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The Grey Oyster Mushroom

Quick facts

  • This is the most common Oyster Mushroom grown in NZ.
  • AKA the Phoenix or Italian Oyster. Their botanical name is Pleurotus pulmonarius.
  • Their flesh is smooth, thick, and white, The texture is silken and tender, and its taste is mild and faintly sweet.
  • They grow in forests on dead trees, quickly decomposing the wood they are growing on.
  • The cultivation of Oyster mushrooms was perfected by the Germans during World War one.

How do I grow Grey Oyster Mushrooms?

  • This is an indoor grow, similar to a house plant.
  • The Grey Oyster Mushroom will grow successfully throughout the year.. 
  • In nature, they grow in the deep shade of the forest. Indoor light is perfect.
  • Most of the time it will be doing its thing 'inside' the bag. During this time little care is required. 
  • Once it starts fruiting (the mushrooms are growing) you will need to increase the humidity. 
  • If you care for it, it should be fruiting every 2-3 weeks.
  • Once it starts fruiting, you should be harvesting in 5 days.

Quick Tips

  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Yield: about half a kilo per kilo of substrate
  • Temperature: between 16-25 degrees.
  • Humidity: Only required when mushrooms are growing: high, above 85%RH. Rule of thumb, if it's a spot where damp laundry would easily dry, this could be a problem.
  • Inside: Preferably in the bathroom, but the kitchen is ok. Not in bedrooms or living spaces in case you harvest late, it spores profusely.
  • Outside: generally not recommended. In a sheltered, shady and damp spot. But be aware of pests and also lack of ability to control humidity. 
  • Garage or shed: Same as outside, Okay for Spring/Autumn but be aware of heat buildup in summer or cold in winter.
  • Under the house: Not recommended
Detailed grow instructions

What do Oyster Mushrooms taste like?

  • Grey Oyster mushrooms have a very mild flavour. Similar to field mushrooms, but more delicate and complex. 
  • Cooking with a higher heat, they tend to be more earthy, aromatic, a bit sweet, and, sometimes a hint of anise.
  • More gentle heat will produce more delicate tones and helps to bring out a subtle briny flavour which is why they work well in combination with seafood, or as a fish replacement.
  • The texture of the Grey Oyster mushroom is where it stands out, making it very different from a field mushroom. It does not have a spongy texture, rather it is 'fleshy', with a soft creamy texture. In many respects, its texture is similar to meat like chicken,  which is why it is such a popular meat replacement. 
  • They are very easy to cook with, and the results will always be a perfect texture and flavour. 

How do I cook Oyster Mushrooms?

  • Unlike field mushrooms, Grey Oyster mushrooms pair well with white meat, so work well with fish, chicken, lamb and pork
  • As a meat substitute, think of Grey Oyster mushrooms as a replacement for chicken and use them in a similar way.
  • They are frequently used in: soups, pasta, risotto, casseroles, stir-frys, tarts/pies, terrines, slow cooks and more. Or simply sauté them in garlic and butter and enjoy them on their own with some quality bread.
  • This variety only needs 5-8 minutes of cooking but can handle many hours, for instance in a slow cooker. They will not fall apart like vegetables so will retain their fleshy texture.

What is their Nutritional Value?

  • Oyster mushrooms contain high amounts of amino acids (protein) such as thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, sterols, and carotenoids. They contain high levels of vitamin C, potassium and iron.
  • Oyster mushrooms have been scientifically validated to boost the immune system and fight infection and inflammation. They may have medicinal uses for reducing pain sensitivity.
  • Oyster mushrooms are primarily made up of protein and complex carbohydrates and are one of the best sources of ergothioneine, a unique antioxidant found only in fungi.
  • Ergothioneine has been shown to help fight chronic inflammation and may prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which leads to cardiovascular disease.
More nutritional info

What are the mushrooms grown on?

  • The substrate uses certified organic Pine with a little Soy as nutrition.
  • No nasty chemicals are used in production, no sprays, or herbicides.
  • Our products are 100% NZ made. Everything is grown on our permaculture farm in Horowhenua
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