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FMRC makes no growing claims or advises on what type of chain saw you are going to need to cut down the mushrooms you will grow from our spores. Many people have great success, but we offer all our spores for microscopy and "ID" purposes only. Up until a few years ago, we offered live cultures and suggested that was the way to go if you wanted to grow mushrooms. We no longer offer live agar cultures. If a customer wants a live culture, we just tell them where to get it. Most of our spores are collected from the wild, however, many cultivators sometimes send us "clean" lab grade spores. FMRC's mushroom bank at the start of 2000 is now held several degrees above freezing to extend viability. Our freshest spores are probably the ones we release in our Journals as when they come in, they go out in the next Journal Issue. Our Catalogs and Journals state "No Growing Claims Made" For ID Only. No we do not guarantee any viability. This keeps the law away, and has no bearing on microscopy.
We try to hit Plus or Minus 10,000 spores. Sometimes when we are running low on a particular species, we skimp down some. Their actual size, depending on how dark they are, will be from 3/8'" to 1/2". We feel that this is more than enough to make permanent ID Slides, or to compare with a mushroom you have found, or to ID a mushroom involved with a mushroom poisoning at a ER or Poison Control Center.
I have had workers make mistakes in the past, and I myself once shipped a cube culture instead of an "edible" that was ordered. Luckily, the customer took it in stride and the problem was corrected. Until further notice, all of our spore samples are only $10.00. Our policy is such that it also helps keep prices down. We do replace any sample, you do not have to give a reason, just ask for it. Even if you tried to grow them, which we make no claim, and had no luck. It is a one time replacement and must be ordered within 30 days of purchase.
As I said earlier, many people have great success growing mushrooms from our spores, we just make no growing claims. For only $10.00 this sure is a lot of fuss. slp/fmrc