'Mushroom seeds' are extremely tiny minute spores - from a human vantage point they look like a powder. Each variety of mushroom produces and releases their spores in a slightly different manner. Some are more easily harvested than others, but all can be harvested to produce another mushroom crop.
Professional mycologists use a spore print to identify and store released spores . The spore print makes this possible without having to use a high powered microscope.
Harvesting Mushroom Spores with a Print
A. To make a spore print you first need a mature edible mushroom, it should have visible gills - which are the ribbed underside of the umbrella. You'll also need a
1. Glass jar.
2. A sheet of dark paper and a sheet of white paper. Spores vary in color - some are light, some are dark, the two shades of paper enable you to see the spores more easily regardless of their color.
3. A scalpel or very sharp small knife.
5. A zip lock bag.
Use only mushroom strains known to be edible - many mushrooms are toxic and at times deadly.
How do I tell if a Mushroom is safe to eat?
Sterilize the scalpel by holding it over a flame.
B. Slice the stem off the mushroom as close to the ribbed underside of the mushroom as possible without touching the spores. Do not crush the mushroom and try to avoid jostling it, shaking it up too much as you will lose spores this way.
Place the mushroom cap/ umbrella on the pieces of paper with the ribs which contain the spores facing downward and cover it with a clean glass jar. Half the mushroom cap should be on the white paper the other half on the black. The spores should not be exposed to the outside air.
C. After a day, [minimum of 24 hours] the majority of the spores should have fallen from the mushroom and be sitting on the paper. Some spores should be visible around the perimeter of the mushroom cap. Carefully lift the cap from the paper,using tweezers, place the spore imprinted papers in am airtight zip-lock bag. These are you spores used for growing another crop of mushrooms. Store the bag with you spore in a cool dark dry location for up to a year. The spores should not be exposed to outside air until ready to use.
Spores can be taken from the bag as needed by carefully scraping them from the paper using a scalpel or sharp knife.