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Do shrooms grow under cow manure?

What do shrooms grow on? Find out the truth about poop and mushrooms and how they work together.

Last Updated: Mon May 20 2024

Bluntly, yes. But, also no. Like many questions, the answer is a bit ambiguous. In this case, you’re likely curious about psychedelic mushrooms. We’ve all heard the legends of cow fields littered with shrooms, ready to be eaten by the local scoundrels. In this regard, yes there are many varieties of psychedelics that can be grown under cow manure. But, like always, it’s not the be all and end all. If you've peroused mushroom growing companies sites, you may see some “poo” bags, or others of the such. Some even have manure as a “supplement” consisting of a percentage of the substrate. All in all, yes. But as you become more intune with growing, and now have to weigh the pros and cons of everything you do. As the consequences are in the fruits. One major reason manure is not industry standard, is due to the unlikely, but certainly possible risk of E.Coli. If not pasteurized properly, or the wrong water source is used for washing, there are many vectors of contamination. Take a look at the lettuce industry. They have recalls, and people even die. Point is, while you can sit from the top of the hill and say it will never happen to me. Are you in control of the process? Chances are you’re right, but that is really the main downfall to manure.

The vast majority of growers now use Coco Coir, and some sort of supplementation, whether that be perlite, vermiculite, gypsum, manure, etc. We have found for the home grower, it just makes the most sense to use 100% coco coir. Because of the spawn rate of grain to substrate, the grain will be acting as the main nutrition for the shroom. If you were to use less spawn, you may consider a substrate of the same weight, but reinforced with other nutrients as listed before. Coco Coir is a highly commoditized, easy to source, and grower approved for years in the cannabis industry. That’s why it’s become a staple so quickly. It’s even affordable and won’t send you running to the bank. This is more interesting when you consider the gourmet mushroom industry, which largely cultivates wood lovers. You would never even see coco coir in the facility. Not for anything! That being said, if you were on an Agaricus farm, which grows buttons, creminis, and portabellas, you’d likely see a substrate formula closer mimicking psychedelics, than gourmet. BUT, it is not the exact same. Agaricus mushroom growers use a composting technique, based largely on straw, and manure. This skilled part of the process is handled by the farm’s best, and most trusted employee. This task allows the mushrooms to be grown without pressurized sterilization. Nature does most the work for us!

Now that you got a bigger piece of the puzzle figured out, you can see why they answer to the question “Do shrooms grow on manure” can be a bit loaded. Yes, and No! It is up to you, and what the fungus deems appropriate. Remember, in order to be a great grower you must experience for your self what works.

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