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Fast Food of the Gods
Mushroom Cultivation Technique
Version 1.2 October 30, 2001
(see new fire warning)

Here's a "no brainer": Get a Rubbermaid bucket-shaped container which will fit in your microwave. Every step goes on in this one container. In the bottom put two cups of vermiclulite. Use a spatula to mix in enough distilled water to make the vermiclulite about as damp as it can be without feeling soggy (usually about a cup).The following dry ingredients can be added one at a time or mixed together. The idea is to coat the wet vermiculite particles with the dry powder as you stir the mix with the spatula. This sounds trivial but it makes all the difference.

Ingredients :

1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon dextrose
500 mg glycine
1/2 teaspoon oyster shell powder
1/2 teaspoon trace minerals (gypsum powder may work)

Where do you get this stuff? - All are available at health food stores. Dextrose is also available from wine making / beer brewing stores, or diabetic supply companies.

After the mix is made lightly tamp it down and cover this layer with 1/2" to 1" dry vermiculite. Microwave the bucket for 8 minutes with the top slightly off. Allow to cool -completely- in the microwave. (If you take it out and put the top on tight the top will get sucked in.) Now you're ready to innoculate.

I favor innoculation with mycelium water, but many have advocated spore water. Either one will work but mycelium water is much faster and has less chance of contamination. A large innoculation around the edges and several squirts in the middle (5-15cc) will get things going in a hurry.

Wrap the outside of the container to the level of the top of the vermiculite with aluminum foil. Set it on a shelf and forget it. Fruits will appear in the bucket in about three weeks (at 75 F). After the second flush squirt in another 50cc or so of water. Sometime these buckets flush for months. When it looks old and pooped drop in a sterilized cow patty and more water. Again you may get more flushes.





Fire Warning


Erowid received the following report in October, 2001:
Although I have tried the "Fast Food of the Gods" method for cultivation of mushrooms before, I recently had a problem when the material in the tub actually caught fire and burned the Tupperware it was in. I am sure this is rare, but given the differences in microwave power, it should be noted in the protocol that this can happen.

As far as I can tell the biggest difference between this experiment and previous work was that I used a larger grain vermiculite than I had previously. There was water in the mixture, but its possible that the large vermiculite did not hold as much, or that the size of the grains is more conducive to overheating.

Cultivators should be careful to monitor their microwaving so that the substrate doesn't dry out and to be very careful the first time using a new microwave.

After posting this, we received a report from a dutch mushroom grower with a great deal of experience who said that he had destroyed his microwave with this method. The originator of the article is not available to comment, but wetting the top layer of vermiculite before 'casing' with it might reduce the chance of dry-sparks.



Document Revision History:
  • 1.0 : Spring 1996
  • 1.1 : July 1998 - minor changes
  • 1.2 : October 30, 2001 - added fire warning