Are you looking for the best mushroom bale? Read my article and find out which are the best breads, reviews and a complete guide.
Would you like to have home grown mushrooms, delicious and zero kilometer? Well, by buying the mushroom ballet this dream will be largely achievable. Even if they are apparently simple, since in the end you will have to (hopefully) eat them, you will surely want to know everything there is to know about these very special breads. You do not have to worry because, in addition to being 100% safe and therefore super-edible, it is not at all complicated to explain how the “mechanism” that allows the development of the fungus on the ballet works.
What are mushroom bales?
They are nothing more than real bales made of wheat straw, together with other elements such as soil, vegetable waste or poplar wood.
The purpose of the bale is host a substrate inside which the mycelium will be inoculated. The latter, as for sure you already know, is the vegetative apparatus of the fungus born from the spore, which as it grows will develop its own ramifications, with a speed that can even reach 6 millimeters per hour. Also know that on sale you can find bales for mushrooms belonging to different species, and here I anticipate a list of the most common ones.
- Pleurotus mushrooms: it is the mushroom in the shape of an “oyster” or pan, it has a very sweet taste and I personally love it grilled.
- Cardoncelli mushrooms: cardoncelli also belong to the genus pleurotus, but they are more “fat” and thicker, as well as more fleshy.
- Champignon mushrooms: it is the very traditional champignon with the “pompous” cap, super versatile and suitable for any preparation. However, it is not a bale, but directly on a substrate with soil.
- Pioppini mushrooms: probably one of the most loved species, very tasty and suitable for example for linguine with cherry tomatoes, after having passed it in a pan.
- Porcini mushrooms: if you find porcini mushroom balls for sale, do not buy them. The boletus is wild and cannot be grown, unless you resort to complex techniques such as mycorrhization, so you would be throwing your money.
However, there are also other varieties, such as Shiitake mushroom bales, which are beneficial to the health of the lungs and respiratory system, and those for growing Reishi at home (ganoderma, ideal to be enjoyed in coffee). Later I will also explain how to use the bales of the various types of mushrooms, because each species needs certain conditions to allow the mycelium to branch correctly!
Also know that the substrate of the bale has been sterilized and pasteurized: this prevents the formation of molds and other microorganisms that are harmful to home-grown fungi.
How do you use a mushroom ballet?
Before proceeding, you are most likely wondering how to use a mushroom bale. There are several ways to grow them, but usually this is done: keep the package sealed, make cuts of about 5 centimeters on several areas of the haybread, and then sprinkle the surface with water (using for example a sprayer) . In other cases, however, you will have to remove the plastic, get out the bale and cover it with soil: it is a technique that is used for example with cardoncelli mushroom bales.
Don’t worry: all you have to do is read the instructions attached to the product and follow them to the letter. Before you imagine you will see mushrooms sprouting … like mushrooms!
Best Mushroom Ballets
1. Acquaverde 4 Pieces Kit Pleurotus Mushrooms
If you like Pleurotus mushrooms, this kit is the best choice you can ever make. In fact, the set contains 4 cardoncello balls, and the results are mouth-watering, since the mushrooms are truly delicious. Of course there is also the instruction booklet where the producer explains, step by step, how to grow them in the correct way. In my opinion with this kit you will be on the safe side, especially due to the fame of Acquaverde, a well-known company in the agricultural landscape.
Compared to other bales of mushrooms, this one in particular is not only able to give you wonderful cardoncelli, but it is also respectful of nature. Not surprisingly, the substrate used complies with the GLOBAL GAP certification, which represents a precious guarantee of quality in the cultivation field. In summary, it is all natural and therefore you will not have to fear for your health, as there are no chemicals present. Finally, the kit in question weighs 3 kilograms in total and takes 7 to 15 days to bear fruit.
