Mushroom Farm Reishi Kit
The reishi mushroom goes by many names. In China, it is known as the lingzhi, or “tree of life” mushroom. In Vietnam, it is called the linh chi, meaning “supernatural mushroom.” And in Japan, the reishi has two common names: mannentake, meaning “10,000 year mushroom of immortality” and saiwaitake, or “good fortune mushroom.”
With its unusual “antler,” “conk,” or kidney-shaped form, the reishi is often featured in ancient Far Eastern art. Images can actually be drawn on the white underside of the conk form. But we have a feeling your favorite thing to do with reishi mushrooms will be to eat them.
How to use your Mushroom Farm
- When you purchase or receive your Mushroom Farm, leave the bag undisturbed for 3-5 days.
- Soak the substrate block overnight in cold spring water, well water, or tap water that has been boiled for 20 minutes and cooled. To do this, simply open the bag and fill it with water. NEVER use distilled or chlorinated water, as the chlorine can kill your mushrooms.
- Remove the block from the incubation bag and place it on a pie tin or dinner plate.
- Insert the skewers (included) into the top corners of the block.
- Place the humidity tent (included) over the skewers, making sure the plastic tent does not touch the block.
- Tear a small hole in the bag—you will use this hole to insert a plant mister nozzle for watering your Farm. DO NOT USE a sprayer that previously contained pesticides or other chemicals. The residue can kill your mushrooms (not to mention making you ill). Use only a brand-new mister, or one that has only contained water.
- Place in indirect sunlight or under a fluorescent light bulb.
- To water your Mushroom Farm, spray it 3-4 times a day with spring water, well water, or boiled and cooled tap water. Remember, no chlorinated or distilled water.
- The reishi is a slow-growing mushroom. It will be 2-3 months before you have mature mushrooms ready to harvest. Early reishi mushrooms appear as small, white bumps that turn a golden brown. If airflow is restricted, “antlers” will form. With sufficient ventilation, “conk” shapes will form.
- Harvest your reishi mushrooms when you see a light brown dusting on them. This is spore formation and indicates that your mushrooms have matured. If you prefer, you can allow the mushrooms to grow larger, rather than harvest them at this point.
- Your reishi Mushroom Farm will produce one flush (crop) of mushrooms. However, you can bury the spent block in your outdoor garden to try growing another flush.
The reishi mushroom is recognized worldwide for its healing and medicinal properties. It has a 2,000-year history of being used medicinally in Asia. In fact, ancient Far Easterners associated the reishi with “royalty, health and recuperation, longevity, sexual prowess, wisdom, and happiness.” It has also been noted that that Himalayan guides have used the reishi mushroom to combat high-altitude sickness.
Today, the reishi mushroom has been shown to have remarkable medicinal value. Its immune-boosting power fights off disease, including cancerous tumors, without harming healthy tissue as radiation can. The reishi also has anti-viral and anti-coagulant properties, and has been shown to reduce cholesterol naturally.
Store your fresh reishi mushrooms in a sealed container after they have been cleaned and air-dried. Reishi mushrooms make a fantastic soup stock and a tasty addition to your favorite stew. They’re also delicious when grilled.
But the reishi is most commonly used to brew a healthful tea. To make reishi tea, break the mushrooms into small pieces and boil them in water for two hours. Then, steep the mushrooms for about 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the tea, then heat it up any time you’d like a cup.