We Tested the North Spore Mushroom Kit To See if We Could Grow Mushrooms At Home
I tested this mushroom growing kit to see if its ease of use and cost make it worth the purchase.
At-home mushroom growing kits typically include a substrate—such as a log, sawdust, or a block of wood and compost—that contains spores from which mushrooms grow. Users just provide water, light, and fresh air, and mushrooms soon begin to appear.
I tested the North Spore Organic Pink Oyster ‘Spray & Grow’ Mushroom Growing Kit at home on my kitchen counter. North Spore is a company that makes mushroom-growing kits of different varieties. It offers pink, golden, and blue oyster mushrooms as well as many other options. Its mission is to make mushroom growing accessible to everyone.
This isn’t my first time testing North Spore’s products. I have also tried several of its other Spray & Grow kits, and I recommend them because of their reliable growth, diverse varieties, and organic substrate. Read on to learn more about my test of this particular mushroom growing kit.
North Spore Organic Pink Oyster ‘Spray & Grow’ Mushroom Growing Kit: At a Glance
- Difficulty level: Beginner
- Size of fruiting block: 10 inches tall by 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep
- Mushroom yield: Up to 1.5 pounds
- Kit makes the growing process easy
- Organic substrate and mushrooms
- Convenient to use in any location with available water, light, and fresh air
- Relatively small amount of mushrooms for the price
Get the North Spore Organic Pink Oyster ‘Spray & Grow’ mushroom growing kit at:
What is the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit?
The North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit is a fruiting block colonized with mycelium, the fungi necessary for mushrooms to grow. Mycelium is the root structure of fungi that allows mushrooms to form. The fruiting block is made from sawdust amended with substrate supplements, including soy hull, and is designed to grow mushrooms within 2 to 3 weeks.
North Spore’s mushrooms are certified organic, and the company is working on getting its substrate certified organic as well. In addition, North Spore offers a wide selection of mushrooms, including popular varieties like lion’s mane and shiitake, and lesser-known options like chestnut, king trumpet, and nameko.
The fruiting block is 10 inches tall by 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep. It weighs about 4 pounds. Each block can yield up to 1.5 pounds of mushrooms, but this includes multiple harvests. I grew between 7 and 8 ounces of mushrooms during each harvest.
Is the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit simple to set up and use?
I found this mushroom growing kit very simple to set up so I could quickly start the growing process. The instructions were clear, and I didn’t require any special tools. Once the kit arrived, the first instruction was to remove the front cover of the block. I removed the front cover with scissors and then used the same pair of scissors to cut an X into the plastic. A small knife can also be used instead of scissors.
Those two steps were the entire setup. I did not need to soak the kit before use, as is the case with many log-based mushroom-growing kits. Mushrooms need a bit of light, fresh air, and humidity to grow, so I placed the block on my kitchen counter in a spot where the light was low. I also had my windows open while testing the kit to ensure it received plenty of fresh air. It’s important to note that spores from mushrooms can cause respiratory irritation in sensitive individuals, so having the kit in a well-ventilated area is a good idea.
Given the fact that I tested this mushroom growing kit in early fall on the East Coast when the humidity was lower, I needed to spray the fruiting block with water three times a day to keep it moist. When my kit arrived, the block was already damp—almost wet—but I knew from experience to mist it anyway, as it can dry out quickly. Moisture is crucial for mushroom growth. The kit conveniently included a small glass spray bottle to moisten the fruiting block.
Is the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom kit an easy way to grow mushrooms?
The kit is a very easy way to grow mushrooms. The mushrooms on the fruiting block can take up to 2 weeks to start “pinning,” which is the term used for the small mushrooms that begin to appear on the mycelium. In my testing, this pinning took about a week.
Once the mushrooms appear, they grow quickly. My mushrooms reached full growth less than a week before they were ready to be harvested. It’s possible to achieve a second or even a third flush from the fruiting block. I was able to harvest a second batch of mushrooms by soaking the block per the instructions.
There are multiple ways to grow mushrooms. In addition to fruiting blocks, mushroom logs—which are colonized with mycelium for mushroom growth—and grow bags are other options. Some consumers might opt to simply grow mushrooms in colonized substrate, which can be done indoors or outdoors. However, for beginners who are new to growing mushrooms, a fruiting block is an easy way to get started with growing and harvesting mushrooms. A fruiting block is also a convenient way to grow mushrooms indoors, right on a desk or a kitchen counter. The North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit is low maintenance since it only requires a few sprays of water two to three times each day. It’s also low risk since the first “flush” (or harvest) of mushrooms is guaranteed.
Check out our guide on the best mushroom-growing kits for other creative ways to grow mushrooms at home.
Does the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit make good-tasting mushrooms?
The North Spore mushroom growing kit grows organic and high-quality mushrooms. These pink oyster mushrooms ranged from a beautiful blush-pink color to a brighter pink. They were tasty, tender, and meaty—perfect as a vegan meat substitute.
I cooked the mushrooms to make vegan pulled pork, vegan chicken pad thai, and vegan pho. For fresh mushrooms, it’s hard to beat growing them at home. The mushrooms can also be pulled right off the block as needed rather than harvesting them all at once, which enhances the freshness when used in recipes.
Is the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit worth the cost?
This mushroom growing kit retails for around $30 on the company’s website and a bit more on Amazon, and it yields up to 1.5 pounds of fresh mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms can typically cost from $8 to 12 per pound, with the price being higher for organic mushrooms. So, it would still be less expensive to purchase oyster mushrooms rather than growing them via a kit.
That being said, the purpose of this mushroom growing kit is more of an interesting experiment to see how mushrooms grow and become familiar with mycelium, the mold from which mushrooms grow. It is fun to watch the growing progress from day to day—sometimes, the mushrooms change in just a few hours. Caring for the fruiting block is simple, and it only takes a few weeks to grow and enjoy mushrooms right at home.
Should you buy the North Spore Pink Oyster mushroom growing kit?
The North Spore Pink Oyster kit is a great project for beginner mushroom growers, children, and anyone who wants homegrown organic mushrooms without investing a lot of time or money into growing them outdoors. It requires minimal maintenance and is a fun way to get started with the basics of mushroom growing. North Spore also offers plenty of other varieties in the same style of fruiting block, including blue oyster, golden oyster, and lion’s mane.
What I like about this kit is that it’s so simple to start the mushroom-growing process. I have also tried log-based mushroom growing kits, which are attractive and fun, but the log needs to be soaked for 8 hours before being able to grow mushrooms. Finding a container in which to submerge a 12-inch log is challenging as well. (I ended up using a large cooler.)
Alternatively, North Spore kits arrive ready for users to start growing mushrooms with minimal effort, and even harvesting two to three batches is easy—simply keep spraying the fruiting block or soak it for about 20 minutes for best results.
Where to Buy the North Spore Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit
Get the North Spore Organic Pink Oyster ‘Spray & Grow’ mushroom growing kit at:
Meet the Tester
Jenn Ryan is a writer with a passion for gardening as well as an intermediate mushroom grower. She has grown shiitake, lion’s mane, and oyster mushrooms in her home. Since 2020, Jenn has been a writer with Bob Vila with a focus on sustainability and gardening, including product reviews. She takes a detailed approach to reviewing products and considers the value they add for the money, as well as the materials used for sustainability and overall eco-friendliness.