Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a kit?
Complete the online form with your contact information and details of your organisation. If you’re applying for a specific class/group, please enter this in the ‘comments’ section. If there are any issues with the information provided, we will get in touch.
NB: Kits must be sent to organisations, not to private addresses.
My mushrooms are quite pink on the underside - is that ok?
Yes! When mushrooms are first picked, the gills on the inside will be a pinky colour. This will change over a period of hours to the darker colour you’re used to seeing.
How do I know when to harvest my mushrooms?
Mushrooms can grow VERY quickly, doubling in size in just 24 hours, so it’s important to monitor their growth. Remember that what is small in the morning may need to be picked by the end of the day.
Ideally you want to pick your mushrooms when they’re still a button, around 35-55mm wide, before the gills have opened and the cap has flattened.
What are the stringy bits in the compost?
Mushroom compost contains partially composted wheat straw, which often results in a stringy texture.
What do I do with my kit when I’ve finished?
The compost in your mushroom kit is packed with nutrition and great for the garden, especially as a mulch. We recommend you mix the layers together then distribute. You may find you get a few mushrooms growing in the garden, but because of the specific environment they require it’s unlikely you’ll get many.
Can I purchase a kit?
No sorry, our kits were created especially for schools and education centres. They are also hand-made and very labour intensive, which means they would be quite expensive to buy. It may be something we consider in the future if demand exists.
What is the white stuff growing in my kit?
This is mycelium. Mycelium is the equivalent of the root system in plants and is what your mushrooms will grow from. Through the mycelium, the mushrooms absorb nutrients from their environment.
What kind of mushrooms will grow in my kit?
White Button, or agaricus mushrooms. Their mild taste makes them the perfect way to introduce kids to the world of mushrooms
How many kits can I order?
Just one order per class please. We aim to distribute our kits evenly around New Zealand and across different age groups, and only have a limited amount of kits to send each time. If you want more than one kit for your school or organisation, you’ll have to fill in a separate order for each group/class.
What happens after I apply?
- Your organisation will be added to our list of applicants. We aim to distribute kits fairly around the country, to a spread of different organisations and age groups.
- We have a limited number of kits to distribute each term between March and November. If your application is drawn, our team will get in touch to arrange delivery.
- If your application is not drawn, you will stay on the list and may be drawn in future.
What do I do once I receive the kit?
Your kit is ‘pre-activated’, which means you don’t have to do anything except open it and follow the instructions inside. However, don’t leave your kit too long before you use it - mushrooms may try to grow and fail, or may not activate when you need them to.
I am worried about the temperature, what do I do?
We recommend keeping your kit at a temperature of 17-19oC, however we know this may not always be easy. For best results, keep your kit away from drafts or heat sources such as sunlight.
In winter, you may find growth is a bit slower. Keep your kit in a space that will be the least impacted by cooler temperatures. Consider closing the top down at night or even wrapping your kit in a warm blanket.