Picking your mushrooms
Depending on the type of mushroom that you are growing, is going to be the time that the mushroom takes to reach it's full maturity. How do you know when a mushroom is fully mature? Usually when the cap is fully open and is almost flat, but not completely. PICTURE:
Now...also depending on what kind of mushrooms you are growing, it might be better to pick them when they are pre-mature, or it might be better to pick them when they are fully mature. For example, a well known gourmet mushroom like the champignone, is best when picked pre-maturely; And the also well know oyster mushroom is best when picked at it's mature state, when you can see it's full beauty. For psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, they can be picked before they have sporulated, for maximum potency. Or they can be picked at full maturity, for added weight and height. When a mushroom begins to sporulate, it means that it begins to drop spores. Therefore it has been discovered that a psilocybe mushroom is at it's peak potency when it is picked before it even develops spores. Which is when the veil is still attached to the cap, but as it is just about to break loose from the cap. PICTURE:
You cannot get any spore prints this way though (obviously).
When you are ready to pick your mushrooms, use the hand sanitizer, as you will probably have to touch or hold your cake as you take the mushrooms off of your cakes. You want to remove each mushroom from the bottom of the stem at it's base. Move it gently up, and down, and side to side. You are going to basically "rock" them off the cakes. Make sure that you leave nothing behind. Sometimes, you can remove a lot of mushrooms at once all together. PICTURES:
If your mushroom(s) accidentaly break somewhere, even if it's just a little chunk at the base, it's recommended that you use a sterile tool, like a flame sterilized knife, to remove what's left. Don't go ripping a big ol' hole on your cake just to get a little piece of mushroom off of there. Be tender with them. Removing this will help against inviting contamination to your cakes. So keep them clean. Also, make sure to remove all the little aborts that are left, so that your cakes get ready for a next flush.