As for the harvest, the former will be very abundant while the latter will reward you with a small amount of mushrooms. In total, however, this bale kit is able to ensure the production of 1 kilogram in approximately 45-60 days. How to use? It’s very simple: you have to cut the top section of the plastic, pour about 2 centimeters of soil over the substrate, spray a little water a couple of times a day and wait about 15 days.
2. Acquaverde 2 Pieces Apulian Cardoncelli Mushrooms
Another round, another race, another set of Acquaverde mushroom loaves. In this case, the package includes two bales of Apulian cardoncelli mushrooms, as always very good and easy to grow. The result, I must be honest, amazed me: aside from the fun of seeing them grow from the substrate, these cardoncelli are very fleshy and grow quite quickly. In fact, two or three weeks are enough to see them peeking out of the bale, to then enjoy them and wait another two or three weeks for the second harvest.
The package is 3 kilograms, and as I explained to you the flavor is truly spectacular. The credit obviously goes to the goodness of the cardoncelli Pleurotus, which among other things are also good for health. It is in fact a food rich in vitamins and proteins, and low in fat, therefore also ideal for those who are on a diet and want to lose a few pounds, but without giving up the taste of good food. Furthermore, the total production is around 2 kilograms.
Obviously there is a convenient and comprehensive guide for the cultivation of this bale of cardoncelli mushrooms, with a series of very useful tips. Such as the harvesting method, since the mushrooms should not be cut at the base but gently eradicated, so as to allow the development of the second round of mushrooms (around 1 kilo of harvest). Cultivation is very simple and follows the same rules seen above: therefore you need to pour the peat, and spray the ballet with water 2-3 times a day.
3. Acquaverde Kit 2 Pieces Pleurotus Ostreatus
Since Acquaverde is undoubtedly the best company in the sector, I decided to also tell you about this kit that includes 2 bales to grow Pleurotus Ostreatus. Also known as the oyster mushroom, this species is one of the most common in the Peninsula, and is great for baking or grilling, fried or pan-fried. Cultivation is more delicate than the others, since it requires an environment with a temperature around 15-28 degrees and an area in dim light.
The package includes two bags, but consider that the mushroom production is lower than the other bales, and is around 2 kilos (including the second harvest). Of course there is the classic guide to grow them in the correct way, included as always in the package and very clear, as well as simple to follow. I advise you to give this ballet a chance, especially for the great goodness of the oyster mushroom, and for its aesthetic beauty.
I had the chance to try this product too, and I was very satisfied as always. It is true that the production is a bit low compared to other bales, but I assure you that it is worth it, once you bring the mumps to the table. The first production is rather fast, since it takes about ten days of waiting and treatment, even if there may be slight delays of a few days. Finally, despite its low cost, this product offers a very high quality standard.
4. Acquaverde 8 Pieces Kit Pleurotus Cardoncello
If you want to give yourself crazy joy, or if you need to feed a regiment, then I suggest you consider purchasing this mega kit for the cultivation of cardoncello. In fact, know that you will take home a package with 8 bales of Pleurotus mushrooms, as always characterized by the great quality guaranteed by a brand like Acquaverde. The characteristics, therefore, remain the same as the products reviewed above.
But it’s still worth pointing them out again, especially when you consider the goodness of the final product and the ease of cultivation. The latter is in fact simplified by the presence of a complete guide, which explains step by step how to best treat cardoncelli mushroom balls. So, after a wait that can range from a week to two weeks, you can delight your palate with a ton of meaty, tasty and nutritionally rich mushrooms.
Also consider that Acquaverde’s ballets are often more prolific than the indications of the product. Imagine that some manage to bear fruit 3 times, going beyond the promises of the producer. Of course this is not always the case, because each dance is different from the others, but with Acquaverde it is easier to have luck. And then, even if the price may seem high, always remember that you are buying a kit that contains not 2 or 4 balls, but even 8.
How are bales grown?
