Second Flushes, Composting Best Practices, and More

Smallhold Friend

Second Flushes, Composting Best Practices, and More

Hello friends! If you didn't already know, we offer a community "block" pickup program about once a month at each of our farms (depending on the season).

All of our mushrooms are wood-loving species of mushrooms. They grow off of substrate blocks (aka mushroom food) that are mainly composed of hardwood tree sawdust and other grains. Once we grow one round of mushrooms (a "flush), we consider these blocks "spent"-- this does not mean you can't grow more mushrooms from these blocks. In fact you can grow multiple flushes from a single spent block. Each subsequent flush takes up more time and energy than the first (which is unfortunately not great for our farm operations), and you will end up getting a little less mushrooms. Nonetheless, our spent blocks are still amazing for growing more mushrooms AND are an excellent additive to your soil, your garden, or compost bin.

All of our spent blocks are donated to compost organizations, community gardens and farms, and now... you! If you are interested in scooping up some blocks, please check our Instagram regularly for pickup announcements and learn about the process below.

If you are interested in doing a major pickup outside of community block pickup hours, please email us at

Second Fruiting

All Smallhold blocks can be second fruited given the right conditions:

• Your block will need some time to recover from it’s first harvest before it begins
growing again (usually around a week after harvest).

• Pick all leftover mushroom material (spongy mushroom “tissue”) from the cut site after harvest and continue to keep the cut sites moist and the block in temperate conditions (~63-70 degrees).

• Keep in mind that blocks may be more susceptible to pests such as mold during successive grows.

• Some may be trickier to induce a second “flush” than others! Blue Oyster, Yellow Oyster and Lion's Mane will have the best chances of second fruiting. Royal Trumpets are trickier to second fruit due to their grow style of emerging from the substrate block “top” rather than a cut site.


Spent substrate blocks are a valuable compost additive. They can also simply be crumbled up and loosely planted around the base of trees or in your backyard garden - you may eventually see some mushrooms growing!

What's the deal with Mycelium? 

• Mycelium's association with plant roots allows for better water retention for the plants themselves (think of it as an external reservoir for the plant to draw from).

• Mycelial "roots" are much smaller and can reach areas that plants cannot. They also provide an immune system boost - their symbiotic relationship keeps the plant’s guard up.

• Mycelium promotes root growth by adding oxygen to the soil
and can keep pests away as well - specifically, harmful nematodes. It also affects the microbial community in a positive way - something akin to prebiotics for our gut health.

If you ever have any questions, you can always email us at!