The Farm, 680 Muhunoa West Road, Ohau 5570 (towards the coast from SH1 just south of Levin)
The mushroom farmer hot-line: +64 204 098 5657
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6. If it hasn’t gone as expected

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An important thing to remember, we are dealing with nature so it may not always go the way we expect. Most of the tips we offer are aimed at managing the environment to encourage continual growth. In many cases, patience is also a valid and simple option, nature will inevitably kick-in, with more spring or autumn-like conditions.

  • Growing old: Mushrooms do not age as we or animals do, due to time. It’s more a case of it running out of water (which you can control) or nutrition (which is in the bag) … and we’ve given it plenty. If you care for it, there’s still much more mushroom growing potential.

There are many variables that will affect performance. Foremost is climate: temperature and humidity. Growing them inside will provide some control but every home has a different ‘climate’ especially during mid-winter or mid-summer.

  • The Temp factor: During winter (and also mid-summer) they can be a little stubborn. Not so much because it’s too cool or warm, but they like to sense a wider fluctuation in temperatures: like an 8-degree swing. Similar to what we get in spring and autumn between day and night time temps. So leaving it outside in the cool/shade for a few days, then bringing it back inside can help.
  • The dryness factor: During winter the air is naturally less humid plus most people have the heating system running. Most people do not realize just how dry the air has become, even within cooler areas of the house. The mushroom senses this and if to dry, will just bide its time: the mushroom will go dormant. It’s waiting for you to dial in the right conditions. Tip: be thinking, if that’s a spot mould will grow your mushrooms would love that same location/conditions
  • Reading signs: Over time you will get better in noticing what the mushroom is telling you. For instance, if starts pinning but dry out, that’s a sure sign that it’s nowhere near humid enough. so just clean out the holes to prep it for next time (follow instructions for post-harvest care). If after about 3 weeks it still hasn’t kicked into gear, then something else is wrong. The bag itself is dry, humidity issues, wrong temperature, bad airflow, etc. Many of these issues are covered in the FAQ’s.

If it looks like your mini farm has stalled, simply follow the directions in Post Harvest Care to prepare it for the next attempt.

I hope this helps and you are encouraged to squeeze every last mushroom meal out of that mini-farm.