As I have anticipated several times, it always depends on the type of species you have ordered, so it is better to go in order and review the cultivation techniques for each bale. Starting with one of the most popular, that is the cardoncello. First, however, know that to reap the fruits of your work you will have to wait approximately 3 weeks!
1. How to grow cardoncelli mushroom bales?
For the cardoncello it is always better to remove the bale from the plastic, and bury it in normal earth (therefore not fertilized), covering it with a finger of earth. I recommend, do not use soil or peat, because there is no need.
If you do not have the possibility to bury the bale, you can still adopt a “trick” that worked great for me: open and remove the plastic that is on the face of the bale, cover it with a couple of fingers of field earth, and keep the surface moist using the sprayer. Meanwhile, remember to also open the other side (the lower one), to allow the water to drain without filling the package.
Know that the cardoncello grows best if placed in dim light, and it is always better to avoid “drowning” it. For this I recommend that you give water with the spray no more than twice a day, but once again you should rely on the instructions.
2. How to cultivate pleurotus ballets?
In this case you will have to keep the straw bale inside the plastic package, take a knife and make cuts from 2 to 3 centimeters, “scattering” them along the package. Personally I advise you to use a cutter, much more comfortable and precise, as well as sharp. As for the environmental conditions, here too you will not have to expose the ballet to direct sun, but keep it in the shade. The ideal temperatures, on the other hand, range between 15 and 28 degrees.
When you then notice the mushroom appearing, then you can enlarge the hole up to 5 centimeters or more, so you will allow the mumps to pop out. Obviously remember to wet the entire ballet every day with a few sprinkles of water, always without exaggerating. It will allow you to create the moisture needed to allow the mycelium to branch and fruit.
3. How to grow champignon ballets?
As I explained to you, in this case it is not a real bale, but a pile of earth (incubated compound) and a separate bag with the soil. How does it work? It’s very simple: you have to open the bag of compost and pour half a bag of soil onto the surface. Also in this case you will have to keep the mixture moist every day, thanks to the usual spray, so as to favor the creation of the perfect habitat for the development of the oyster mushroom.
What do you have to do with the rest of the earth? When the mushroom has grown and harvested (it will take about 20 days), you can use it to plug the holes in the peat. In this way you will recreate the right conditions for the development of humidity and for the growth of the next generation of mushrooms!
4. How to grow the poplar bales?
Pioppini are the easiest to grow, because they will pop out without being begged too much. The technique is the same as I illustrated for the pleurotus: you will therefore have to make holes of a few centimeters, sprinkle a little water every day and wait for the development and fruiting of the mycelium. Actually you can also proceed by cutting the plastic section of the face of the mushroom ballet and continue as I explained above.
Frequently asked questions and answers
1. How to cure mushroom balls?
As I explained to you, mushroom bales should be kept away from direct exposure to sunlight, therefore in an area of penumbra. Also, I advise you to put the dough away from the wind and obviously from the rain, since it should never get soaked. Also know that the temperature can change from species to species, but usually it must not drop below 15 degrees (and not exceed 18, with the sole exception of the pleurotus). Where are mushroom bales kept? Cellars or basements are usually ideal places!
2. How many kilos of mushrooms does a bale?
It all depends on the type of product you buy and its weight. A 2-pound bread typically produces about 1 pound of mushrooms, while a 4-pound ballet produces 2 or 3. Finally, kits for home grown mushrooms in 8-pound bales produce 4 to 5.
3. How long does a ballet of cardoncelli mushrooms last?
In general, the substrate in a bale of cardoncelli mushrooms runs out in about two months (60 days), but in some cases it can stop feeding the mycelia even after 45 or 50 days. During this time, however, your bale will be able to produce a decent amount of mushrooms, enough to feed an army!
4. How to collect the mushrooms from the bales?
In this case, I recommend that you always read the information given in the instructions. There are some manufacturers who suggest cutting the mushroom flush, while others say that it must be completely extracted from the bale by prying it out with the mushroom knife, making sure to remove root residues as well.