Let's Grow #5 - Harvesting and Storing

When to Harvest

"Harvest right before the veil breaks."

When I read this the first time, I thought - what in the world does that mean? What veil? What does break look like? What if I harvest too early? What happens if I wait too long? OMG what if I mess up.

Don't panic.

This is the veil, and this is what it looks like when it breaks.

Thanks to: https://www.pinterest.com/mikakatzwinkel/shrooms/ for the photo. 

If you harvest too early - your shrooms will be smaller, and there's some debate as to whether that means there's just more concentrated psilocybin. It's totally fine.

If you harvest too late, your shrooms might drop spores (see the OMG what happened post). It's a bit yucky, but it's just cosmetic. They will taste and work fine. I ended up throwing most of those "OMG shrooms" away in the end bc I don't like dusty shrooms, but they absolutely are edible, potent, and the tub flushed again. Also fine.

If you harvest way too late, your shrooms will be rotten. You'll know when that happens. They look like rotten slimy mushrooms from the grocery that you've had in the fridge too long. This is obviously not fine, but you're probably not going to have that happen.

Note - you can/will get aborts. Those are mushrooms that grow a bit, and just stop growing. It is said that these are especially powerful, and many people make a point to keep and dry them. I don't, but maybe you will. If you have little tiny mushrooms and their tops are turning dark and they are not growing anymore - those are aborts. Pick them, dry and keep, or toss and move on. Up to you.

How to Harvest

I wash my hands, put on gloves (because you're touching something that someone will ultimately eat) and turn the shroom at the base counterclockwise until it comes loose.

Then I take them to the sink, brush or cut off any substrate, and pop those guys in the dehydrator. You can also put them in the fridge and keep them for a day or so if you don't have time to dehydrate them right away.

You'll want to dehydrate at a low temperature (120 or less) until the shooms are cracker dry. By that, I mean, the shrooms "snap" when you bend them. There must be absolutely no bend left. If there's bend, there's water in them, and they will not store correctly. You will be sad because they will mold. Dehydrate completely.

How to Store

I store mine in small mason jars with a silca packet, and I'm experimenting with a vaccuum sealer. If you use the vacuum sealer, be sure and really pull all the air out of the packet. I sealed some lightly - because I didn't want to crush the pretty shrooms, and they got bendy again (and I had to toss them).

And that concludes the basic process.

I'll be starting a new grow soon with lots of pictures each step of the way!