Where does it grow?
Oyster mushrooms are common in the wild across the United States. Two major species we have found in the wild here in North Carolina are Pleurotus ostreatus and P. cystidiosus. They are very common on fallen logs of poplar and other hardwood on forest floors. Therefore, it is very easy to operate a low-cost cultivation method by inoculating logs and laying them out on forest floors. A simple use of fallen log to produce oyster can be found here .
What do we need to produce?
The primary ingredients used for bag cultivation of Pleurotus spp. are shredded wheat straw, blow room cotton waste and sawdust. For production on wheat straw, the material is milled to a length of about 2 to 6 cm. The pH of the material is adjusted with limestone to about 7.5, loaded into bags of various sizes and pasteurized at 60C for 60 - 120 minutes. After the substrate is cooled down to room temperature, it is inoculated with spawn and left to colonize the substrate. It is very common to have fruit body production within 3-4 weeks after of inoculation, depending on the species and strain used. We have been able to fruit Pleurotus ostreatus and cystidiosus collected in the wild in NC, within 4 weeks, using cotton waste. P cystidiosus is more tolerant of high temperature, like summer temperature values.
Our survey showed that there is high demand for this mushroom in NC.