The best way to start the cultivating process is to get a good spore print. The spores are to the mushroom what seeds are to a plant. Hidden under the cap of a mushroom reside from hundreds of thousands to millions of spores that can all lead to the growth of new mushrooms.
The making of a spore print has to be done in a sterile manner, so be sure to take all necessary precautions.
To make a spore print you will need the following:
- a nice mature mushroom with an opened cap
- a sharp knife (scalpel)
- lighter, gas-burner
- a clean piece of paper (a piece of alum foil or glass are also possible)
- a glass
- pair of tweezers
- small zip bag
Sterilize the scalpel by heating it in the flame of a gas burner. Take it out of the flame when it starts to glow red and wait for 20 – 30 seconds to let it cool off.
Cut the cap from the stem at the highest possible point. Be sure not to touch the spores with the knife. Place the cap on the piece of paper with the spores facing down and cover it with a clean glass. In any case, the spores shouldn’t be exposed to the outside air.
After approximately 24 hours most of the spores will have fallen down. When the cap is still on the paper and you can see the spores have fallen around it that should be enough to continue. Remove the cap from the paper. Pick up the spore printed paper with a pair of tweezers and put it in a sealed bag. Small grip bags are excellent to use here. It is very important that the bags are 100% airproof. When placed in a cool and dark place, spore prints can be kept well for several years.