The subject of foraging for mushrooms often comes up in the survivalist community, but unless you really know what you're doing, it's not advisable to go around gathering and eating wild mushrooms in a survival situation (or any situation, really). Many edible varieties have poisonous lookalikes, and the consequences of confusing the two can be deadly — go take our mushroom identification quiz if you want to test your skills in a safe environment. That said, there is a much safer way to get edible mushrooms to supplement your food stockpiles: grow them yourself.

As with many gardening techniques, there's a common assumption among the uninitiated that it's necessary to invest lots of time, money, yard space, and practice into growing crops. That may be true in a few cases, but lots of crops can be grown easily in your yard with minimal resources. Mushrooms are one such crop.

In the following video from FreshCap Mushrooms on YouTube, Tony shows how he grew oyster mushrooms using nothing but a 5-gallon Home Depot bucket, aspen wood chips, water, and some store-bought mushroom grain spawn.

As explained in the video, wood chips can be found easily at garden stores or pet stores, but they should be treated with boiling water to kill off any harmful bacteria that might contaminate the shrooms. Holes are drilled throughout the bucket, and the damp wood chips are layered with grain spawn to fill the bucket, pressing the material down along the way. After leaving it in a garage to colonize for a few weeks, the bucket is brought outside to “fruit” or form clusters of mature mushrooms through the holes.

If you're a fan of mushrooms in your stir-fry, salads, pasta, or other dishes, this looks like an easy way to grow your own without spending a lot.

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