8 facts you may not know about growing Cordyceps

Cultivation of Cordyceps in the way of mushroom regeneration

Once upon a time, not so long ago, growing Cordyceps was not possible. In fact, Cordyceps militaris it has only been cultivated commercially since the 1980s and was not grown commercially in the US until 2018 (although it was first cultivated in the US in 1895 at Cornell University)! Even now, these mushrooms can be difficult to grow. (Not surprising when you consider Cordyceps’ origins.) Cordyceps is an extremely picky eater in the wild, preferring to feast only on the caterpillars of ghost moths in the foothills of the Himalayas. What a diva!

Fortunately, the bright orange Cordyceps militaris is less skilled than Ophiocordyceps sinensis, the most revered (and eclectic) wild species of Cordyceps. While growing Cordyceps requires a lot of know-how and a bit of finesse, the species we use is comparable to the wild version and much more affordable. And, if you’re vegan, you’ll be happy to know that the ghost moth disappears as we get older Cordyceps militaris!

8 things you need to know about growing Cordyceps

You can read all about our foray into mushroom farming in this blog post about Cordyceps militaris production. Here are some facts about growing Cordyceps that may be new to you.

  1. Let’s go big. Over the years, AdaptogenShrooms has built not only the largest but also the first and only Certified Organic Cordyceps militaris fruit farm in America. We’re really proud of this milestone — and all the learning and shared wisdom it took to get there.
  2. Cordyceps mushrooms do not grow like other mushrooms. Almost everything Cordyceps militaris Growers start with a supplemented rice substrate in glass jars, but now growers are starting to switch to larger plastic bins. Think of it like the cob for Cordyceps – it’s basically rice cooked in a nutrient-rich broth.
  3. You have to be flexible. Here at AdaptogenShrooms, we are constantly evolving the Cordyceps formula. We sometimes:
  • Change the nutrient broth (think of it like adding different seasonings to your soup)
  • adjust pH or moisture levels
  • experiment with different lighting, tools, processes, extraction methods, etc.
  • try adding new and exciting ingredients

growing cordicephalus

4. We do not use single-use plastic! If you’ve ever bought one of those home mushroom growing kits (which are fun!), you know that many growers use disposable plastic bags to hold the mushroom substrate. However, we grow in reusable glass jars or large reusable plastic bins that we can use over and over again – which makes us and Mother Nature happy. We are grateful that this more sustainable technique was successful, even if it adds more work.

5. You can’t rush Cordyceps. While mushrooms have notorious growth spurts, you have to be patient with them! Some growers choose to produce products from mycelium, but we only use the actual, top fruiting bodies. And, we’re always waiting for nature to tell us when it’s time to harvest them and process them into your favorite, potent, high-atmosphere products.

6. There is a lot of science behind growing Cordyceps mushrooms. If, for example, you grow herbs or tomatoes in your home garden, then you know that farming can be a combination of art and science. Not so with mushrooms. Not only do we read up on the latest scientific research to make sure we’re using the best extraction techniques and methods, but we also keep things spicy-and-span. Our mushrooms are grown in sterile environments.

7. Cultivation of Cordyceps entails this. Many. numbers! Yes, growing Cordyceps is hands-on work, but it also requires meticulous record-keeping. We are certified organic, so we have to make sure our products go through rigorous testing.

8. We are testing our Cordyceps. We are committed to producing THE best Cordyceps products possible. That’s why we send our mushrooms and any other material we work with for rigorous laboratory testing — including heavy metal testing — and review the results and certification documents. Only then do we use them for our mushrooms. We do it for ourselves — and we do it for you, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible Cordyceps, grown with love and integrity.

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