Two Delicious Mushroom Species You Can Grow For Fun Or Profit!

Growing mushrooms is a fascinating hobby that can easily be translated into a successful small business! Mushrooms are an immensely popular comestible because they are wonderfully delicious, containing that magic umami flavour that makes any dish taste special! The button mushroom dominated the market for many years, but now other species like oyster mushrooms have joined it on the shelves, each with their own unique appearance, textures and flavours! 

The art and science of mushroom growing is a fairly complicated process that requires some careful study, but the scrumptious results are well worth the effort. Much has been written on the subject, and this article is not a how-to-grow guide, but a brief bit of inspiration as to what is possible for those who wish to pursue this amazing and delicious undertaking. While commercial mushroom farms generally employ the use of large industrial sheds as grow rooms, you can get started in a small garden shed or even a garage! So, let’s examine two of our favourite mushrooms that you can grow!

King Oyster – This delectable mushroom is fairly easy to grow, and a good one for beginners to learn with. King oyster mushrooms are a large member of the oyster mushroom family with a meaty texture and strong umami flavour. They lend themselves well to a variety of savoury dishes and are very popular in Chinese and Korean cuisine. They are versatile in the kitchen and taste great sautéed, braised, or even grilled! 

King oyster mushrooms grow to 20 centimetres long and 5 centimetres in diameter. Their stems are meaty and thick, their stalks are white coloured, and their caps are light brown. While the stems of most mushrooms are woody and too tough to eat, the firm, dense stems of the king oyster mushroom are edible!

King oyster mushrooms can be raised on supplemented sawdust, but they seem to prefer straw as their ideal growing medium. One advantage they have is their very long shelf life, they remain fresh and tasty for up to two weeks after harvest!

Blue Oyster – Another easy to grow mushroom, they do best on straw logs where they produce in large numbers rapidly! They have a nice, mild umami flavour that has been described as meaty and slightly sweet, with a touch of anise. They can be stir-fried or roasted, and lend themselves well to pizzas, pasta, and omelettes as well as Asian dishes. Try grilling them along with ribs for a tasty treat!

Blue Oyster mushrooms feature short, tapered stems under a flat, convex cap, that can grow to a diameter of 2 to 30 centimetres. The caps are dark blue when young, then lighten to a shade of blue-grey when they reach maturity. Slender white gills begin under the cap and extend down the stem. 

These mushrooms are a bit fragile and have a short shelf life, but are well worth growing if you intend to eat them at home or sell them to your local market!

The Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have rules regarding the commercial growing of mushrooms, check their website for more information. We hope you are inspired to try growing these delicious mushrooms yourself, for fun or for profit!