It seems to be all the rage and fashion the “hydrated lime soak” for oyster mushroom and other fast-growing species production on straw.  This post is for background and  information on the use of hydrated lime to prepare straw to become oyster mushrooms! This is the method in use by Simply Manna Gourmet Mushroom Farms (, and is a summary of my trip taken to Manna Mushroom Farm in Sacramento.  The use of a hydrated lime soak is one the most cost-effective ways to produce ready-to-fruit oyster mushroom logs.  Always remember this method has been developed over time and each grower will likely need tweaks and modifications to the general concept.


Follow this link to Fungi Allly:


Also see the link on Aloha Medicinals webpage:


The basic rules to follow are:

  • use hydrated lime with a low magnesium content (minimum <2%, best less than 0.2%) this type of lime in South Africa is from Bredasdorp and is sold as “Water purification lime”.
  • soak for 16-18 hours.
  • use high quality spawn of strains known to work with the system like Elm A, HK, CA, PL  and AX strains.
  • do not make columns too wide or else they will get anaerobic in the middle (rot and smell really bad).
  • remember the goal in mushroom farming is “The Production of High Volume of Mushrooms at a Low Cost” 
  • always try and get the cellulose waste that no one knows what to do with!  ‘Waste” such as sawdust preferably not pine (working on being able to use pine sawdust), paper (newspapers, office paper etc.), residues of field crops and material from pack houses are all possibilities.


Manna Mushrooms fungi ally

Straw logs made using lime pasteurization

hydrated lime soak

Chopped straw after hydrate lime soak