars in the pressure cooker, which you should then seal and switch to low heat. Leave everything as is for an hour when the cooker is on full heat. The jars should be sterile at this point, and you need to let them cool to room temperature without opening their lids.
Step 6: Sterilize your scalpel over the burner, similar to what you did to the needle tip earlier. After it is cooled, use it to slice the colonized agar-agar in the Petri dishes into squares (From 3 Petri dishes, you should have about 5 to 10 little squares.).
Step 7: Put the tiny squares into the jars. To avoid contamination, it is best that you wear sterile gloves and use sterile forceps or any similar apparatus in this step. Close the jar lids when done, and place the jars in the same area where you kept the Petri dishes. In the next several days, the magic mushroom should colonize the media inside the jars.
Step 8: Repeat Step 4, except that you need to put the mixture not in a jar but in the pressure cooker directly. Take everything out 15 minutes after the cooker gets to full heat, and spread the medium evenly on the bottom of the grow boxes you made.
Step 9: Carefully transfer the contents of each jar (the colonized material) into the boxes. Mix well, but do so as quickly as possible so each box is not left open for too long.
Step 10: Keep the box in the right temperature (depends on species), and maintain humidity by soaking the media in water. Add distilled water through spraying if needed.
Step 11: The shrooms should further colonize the boxes in the next several days. When the hats of around half of the flush look like they are going to open soon, it is time to harvest.
Step 12: This is the harvesting step. Do not pull violently. Instead, gently twist upward the shrooms that are just above the ground. After harvesting, spray the media again. There will be another flush in the next 2 days or so, and that can be harvested within a week. Do this same process for a maximum of 4 flushes.
What to Expect
Typically, 3 Petri dishes (2 to 3 boxes) should yield more or less 1 kg of magic mushrooms (100 g dry weight) weekly. Happy growing!
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