Uncle Ben's Tek
INTRO:[edit | edit source]
Uncle Bens Tek is a novelty and at times controversial method of home mushroom cultivation, almost exclusively for psychedelic varieties in practice. It was first introduced in the early 2010's and has recently been gaining a lot of popularity with new cultivators on YouTube and Reddit. This has been accelerated by YouTube content creators like PhillyGoldenTeacher and 90 Second Mycology, whom are also at times controversial due to their dissemination and defense of outdated and ineffective cultivation methods and spreading potentially harmful misinformation.
METHOD:[edit | edit source]
Though there are a few variations, the basic tek is extremely simple, which is one of the reasons it is gaining popularity with new cultivators looking for the seemingly quickest, cheapest, and most simple method. The most popular version is as follows: Inject bags of Uncle Bens 90 Second Precooked Rice with a spore syringe or Liquid Culture (LC). Allow to colonize the bag, using the bottom viewing window and the "feel" of the bag as indicators of when it has been fully colonized. Once fully colonized, cut open the bag and birth the mycelium cake. From here the cultivator may either hydrate the cake (SEE: Dunk and Roll and PF Tek) and put in their choice of fruiting chamber, similar to a PF Tek cake, or they can crumble several cakes and mix with coir (SEE: Shoebox/Bulk) for a type of proto-bulk grow.
CONTROVERSY AND PROBLEMS:[edit | edit source]
Uncle Bens and its related novelty tek, "Broke Boi", are sometimes met with hostility, mockery, or dismissal in some cultivation communities. This seems to be due to a mix of the perceived "lazy/half assed" quality of the teks, as well as the genuine observation of a variety of issues compared to other well tested and tried beginner friendly teks (I.E. PF Tek) including increased rates of contamination, decreased yields, lack of incentive for improvement of the cultivator, and the encouraging of unsatisfactory sanitary technique, among many others. It is the opinion of both the author of this Page and the general consensus of The Shroomery community that new cultivators should avoid Uncle Bens and Broke Boi teks and instead follow a trusted and proven method such as PF Tek. Uncle Bens can potentially be a fun novelty grow, and of course, does have the potential to produce mushrooms successfully. However, is not efficient or effective enough to be a viable option outside of novelty, and in fact can potentially encourage bad habits for new cultivators.