Step 1: Cold Shock
Put your new mushroom block in the fridge for at least 24-hours.
Step 2: Open
Take your block out of the fridge and give it a gentle hit on a hard surface to send a little shock through it. Take the block completely out of both bags and set it on a plate.
*The brown spots on the block are normal. The block will turn almost totally brown before it is ready to produce.
Step 3: Setup
Find a good spot for your block to live. An ideal spot would be on a counter top out of direct sunlight and away from drafts or heaters. Included in this kit is a humidity tent. Roll the opening of bag up and stand it loosely over your block. Mist the block and the inside of the humidity tent at least daily with a spray bottle.
*Ideal conditions for shiitake are high humidity (90%+) until the small mushrooms (pins) form. Once you have small mushrooms starting to grow the humidity can be dropped a bit lower (70%). You can do this by making sure it is very humid in the humidity tent for the first few days. You can stop misting once the small mushroom pins have started and even remove the humidity tent completely once the mushrooms are almost full grown.
Step 4: Harvest
After a few days you should see mushrooms starting to grow all over the block. Pick when the caps start to open up and the gills on the underside of the cap are visible. It is best not to let the caps get completely flat.
Step 5: Rest
Remove the humidity tent and stop misting the block. Let it rest and dry out for 2 weeks.
Step 6: Soak and Repeat
Dunk the block in a pot of cold tap water for a few hours or overnight. Set something heavy like a plate on the block to hold it under water. Follow steps 3 through 6 to keep growing. This block should give 2 - 4 harvests of mushrooms. Throw the block in the compost when it starts to fall apart or mold severely.