Unless you live in California, Georgia, or Idaho, growing your own magic mushrooms can be a fun — and very rewarding — hobby. Although the mushrooms themselves are illegal across America and Canada, the spores, which don’t contain psychedelic chemicals, are technically legal everywhere except for three states. If you’re interested in learning more about how to grow magic mushrooms, then this guide is a great introduction to the world of mycology.
Equipment You’ll Need
You will need to have a few things before you begin.
- One dozen wide-mouth pint jars
- A spore syringe
- Brown rice flour
- Vermiculite and Perlite
- Pressure cooker
- A spacious Rubbermaid tote
A mixture of brown rice flour and vermiculite is made and packed into pint jars, then topped off with more vermiculite. Holes are punched into the lids of the jars and then taped over. The jars are wrapped in aluminum foil and then pressure cooked for 45 minutes in order to sterilize them completely.
Once the jars are cool, they’re injected with a small amount of solution from the spore syringe. They’re put somewhere warm and the spores germinate into mycelium — mushroom roots, essentially — which is allowed to colonize the entire jar.
After the jars are colonized completely with snow white mycelium, they’re put into your fruiting chamber. The fruiting chamber is nothing more than a large Rubbermaid tote with damp perlite in the bottom. In a week or two, you’ll have tiny mushrooms growing from the cakes of colonized mycelium. Pick your mushrooms as soon as the caps begin to open.
Starting from Spore
Mushroom spores are like microscopic seeds. They slowly sprout into mycelium, the roots of a mushroom colony. Mushroom spores need a warm, damp place to sprout. It’s your job to give it to them.
The spores are shipped to you in a syringe. You’ll see black chunks floating in the water, these are spores that have clumped together. Shake your syringe well in order to get rid of these clumps. If you aren’t using your syringe right away, refrigerate it. But don’t put it in the freezer, or the syringe itself will be damaged as the water expands.
Preparing Your Jars
Your jars need to be packed with substrate. This is a mix of nutrient-rich brown rice flour and water-holding vermiculite. The mushroom spores will sprout on the substrate, and the mycelia will grow throughout it, turning the mixture into a spongy white block.
The lid of each jar will need to have holes punched in them large enough for the needle of the syringe to pass through. Punch holes with a nail about 1/4″ from the edge of the lid. Punch 4 holes, spaced evenly around the jar lid.
Pre-mix the substrate in a 2:1:1 formula by volume. That’s two parts vermiculite, one part brown rice, and another part water. For a dozen jars, you’ll need 6 pints of vermiculite, 3 pints of brown rice flour, and 3 pints of water. Mix the substrate together with a wooden spoon or your hands. It will be sterilized in the next step.
We’ll pick things up from here in part two of our magic mushroom grow guide.