Cultivating mushrooms of the Oyster variety is very simple using paper products like newspapers, paper bags, shredded cardboard, exc. You'll need to have a substrate for the spawning of the paper product like, colonized grain or a PF style cake.
First thing's first, the materials.
1- clean plastic grocery bag with no holes in it. If there's holes in it, simply double up the bags.
1- bottle of bleach
1- quart of spawning substrate. Either 1qt. of whole grain or PF style substrate
1- measuring cup
1- clean sink or clean bucket large enough to house 2.5 gallons of water.
1- sunday editions worth of newspaper
*** edit *** broken links left as is so they can be fixed
Now simply add the newspaper or papers to a sink exc. of bleached hot tap water. The bleach to water ratio is 2.5 gallons of hot tap water to a 1/4cup of bleach. Allow the newspaper to hydrate for about an hour and then simply stir up the newspaper and hot water. Lightly break up the paper into large chunks so all of the paper can be cleaned up with the bleached water. Then simply allow the paper another hour of soak time and it's done. Or it's done when the water's cool enough to touch easily. Under 80 degrees for spawning.
Now simply ring out chunks of the paper to where only a few drips of water come out of it. Then simply start loading up the grocery bag. You want about 3/4" of inch of paper per layer. Then add a coating of spawn on top of each layer until you've run out of spawn. The top and final layer should be newspaper.
After the bag is loaded up, simply take the handles of the plastic grocery bag and tie them into a cross knot. Like you're tying your shoes, without the final knot. Don't worry with a filter, as CO2 escapes through the top of the bag where the handles cross.
Then simply push down rather hard on the bag, getting the air out of it while compressing the substrate into a block. You don't have to stand on the bag, but you want the substrate to be nice and firm. The total substrate thickness should be 4" after being packed firmly.
Then simply write the spawning date on top of the bag and give it 2 weeks or as long as takes for colonization. Let it get nice and thick with mushroom mycelium. Don't worry if some of the paper on the sides doesn't colonize. That will happen from the paper being pushed up against the bag hard. Not a problem and will colonize once the substrate's birthed.
Here's a picture of the substrate colonizing at 1 week.
Substrate at 2 weeks and ready for birthing.
Birthed substrate in the Oyster strains fruiting enviroment. Each individual species of Oyster has a different fruiting temperature for the most part. You'll need to know what temperature your species fruits at to have success. You'll want to maintain 90-95% RH for all of them though. This way the substrate and fruit bodies don't dry up on you.
Pleurotus primordia forming on the paper substrate block.
Simple as that. I'll update the thread accordingly.
Edited by hyphaenation, 25 August 2014 - 02:50 PM.